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I'm not sure if there has been a thread on this before (Jovan, please correct me) but I wanted to ask some questions about the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Sacrifice of the Mass. Most of this is going to be answering Protestant arguments against the Holy Mass.

So, the objection is laid out like this:

In the Epistle to the Hebrews we read that, 


Quote:For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices which are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? If the worshipers had once been cleansed, they would no longer have any consciousness of sin. But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure. Then I said, 'Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,' as it is written of me in the roll of the book." When he said above, "Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law), then he added, "Lo, I have come to do thy will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, then to wait until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds," then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more." Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.


Particular attention is being laid on the aspect of offering. The Protestant objecting is suggesting that the dogmatic canons of the Council of Trent contradict this because there is a repeated offering of the sacrifice of the Mass, and Christ made a single offering; so, this would appear to contradict Catholic teaching on the nature of the Mass.

The objector also states that there is a distinction between a sacrifice and an offering, that a sacrifice can be made and an offering could not be made of that sacrifice. This seems contradictory, a sacrifice, in the sense of a religious oblation, is an offering made to God in which the victim is slain for the remission of sins. But, this seems like a secondary issue.


I answered that this doesn't contradict the Catholic theology of the Mass because the objection fails to understand what Catholics actually believe about the Mass. I said that Catholics believed that the Mass is a participation and re-presentation (making present anew) of the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary. The Mass is Calvary. The Mass is the one Sacrifice of Christ made present again.

The objector responded that that still doesn't seem to answer the objection that a single offering of that Sacrifice has been made and that the Catholics do re-offer the Mass. I thought that this was an interesting objection. I didn't have an answer ready, so left the discussion there. 

Does anyone know how the Church understands this passage? I was reading the Fathers about the offering of sacrifice in the Church, and the idea is very clearly apostolic (I couldn't find any Father who seemed to contradict the Catholic theology of the Mass and all of them whom I have read have affirmed very strongly a Catholic understanding of the Divine Liturgy. I have shared some of this with the objector, but haven't heard how he has responded to it yet.)

I have been thinking that the Mass would, since it is a participation in the first Mass which Christ offered and the priest is acting in persona Christi, then the re-offering of that same, one sacrifice would be participations in one offering of the sacrifice. Any thoughts, or a resource I could send the objector to to learn get more in depth answers than I might be able to provide?
I'm not sure if these will help, and I'm just going to post the links instead of cutting and pasting the entire passages, but they may be of some value:

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-...ce-for-all

https://www.catholic.com/qa/why-the-mass...n-offering

https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/cul...-mass.html