The Eucharist: Where's the Christ?

And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;--Hebrews 10:11-12

What is the writer of the letter to the Hebrews saying here? It seems plain enough to me. He is telling them that the daily sacrifices and ministrations of the Levites and priests could not take away their sins. Never is a definitive term. It means NEVER. Yet every hour of every day, somewhere in the world, countless Roman Catholic priests are ministering before the pagan ossuaries they call altars and making the same vain sacrifices.

How can the church that claims divine protection from teaching error continue in practice and doctrine that which the Scriptures clearly indicate is ineffective? Easy. They force the Holy Scriptures into an interpretation that fits their needs. This practice is known to Bible scholars as eisegesis.

Spokesmen for the Roman church do not deny the truth of Hebrews 10:11. Quite the contrary, they seem to be fully in agreement with the futility of the Jewish practice. Then, they point to the next verse as supportive of the Catholic Eucharistic ritual.

St. Paul says that Jesus was offered once. How, then, can we offer Him daily? I answer, that Jesus was offered once in a bloody manner, and it is of this sacrifice the Apostle speaks. But in the Sacrifice of the Mass He is offered up in an unbloody manner. Though He is daily offered on ten thousand altars, the Sacrifice is the same as that of Calvary, having the same High Priest and victim Jesus Christ. The object of St. Paul is to contrast the Sacrifice of the New Law, which has only one victim, with the sacrifices of the Old Law, where the victims were many; and to show the insufficiency of the ancient sacrifices and the all-sufficiency of the Sacrifice of the new dispensation. -- James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, 110th Ed., P.J.Kenedy & Sons (1917), p. 258

"Offered up in an unbloody manner?" Where is the sacrifice? How is Christ "offered up" in sacrifice when He is not "sacrificed" at all? What is offered up in sacrifice by the Catholic priest is a little wafer made from flour and water and a cup of wine mixed with water in the Jewish tradition. But where is the feature Player in this unbloody sacrifice? Where is the Christ?

The Scriptures tell us that the Word, Second Person of the Trinity, is not on earth, but is seated at the side of the Father, speaking to Him of us.

So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. -- Mark 16:19

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. -- Romans 8:33-34

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. -- Colossians 3:1

In the above verses, and others in the Scriptures, we are told that Christ is at the right hand of the Father. Every Roman Catholic who attends Mass affirms this truth when he speaks the words of the Creed.

...On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end... -- The Apostles Creed; Catechism of the Catholic Church, (C) 1994/1997 United States Catholic Conference, Inc

...For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died and was buried.On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end... -- The Nicene Creed; Ibid.

Did you notice the words "is seated at the right hand of the Father?" They appear in both creeds, just as they are found in the Scriptures. The verb tense is present indicative. That is telling us that Christ, the Logos, is at this very moment seated at the right hand of the Father. It does not tell us that He is seated at the right hand of the Father and simultaneously resting in cibora in tens of thousands of tabernacles around the world, in the hands of priests or laymen as they aid in the celebration of Communion or the Eucharistic sacrifice. It certainly does not tell us that He is reposing in the mouths of millions of communicants, patiently awaiting the instant when the wafer form that He has adopted begins to suffer corruption and disintegration so He might return home to the side of the Father or, what is worse, to some other mouth possibly reeking of unbrushed teeth and last night's alcoholic excess.

Certainly, as God, Christ is not limited by time or space. He certainly CAN be present everywhere at once, if that is what He chooses to do. However, He has made it clear in the Scriptures that He has other things to do that keep Him at the Father's side. For this reason, the Holy Spirit was sent to help the Body of Christ.

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
-- Acts 1:7-11

Whoa! When Christ was lifted up toward Heaven, two white-robed men appeared among the Apostles. Who do you reckon they were? Likely they were angels in the form of men.

28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
31 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
2 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.
-- Luke 9:7-11

Jesus met with Elias and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration and two men, probably angels, stood with His Apostles when He was taken up into Heaven. There were witnesses, credible witnesses, to both events. People SAW the transfigured Christ. People SAW His ascension. The men who were with the Apostles when the Savior ascended assured the onlookers that He "shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." This is what Christians have been longing for -- the Second Coming that is foretold in the Scriptures.

The RCC declares that her priests, her other Christs, call the Logos down from the Father's side every time they celebrate the Eucharistic Liturgy. Yet when He supposedly descends from Heaven at the priest's command, no one witnesses His arrival, though the room may be filled with people. Does this conform to the promise in Acts 1:11?

It is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, to which every Catholic must assent de fide, that the bread and wine of the Eucharistic sacrifice are literally transformed into the body and blood of Christ by a process Catholics like to call transubstantiation:

Christ becomes present in the Sacrament of the Altar by the transformation of the whole substance of the bread into His body and of the whole substance of the wine into His blood. (De. fide.) -- Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 4th Ed., Tan Books and Publishers (1974), p. 379, with Nihil Obstat & Imprimatur)

The Savior ascended into Heaven in His glory, accompanied by two men. That He ascended in a form that made it possible for the witnesses to recognize Him is obvious from the context. It seems doubtful to me that He went up to Heaven in the form of a bit of bread and a glass of wine. Yet it is Roman Catholic teaching that when He is called down from the Father's side to be sacrificed yet another time He really is fully present in a bit of bread and a glass of wine. Is this what is promised in Acts 1:11?

The Body and the Blood of Christ together with His Soul and His Divinity and therefore the Whole Christ are truly present in the Eucharist. (De. fide) -- Ibid. p. 384

This is another dogma of the Roman Catholic Church to which all Catholics are to assent, but how can it be true? After the priest performs his magic, the wafer still looks like a wafer and the wine still looks like wine. How can one be certain that this whole business is not just a sham? How can he know that the bread and wine are really nothing more than bread and wine? Not to worry. The folks in the Roman dreamworks have a couple of dogmas to cover that concern:

The Accidents of bread and wine continue after the change of the substance. (De. fide.)

The Sacramental Accidents retain their physical reality after the change of the substance. (Sent. certa.) -- Ibid., p. 383

How can this be? The Roman church declares that her priests can call Christ down from Heaven to take the form of bread and wine and that He really and truly is fully present in those "accidents," which retain their original form. Must get awful crowded, what with the Catholic Christ's body, blood, soul and divinity striving for space with the molecules of the bread and wine. Seems an unworthy place for God to take up residence. Again, the folks in the Vatican have an answer. There seems to be a pattern: Something doesn't seem to fit, just declare it a mystery and define it as dogma and Catholics no longer are permitted to question the teaching, under pain of anathema.

The dogmas that cover the little problem of explaining how all the parts of Christ can exist in the same space as all the parts of the bread and wine (which would appear to violate one of the physical laws of God's Creation) are quite creative. Seems that what looks like bread and wine really is nothing but the body, blood, soul and divinity of the Catholic Christ. There is no conmingling of incorruptible divinity with corruptible matter.

The Catholic faithful are told that the bread and wine continue to exist, but without form. They are there, but they aren't there. It really takes a lot of imagination to swallow this bit of hocus pocus. After posting the dogma, I'll let Dr. Ott explain how it works.

The Sacramental Accidents continue without a subject in which to inhere. (Sent. certa.)

It follows from the dogma of the Transubstantiation that the accidents after the change of the substances of the bread and wine exist without their own natural substance in which to inhere...The Body and the Blood of Christ cannot be bearers of the accidents of bread and wine; nor can any other substance (according to Abelard's School: the surrounding air). It follows from this that the accidents continue without any subject. The Roman Catechism (II 4, 43) calls this teaching: "the perpetual and constant teaching of the Catholic Church. -- Ibid., p. 383

This is better than watching David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear. The bread and wine have disappeared and what looks like the bread and wine is not bread and wine but the Catholic Christ who took those forms at the command of the priest who has the power to tell the Catholic Savior what to do. The bread and wine still exist, except they don't. The atoms of the bread and wine are no longer present in the consecrated bread and wine (which, of course are not bread and wine but the Catholic Jesus) and they cannot be borne by anything else -- not even air. How can this be? Rome has the answer, of course.

The continuance of the accidents without a subject is made possible by the Divine Omnipotence, which, as causa prima, takes the place of the missing causa secunda. Cf. S. th. III 77, I, See Par 12. I -- Ibid. p. 383

The wonder of the Catholic Eucharistic Sacrifice isn't all the mumbo jumbo of transubstantiation and gone but still there bread and wine. The wonder of the Catholic Eucharistic Sacrifice is that any reasonably intelligent individual can accept as true the incredible tapestry of fantasies and fabrications Rome has embroidered to sustain the fiction.

The Roman church claims to offer Christ in the Eucharistic Sacrifice on every Catholic altar during the celebration of the Mass. Yet Scriptures tell us that no one sacrifices Him but that He willingly laid down His life.

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. -- John 10:17-18

The Roman church teaches that the Eucharistic Sacrifice is a re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice on Calvary, yet the Bible tells us that Christ's sacrifice was a one-time event.

8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
-- Hebrews 10:8-14

Who are YOU going to believe? The fantasizers who work in the Vatican dreamworks? Or the Lord God Almighty in His Holy Scriptures? To me, that doesn't present a very difficult choice.

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