Today’s Question: Are Catholics right that bread and wine at Communion becomes Jesus’ actual flesh and blood?

Melchizedek, Manna, Passover, Last Supper

Today’s Question: Are Catholics right that bread and wine at Communion
becomes Jesus’ actual flesh and blood?

Answer: Certainly! Jesus is the (Passover) Lamb of God.

Jesus is also the one time, once for all, perfect and atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Faith in the power of the original Passover (protection from death) required the application of blood and that the Passover lamb be consumed, precisely as God directed.

Faith in the power of the Christian Pasch – Easter – the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – our divine “Passover” from death to life, requires the (worthy) consumption of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, which becomes sacramentally present on the holy altar, for our good, for the good of the Church and of the whole world.

What was prefigured in the old, is beautifully and very powerfully fulfilled, in the new.

The Apostles knew that to be true, as did the entire Church of God, right up until the Protestant revolt, of the 15th century, when things took a decided “turn” for the worse.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, through the “work” of the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood, the bread and wine becomes the glorified and resurrected body and blood of Jesus Christ; because it’s obvious that’s what God had always intended and because JESUS SAID IT DOES.

As for the Mass: the first Mass (The Last Supper) anticipated Christ’s perfect sacrifice on the cross, so predates the Book of Revelation. But, the Book of Revelation speaks of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, which beautifully ties all of this together, in the most profound, truthful and beautiful way.

Asked and answered today on Yahoo! Answers. Edited for clarity and content. 

More Bad Fruit: Confirming our beloved Jewish brethren in a Covenant of Death and Hell, for Passover

passover-eucharist

Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ and the New Covenant, in his blood.
Only ONE of these is capable of saving a soul. 

The writer of this piece doesn’t want to offend anyone, but unfortunately, she has embraced the Modernist heresy about the nature of the Old Covenant and the “faith” of the Jewish people – and so, miserably fails.

Read the article

Now, read this:

There is absolutely NOTHING in the Old Covenant which is, or was ever capable of saving a soul. Anyone who clings to the Old Covenant embraces only death and hell.

Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and membership in the Catholic Church, which he founded for that express purpose., for if salvation was available by the Old Covenant, there would have been absolutely no need for our Holy Redeemer Jesus Christ, to become man, suffer and die on the cross. for us!

Anyone who – knowing this – fails to accept the divine truth of the matter – is – at the very least – going to have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do, come Judgment Day!

Catholics should understand that confirming our beloved Jewish brethren in their spiritually deadly theological error is not in any way charitable – nor is such a thing appropriate at Passover, or ANY OTHER TIME – even if certain highly place church officials might believe otherwise.

The theological matter was settled, long, long ago. Here are the ERROR-FREE official Catholic Church citations. If the Catholic Church was WRONG then, there is no longer ANY ASSURANCE that it is CORRECT about ANYTHING, today. If the church was RIGHT then, there is no doubt that the Modernists who control today’s church (and teach otherwise) are indeed, WRONG.

The logic is irrefutable.

crucifixion_tintoretto

Pius XIIMystici Corporis, 29: “And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ…but on the Gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race. “To such an extent, then,” says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, “was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from the many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as Our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom.”

30: “On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death, in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers”

Council of Trent, ch 1, 793: “but not even the Jews by the very letter of the law of Moses were able to be liberated or to rise therefrom”

Council of Trent, Session 6, ch 2: “that He might both redeem the Jews, who were under the Law”

Council of Trent, Canon 1: “If anyone shall say that man can be justified before God by his own works which are done through his own natural powers, or through the teaching of the Law…let him be anathema.”

Council of Florence, DS 695: “There are seven sacraments of the new Law: namely, baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony, which differ a great deal from the sacraments of the Old Law. For those of the Old Law did not effect grace, but only pronounced that it should be given through the passion of Christ; these sacraments of ours contain grace, and confer it upon those who receive them worthily.”

Council of Florence, DS 712: “It firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosiac law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to the divine worship at that time, after our Lord’s coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally.”

“All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors. Therefore, it commands all who glory in the name of Christian, at whatever time, before or after baptism’ to cease entirely from circumcision, since, whether or not one places hope in it, it cannot be observed at all without the loss of eternal salvation.”

Pope Benedict XIV, Ex Quo Primum, #59: “However they are not attempting to observe the precepts of the old Law, which as everyone knows have been revoked by the coming of Christ.”

Pope Benedict XIV, Ex Quo Primum, #61: “The first consideration is that the ceremonies of the Mosaic law were abrogated by the coming of Christ and they can no longer be observed without sin after the promulgation of the Gospel.”

Pius VI, DS 1519-1520 (condemned the following): “Likewise, the doctrine which adds that under the Law man ‘became a prevaricator, since he was powerless to observe it, not indeed by the fault of the Law, which was most sacred, but by the guilt of man, who, under the Law, without grace, became more and more a prevaricator’; and it further adds, ‘that the Law, if it did not heal the heart of man, brought it about that he would recognize his evil, and, being convinced of his weakness, would desire the grace of a mediator’; in this part it generally intimates that man became a prevaricator through the nonobservance of the Law which he was powerless to observe, as if ‘He who is just could command something impossible, or He who is pious would be likely to condemn man for that which he could not avoid’ (from St. Caesarius Serm. 73, in append., St. Augustine, Serm. 273, edit. Maurin; from St. August., De nat, et “rat., e. 43; De “rat. et lib. arb., e. 16, Enarr. in psalm. 56, n. I),– false scandalous, impious, condemned in Baius (see n. 1504).

1520 20. “In that part in which it is to be understood that man, while under the Law and without grace, could conceive a desire for the grace of a Mediator related to the salvation promised through Christ, as if ‘grace itself does not effect that He be invoked by us’ (from Conc. Araus. II, can. 3 [v.n. 176]),– the proposition as it stands, deceitful, suspect, favorable to the Semipelagian heresy.

The Last Supper was the ultimate, eternal fulfillment of the Passover – in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The institution of the Eucharist

1337 The Lord, having loved those who were his own, loved them to the end. Knowing that the hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father, in the course of a meal he washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love.163In order to leave them a pledge of this love, in order never to depart from his own and to make them sharers in his Passover, he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and Resurrection, and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return; “thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament.”164

1338 The three synoptic Gospels and St. Paul have handed on to us the account of the institution of the Eucharist; St. John, for his part, reports the words of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum that prepare for the institution of the Eucharist: Christ calls himself the bread of life, come down from heaven.165

1339 Jesus chose the time of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum: giving his disciples his Body and his Blood:

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the passover meal for us, that we may eat it. . . .” They went . . . and prepared the passover. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”. . . . And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.”166

1340 By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus’ passing over to his father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the kingdom.

“Do this in memory of me”

This year’s Holy Week may be marked by a blood-red moon

agony-012

by Doug Lawrence

And going out, he went, according to his custom, to the Mount of Olives. And his disciples also followed him. And when he was come to the place, he said to them: Pray, lest ye enter into temptation. And he was withdrawn away from them a stone’s cast. And kneeling down, he prayed. Saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground. (Luke 22:39-44)

A lunar eclipse has long been a regular feature of Passover and Easter, as Passover has always been marked by a phase of the lunar cycle.

In the passage above, we read of Jesus’ sweat looking like drops of blood, as they trickled down to the ground.

lunar_eclipse

I’m not one to try to rationalize miracles, but I’ve never been convinced there ever was a miracle here, since drops of sweat, illuminated by the subdued light of a blood-red, fully eclipsed moon, would indeed naturally appear as blood, especially if moonlight provided the only available illumination.

Another interesting thing about a lunar eclipse – you can’t have things both ways. It’s impossible to have a (natural) solar eclipse the day after a (natural) lunar eclipse, since everything in the heavens is totally out of phase. Plus – natural solar eclipses don’t last for three hours – and they’re not visible across the whole earth. That would make the darkness that covered the whole earth from noon to 3 on Good Friday, truly supernatural! 

And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani? Which is, being interpreted: My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:33-34)

This was also a prophetic and very specific fulfillment of Old Testament sacred scripture:

Christ on the Cross by Diego Velazquez, 1632

And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that the sun shall go down at midday, and I will make the earth dark in the day of light: And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation: and I will bring up sackcloth upon every back of yours, and baldness upon every head: and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the latter end thereof as a bitter day. (Amos 8:9-10)

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Jimmy Akin: 9 things to know about Good Friday

crucified_christ

Good Friday is the most solemn day of the Christian year.

It is the day our Savior died for us.

It is the day we were redeemed from our sins by the voluntary death of God Himself at the hands of man.

Here are 9 things you need to know.

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Pope reflects on Psalm 136 and Jesus at the Last Supper

Alleluia.

Praise the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Praise ye the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who alone doth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who made the heavens in understanding: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who established the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who made the great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever. The sun to rule the day: for his mercy endureth for ever. The moon and the stars to rule the night: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who smote Egypt with their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever. With a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who divided the Red Sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever. And brought out Israel through the midst thereof: for his mercy endureth for ever. And overthrew Pharao and his host in the Red Sea: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who led his people through the desert: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever. And slew strong kings: for his mercy endureth for ever. Sehon king of the Amorrhites: for his mercy endureth for ever. And Og king of Basan: for his mercy endureth for ever. And he gave their land for an inheritance: for his mercy endureth for ever. For an inheritance to his servant Israel: for his mercy endureth for ever. For he was mindful of us in our affliction: for his mercy endureth for ever. And he redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever. Give glory to the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever. (136:27) Give glory to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

(Psalms 136:1-26)

Link

Obama dedicates Passover to Muslims, ignores Good Friday, but (finally) makes it to church for Easter.

The president said he realizes that his attendance at Sunday services is disruptive, so he stays away.

By that standard, shouldn’t he stay away from the presidency, as well?

Obama’s handlers have no idea how to handle the subject of religion, because most of them don’t know the meaning of the word. No other politician since Vladimir Lenin has managed to treat people of faith with such disdain and ineptitude. Nor do any of his staffers … most of them godless, leftist ideologues … have a clue.

These guys probably think a bunny rose again from the dead on Easter!

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Thursday of Holy Week: Jesus Institutes the Eucharist – the definitive sacrifice of the New Covenant.


HOLY THURSDAY, marks the beginning of the sacred Triduum, or “three days.” Earlier this day Jesus had given instructions to the disciples on how to prepare for this most holy meal, which will be his last supper.

Through the day they make these preparations (cf Mt 26:17). In the Mass of the Lord’s Supper conducted at our parishes, we remember and make present that Last Supper which Jesus shared with his disciples. We are in the upper room with Jesus and the Apostles and do what they did. Through the ritual of washing the feet (Jn 13:1) of 12 parishioners, we unite in service to one another. Through our celebration of this first Mass and Holy Eucharist (Mt 26:26), we unite ourselves to Jesus and receive his Body and Blood as if for the first time.

At this Eucharist, we especially thank God for his gift of the ministerial priesthood.

After the Last Supper (First Mass) the apostles and Jesus made a short journey across the Kidron Valley to the Garden where he asks them to pray and he experiences his agony (cf Mt 26:30). We too will process in Church with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to a garden (the altar of repose) which has been prepared.

The liturgy ends in silence.

It is an ancient custom to spend an hour before the reposed Blessed Sacrament tonight. We are with Jesus in the Garden and pray as he goes through his agony. Most of our parish churches remain open until close to midnight. It was near Midnight that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, was arrested and taken to the house of the High Priest.

Matthew 26:36-50  Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani. And he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death. Stay you here and watch with me.

And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt.  And he cometh to his disciples and findeth them asleep. And he saith to Peter: What? Could you not watch one hour with me?

Watch ye: and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Again the second time, he went and prayed, saying: My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done. And he cometh again and findeth them sleeping: for their eyes were heavy.  And leaving them, he went again: and he prayed the third time, saying the selfsame word. Then he cometh to his disciples and said to them: Sleep ye now and take your rest.

Behold the hour is at hand: and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise: let us go. Behold he is at hand that will betray me. As he yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people. And he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he. Hold him fast. And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail, Rabbi. And he kissed him. And Jesus said to him: Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and held him.

Link

Passover, the Paschal Lamb – Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God

The Paschal Lamb:

A lamb which the Israelites were commanded to eat with peculiar rites as a part of the Passover celebration. The Divine ordinance is first recorded in Exodus, xii, 3-11, where Yahweh is represented as giving instructions to Moses to preserve the Hebrews from the last of the plagues inflicted upon the Egyptians, viz. the death of the firstborn.

On the tenth day of the first month each family (or group of families, if they are small) is commanded to take a lamb without blemish, male, of one year, and keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, and sacrifice it in the evening. The blood of the lamb must be sprinkled on the transom and doorposts of the houses in which the paschal meal is taken. The lamb should be roasted and eaten with unleavened bread and wild lettuce.

The whole of the lamb must be consumed — head, feet, and entrails — and if any thing remain of it until morning it must be burned with fire. The Israelites are commanded to eat the meal in haste, with girded loins, shoes on their feet, and staves in their hands “for it is the Phase (that is, Passage) of the Lord.”

The blood of the lamb on the doorposts served as a sign of immunity or protection against the destroying hand of the Lord, who smote in one night all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast. This ordinance is repeated in abridged form in Numbers xix, 11, 12, and again in Deuteronomy, xvi, 2-6, where sheep and oxen are mentioned instead of the lamb.

That the Paschal Lamb prefigured symbolically Christ, “the Lamb of God”, who redeemed the world by the shedding of His blood, and particularly the Eucharistic banquet, or new Passover, has always remained the constant belief of Christian faith.

Revelation 5:6-14  And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth.  And he came, and he taketh it out of the right hand of him that sat on the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and madest them to be unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon earth. And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a great voice, Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive the power, and riches, and wisdom, and might and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every created thing which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea, and all things are in them, heard I saying, Unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, be the blessing, and the honor, and the glory, and the dominion, for ever and ever. And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the elders fell down and worshiped…

Submitted by Doria2

The Old Testament fulfilled in Jesus Christ and the Holy Eucharist


Melchisedech, Manna, Passover, Last Supper
(Click on graphic to enlarge)

It would take pages to reveal the prefigurement of the Sacrament of the Eucharist in the Old Testament. Melchisedech offering bread and wine was a figure of Christ Himself, Who chose bread and wine the night of the Last Supper as the elements for both the sacrifice and the sacrament.

The manna that fell in the desert was also a symbol of the Eucharist, which Our Blessed Lord said was Himself: “I myself am the living bread that has come down from heaven” (John 5:51). St. Paul, picking up the analogy, said that what the Jews
ate in the desert was a figure of our spiritual food: “They all ate the same prophetic food…. It is we that were foreshadowed in these events (I Corinth. 10:3, 6).

The blood of the paschal lamb, sprinkled on doorposts to preserve the Jews from destruction, was a sign not yet of a reality, but a figure of the blood of Christ sprinkled on our souls, which would save us from evil. Because the paschal lamb was a figure of Christ, it was on the feast of the Passover that Our Blessed Lord gave to His Church the Eucharist which He had promised over a year before, at Capharnaum.

Link (PDF)

Passover, Mass, Holy Communion


*** Click On Any Picture To Enlarge ***

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Jesus Christ Is the Divine Link Between Passover, Mass, and Holy Communion


Good Archbishop Charles Chaput opens his final paragraph of this most important speech with “Let us preach Jesus Christ with all the energy of our lives.”

Just what does this seemingly simple statement really mean?  How does one “preach” Jesus?  This has been a major issue in my life for as long as I remember.  My mother tells of story of a six year old Bryan declaring, from the Chrysler’s backseat one Sunday after church that he was not interest in attending the New Haven United Methodist Sunday School anymore.  She asked why and I commented”  “Because they are not teaching me about Jesus, they are just teaching me how to be a good boy and I can figure that out on my own.”  (In their defense it was the 60’s.)

As Mom tells the story our family became Baptists the next week.  My mom was “saved” after her first Sunday at New Haven Baptist Church, the church that taught me about Jesus, the Bible and never secularist ethics.

I grew up in the Baptists’ well run Sunday School program, learning the Old and New Testaments on Anna Jury’s flannel board.  I graduated to Bible College in my late teens.

A few years after that I was struggling with the concept of “Church.”  Why do it?  What was it supposed to be? How does it differ from a few friends in a living room?

One of the things about church that bothered me most was an ad hoc and seemingly casual attitude toward the communion service.  This “ordinance” of the Word (a sign, not a sacrament I was taught) allowed much interpretation and was the subject of almost no religious zeal among the Baptists I knew.

Read more from the ArchAngel Institute

Reflections on Holy Thursday and the Last Supper

At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the New Covenant, and he also gave us the definitive sacrifice of that Covenant, his very own body, blood, soul and divinity, under the traditional auspices of ordinary bread and wine. Doing so, Jesus perfectly fulfilled all the institutions, holy days and sacrifices of old, particularly the Jewish Passover, making them, along with the totality of the Old Law, things of the past.

If this were not the case, then there would have been no reason for Jesus to give us a “NEW” Covenant at all, since the “OLD” (with a few strategic alterations) might have then sufficed.

2Corinthians 5:17 –

“If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new.”

What had only been prophesied before in scripture, through mysterious types and shadows, was now a new, eternal and saving reality.

Jesus was the lamb whose blood would be poured out, in order to save the people of God from Satan, sin, and eternal death.

The ancient Passover observance was always about Jesus. And once Jesus fully revealed himself and completed his work, all of the ancient observances and feasts would be divinely incorporated into just one universal (Catholic) New Covenant observance of the Paschal Mystery, that we know today as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Lest anyone doubt this is true,  all we need do is consult the Old Testament Book of Malachi, written around 400 years before the Last Supper, where this singular, eternal, and uniquely “unbloody” sacrifice was described and clearly foretold.

Malachi looks forward to a time when only a “clean” (unbloody) sacrifice would be offered up to God … not by the Jews … not only in Jerusalem … but by Gentiles (non-Jews) the world over.

Malachi 1:11

“From the rising of the sun, even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, in every place there is a clean oblation (unbloody sacrifice) for my name is great among the Gentiles, says the Lord of Hosts.”

From this it should be absolutely clear … it’s no accident that today, every hour of every day, every day of every year, in virtually every nation, all around the world … Jesus, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass … is offered up to God, for the needs of the whole world. And in this sinful and seriously misguided world, it’s very nice to know that somewhere, there’s always a few good people still faithfully heeding Christ’s personal instructions: “Do this in memory of me.”

Anticipated at the Last Supper, fulfilled at Calvary, made present for us (and for every generation) at Mass … this one time, once for all, eternal sacrifice serves as the “engine of divine grace” that in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, perpetually empowers the Church and sanctifies its members, courtesy of Jesus, our perfect victim, high priest, mediator, God, risen brother and king.

The “token” which confirms God’s promise of salvation is none other than the Holy Eucharist, wherein the same Christ, truly present under the auspices of bread and wine, personally reaffirms his new, sacred and saving  covenant, each and every time we receive him. A better example of a real, close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ is available only in Heaven!

This is why Catholics have priests, rather than ministers, since the primary function of a priest is to offer sacrifice to God, for the people, and the Mass is indeed a true, liturgical re-presentation of Jesus Christ’s singular, perfect, and eternal  sacrifice on the cross, at Calvary. An image of the crucified Jesus on the cross … the crucifix … serves to remind us of this.

It’s also no accident that at the Last Supper, Jesus  instituted the Ministerial Priesthood of the Catholic Church, making the apostles the first New Covenant priests, since the fullness of the ministerial priesthood will always be essential to the basic work of the church (teaching, sanctifying, governing, in Jesus’ name).

It wasn’t until a few days later, when the apostles encountered the risen Christ, that they began to truly understand how all this actually worked. The scriptures explain that Jesus made things pretty clear for them:

Luke 24:44-48  And he (the risen Jesus) said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms, concerning me.  Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.  And he said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead, the third day:  And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And you are witnesses of these things.

Jesus spent another 40 days working with the apostles, before he ascended to Heaven, promising:

John 14:26  … the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.

Was Easter Originally A Pagan Holiday?

resenh

STRAIGHT ANSWERS

by Father William Saunders

Q: Was Easter Originally A Pagan Holiday?

Recently a Moslem co-worker made the comment that Easter was originally a pagan holiday. Where would he get such a notion?-A reader in Alexandria

A: I think your Moslem co-worker is confused to say the least. In accord with the gospels, Easter is unequivocally the solemn feast celebrating the resurrection of Christ. In the Western tradition of the Church, Easter has been celebrated on the first Sunday following the new full moon which occurs on or immediately after the vernal or Spring equinox. This dating was established by the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. As such, the dates for Easter may range from March 22 to April 25. (The Orthodox Churches follow a different dating system and will thereby celebrate Easter one, four, or five weeks later).

The confusion in the mind of the co-worker lies in the etymology of the word itself. In the original language of the gospels, the Greek word <pascha> is used for the Aramaic form of the Hebrew word <pesach>, which means Passover. During the first three centuries of the Church, <Pasch> referred specifically to the celebration of Christ’s passion and death; by the end of the fourth century, it also included the Easter Vigil; and by the end of the fifth century, it referred to Easter itself. In all, the term signified Christ as the new Passover Lamb. Together, the mystery of the Last Supper, the sacrifice of Good Friday and the resurrection of Easter form the new Passover – the new Pasch.

Latin used the Greek-Hebrew root for its word <Pascha> and other derivatives to signify Easter or the Easter mysteries: for instance, the Easter Vigil in Latin is <Sabbato Sancto de Vigilia Paschali> and in the First Preface of Easter, the priest prays, <“…Cum Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus”> (“When Christ our Pasch was sacrificed”). The Romance languages later used the Hebrew-Greek-Latin root for their words denoting Easter: Italian, <Pasqua>; Spanish, <Pascua> and French, <Paques>. Even some non-Romance languages employ the Hebrew-Greek-Latin root: Scotch, <Pask>; Dutch, <Paschen>; Swedish, <Pask> and the German dialect along the lower Rhine, <Paisken>.

However, according to St. Bede (d. 735), the great historian of the Middle Ages, the title Easter seems to originate in English around the eighth century A.D. The word Easter is derived from the word <Eoster>, the name of the Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and Spring, and the annual sacrifices associated with her. If this is the origin of our word Easter, then the Church “baptized” the name, using it to denote that first Easter Sunday morning when Christ, our Light, rose from the grave and when the women found the tomb empty just as dawn was breaking.

Another possibility which arises from more recent research suggests the early Church referred to Easter week as <hebdomada alba> (“white week”), from the white garments worn by the newly baptized. Some mistranslated the word to mean “the shining light of day” or “the shining dawn,” and therefore used the Teutonic root <eostarun>, the Old German plural for “dawn”, as the basis for the German <Ostern> and for the English equivalent “Easter”.

In early English translations of the Bible made by Tyndale and Coverdale, the word “Easter” was substituted for the word “Passover,” in some verses.

Even though the etymological root of “Easter” may be linked to the name of a pagan goddess or pagan ceremonies, the feast which the word describes is Christian without question. Exactly why the English language did not utilize to the Hebrew-Greek-Latin root is a mystery. Unlike Christmas which was set on December 25 and “baptized” the former Roman pagan Feast of the Sun, Easter is a unique celebration. Any confusion, therefore, rests with etymology, not theology.

Fr. Saunders is president of Notre Dame Institute and associate pastor of Queen of Apostles Parish, both in Alexandria.

This article appeared in the April 27, 1995 issue of “The Arlington Catholic Herald.”

Courtesy of the “Arlington Catholic Herald” diocesan newspaper of the Arlington (VA) diocese. For subscription information,  write 200 North Glebe Road, Suite 607 Arlington, VA 22203.

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Submitted by Doria2

Question for Catholics: How many of you accept transubstantiation? (I’ve yet to meet a Catholic who does.)

Q: Question for Catholics: How many of you accept transubstantiation? (I’ve yet to meet a Catholic who does.)

A: Anyone who understands that Jesus fulfilled the OT Passover at the Last Supper, and that he replaced it with the NT Mass, which is the re-presentation of his one time, once for all, perfect and eternal sacrifice for the sins of the world, knows that Jesus was deadly serious when he declared, “This is my body. This is my blood.” Do this in remembrance of me.”

Ask yourself what would have become of those who applied only symbolic lamb’s blood to their doorposts, and who ate only symbolic lamb on the first Passover, and you’ll see that God is very serious about this type of thing.

Catholics have always believed in transubstantiation, more than a thousand years before the term for it was even invented, because that is what Jesus taught, that is what the apostles taught, that is what the early Church Fathers taught, and that is what the Church continues to teach today.

Nothing has changed … and there’s certainly nothing to be found in the Bible, to the contrary.

At every Mass, Jesus becomes truly and substantially present on the altar for us … body, blood, soul, and divinity … as High Priest, Perfect Victim, brother, king, and God.

In this way, through Jesus, we faithfully ask God to bless us and keep us, and to provide for all our needs.

God originally spoke everything into existence, from nothing.

Why is it so difficult for some people to take him at his word about the Holy Eucharist, especially those who claim to be justified by faith?

Here’s another Catholic who gracefully accepts transubstantiation, and all that goes along with it!

Someone please explain Catholicism to me?

Q: Someone please explain Catholicism to me?

My girlfriend is catholic and I’m protestant, so I want to know a bit about it like:
What was the origin of the pope and having a hierarchy within the church. What do you believe exactly leads to salvation? What would a catholic probably think about being married to a protestant. What is mass and confessions like. What’s with hail Marys and the other prayers, etc.

Plus do they believe you have to be baptised in order to be saved and anything else that might be interesting to know.

I’ve never been to a catholic church in my life.

A: It would be impossible to answer all your questions here, but there’s a link to the Catechism at the bottom, and plenty of links to other Catholic resources on this site.

Here’s a fairly comprehensive overview:

Catholicism is based on all the original authority, grace, and truth that Jesus obtained for us and and willed to us, and that the Holy Spirit delivered to the Church, the “People of God” and the “Mystical Body of Christ” at its’ birth, on Pentecost.

The authentic Church has been known as Catholic since at least 107 AD.

St. Peter was selected by God the Father to lead the Church, sworn in by Jesus, and accepted as the leader of the Church, by all the apostles.

The apostles shared the awesome power of binding and loosing, on earth and in heaven, and in governing the Church, but the holy office of Pope is charged with making the final decision, and the Pope remains at the top of the earthly hierarchy.

The authentic Christian Church was originally and eternally constituted by Jesus Christ as one (there are no other authentic Christian churches), holy (it belongs to God), catholic (universal – one for all) and apostolic (established and governed by the apostles, and later, by their duly ordained successors).

Absent all of these four marks, no church can claim to be the “true” church.

Jesus founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed the Catholic Church to lead all to salvation in his grace.

The Holy Spirit is the eternal advocate of the Church, and the arbiter of all divine truth. The Holy Spirit guides the Church from age to age, by means of sacred Tradition.

“Tradition” defines how Catholics should live and worship. Tradition may be written or oral. The Bible is a portion of authentic Catholic Church Tradition reduced to writing, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Catholics, by nature of their baptism, are part of the Royal Priesthood of all believers in Christ.

Catholics are typically baptized as infants, relying on the faith of the Church and the power of God for their sanctification and their salvation. Baptism may be conferred at any age, but when received by infants, Baptism serves as the ultimate demonstration of personal salvation in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, according to the will of God the Father, with absolutely NO works at all.

Baptism serves to remove all traces of sin … original sin and other … makes one a temple of the Holy Spirit, an adopted child of God, a citizen of Heaven, co-heir with Jesus Christ, and a member of the Church.

The Ministerial Priesthood is ordered towards service to the faith community, and sacrifice to God, and it complements the work and the mission of the Royal Priesthood.

The primary duty of the ministerial priesthood is pastoral in nature, and sacramental in application.

Catholics rely on 7 sacraments, each of them personally instituted by Jesus Christ, as the primary channels of God’s grace and peace, in this sphere of existence:

Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick.

All of these are biblical, and most are essential to the salvation of the believer. All constitute a close encounter with the risen Christ, courtesy of the power of the Holy Spirit, working through the Church, and through the ministerial priesthood.

The Mass … where Jesus becomes truly present for us on the altar, and Holy Communion, where we personally receive the risen Christ … body, blood, soul, and divinity, constitutes the source and summit of all Catholic worship.

The Mass constitutes the eternal fulfillment of the Jewish Passover, and it also fulfills the command that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper, to “Do this in memory of me.”

The Mass also re-presents Christ’s one time, once for all, eternal sacrifice for sin, and makes possible our current day participation in that very same sacrifice … as well as our regular reception of all the graces that continue to flow from it.

The Catholic Church celebrates Mass every hour of every day, every day of every year, all around the world, as a holy propitiation for the sins of the whole world.

Catholics are blessed to receive the real and substantial body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, as often as two times each day … three times in a day, if in danger of death.

Holy Communion constitutes the central point of our participation in the Catholic faith, personally uniting every Catholic with Jesus Christ, with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, and with every other faithful member of the Christian Church, whether they might be alive here on earth, awaiting admittance to heaven in purgatory, or already enjoying their eternal reward, in heaven.

First among these holy people of God, according to the order of grace, is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, the New Eve, and Jesus’ first, best, and most constant disciple.

God honored Mary in a totally unique, equisite, and infinitely perfect way when he chose her to be the mother of his divine Son, Jesus. Any honors we Catholics might give to the Blessed Virgin, who remains a creature, as we are, pale in comparison to that which God has already given her. 

Catholics believe that Mary has already been admitted to Heaven, and that she has already received all of the rewards and promises that Jesus desires to share with those who manage to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, with the help of his grace.

Catholics rightly understand that Mary, though still a mere creature, already dwells with her divine Son in the eternal glory of Heaven, and that she has already received the recognition, the power, and the fullness of the eternal rewards that God generously offers to each and every one of the faithful. 

For specific details on all of these “rewards” read the Book of Revelation, Chapters 2,3,11,13,15,21, and see exactly what has been promised to all of “those that shall overcome”.

Catholics also understand that no one is truly “saved” until Jesus personally and finally invites them into heaven.

Until then, we remain in blessed hope, relying on a lifetime of full, active, and charitable participation in all the work, worship, sacraments, and devotions of the Catholic Church, to guide and sanctify us.

The Catholic Church is the ONLY Church that Jesus ever founded, authorized, and eternally guaranteed, for the purpose of our salvation.

Jesus remains the head of the Catholic Church, and faith in Christ necessitates faith in his authentic Church, even if some of those who belong to, and even govern the Church, are terrible sinners.

Catholics understand all this by means of a 2000 year old tradition of some of the finest theological scholarship and philosophy that the world has ever known. Scholarship, theology, and philosophy that is freely available to all.

The Catholic faith is clearly defined through Scripture, through Tradition, and through the authentic teachings of the Pope and the Bishops, who were charged with that sacred duty by Jesus Christ, himself.

These “3 witnesses” have always been in complete agreement, and are impossible to refute. This is itself a biblical concept.

For all these reasons and many more, the Catholic faith remains the most practical, complete, truthful, and fully documented faith on earth … or for that matter … ANYWHERE else.

The final proof of this divine practicality can be found in the broad, comforting, and remarkably effective array of pastoral and sacramental care that is available to the sick and the dying … care that is more than powerful enough to literally snatch the soul of even a heinous sinner away from Satan the devil, before he’s even had time to notice.

In short, from conception until natural death, Catholics enjoy all the best that God has to give, and we look forward with blessed hope, to someday receiving all that Jesus Christ has promised us, in the next life.

We Catholics like to do all this In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Link to the Catholic Catechism

Fr. Tom Euteneuer: Walking with Jesus Christ Through the Week Called Holy.

Fr. Tom Euteneuer: Walking with Jesus Christ Through the Week Called Holy

A short excerpt from Fr. E’s weekly newsletter:

On Holy Thursday two great institutions are commemorated. Let us not overlook Our Lord’s firm desire to establish them as perpetual gifts for us: one is the sacred priesthood and the other is the Eucharist. He said that He “greatly desired” to eat that Passover with His disciples and that is because He wanted to entrust to certain unworthy men the awesome task of handing down the memorial of His inestimable Sacrifice “in remembrance of Him” to the end of time. Will we thank Him from the depths of our hearts this week for the infinite richness of His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist and for the blessing of His priest brothers who bring that Gift to us?

As we continue to walk with Him we reach the week’s summit on Friday – Calvary – but we notice that He is now accompanied in His suffering by His Mother. She was not at the Last Supper because She was not given the gift of the priesthood, but She walked with Him to another Altar of Sacrifice and stood there in perfect union with His redemptive suffering. Let us walk with the Mother of Sorrows on this sorrowful day to derive the deepest possible graces from the Cross that She so perfectly shared in. Then, when He is put in the tomb, let us stay by Her side on Holy Saturday, in vigil, contemplating, grieving for the sins that put Him there and waiting in “joyful hope” for the Day that will never end.

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Jim Akin: Easter A Pagan Holiday? Not a chance!

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Q: Isn’t Easter a pagan rather than a Christian holiday, as shown by its very name by the fact that its date is determined by the full moon after the Spring equinox?


A: By Jim Akin – Anyone making this charge shows a total lack of comprehension of global Christianity. In fact, only a person speaking English or German could even possibly make this charge.
First, let’s deal with the date. Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon following March 21 (historically, the Spring equinox).

The reason, however, has nothing to do with paganism. It has everything to do with Judaism and with Christ’s Resurrection.

Christ was resurrected on Sunday — the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1) — thus since the First Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 all Christians have celebrated his Resurrection on Sunday.

Prior to that, most celebrated it on Sunday, but some, known as Quartodecimians (“Fourteenth-ers”) celebrated it on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, when Passover occurred.

At First Nicaea all Christians agreed to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ on first Sunday after 14 Nisan because that
was the day Christ was Resurrected in the first century — the Sunday after Passover.

Because first century Jews used a lunar calendar, every month was twenty-eight days long, beginning with the new moon and having the full moon on the 14th of the month. Nisan, being the month in which the Spring equinox occurred, always had Passover — the 14th of Nisan — falling on the first full moon on or after the Spring equinox.

Thus since Passover was always on or after the first full moon after the Spring equinox, and since the Resurrection was the first Sunday after Passover, Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 21 (historically, the Spring equinox).

There is nothing about a pagan lunar celebration in here. It has nothing to do with paganism, but everything to do with the Resurrection of Christ in its Jewish-Passover context.

Now let us deal with the name of Easter.

The fact is that there are only two languages in which the name has any pagan associations whatsoever
— English and German.

This, of course, is a problem for King James Only-ites, since the term “Easter” appears in the King James Version in
Acts 12:4 as a translation for the Jewish holiday of Passover. In English, of course, the name is “Easter” and in German “Ostern.”

These are related in name to a pagan spring festival, whose name, if you check a dictionary, was derived from the prehistoric West Germanic word akin to the Old English term east, which means, simply enough, “east,” the direction of the rising sun.

It has nothing to do, contrary to what you will hear from some anti-Easter-ites, with the goddess Ishtar.

But in virtually every language except English and German, the name of Easter is derived from the Jewish word Pesach or “Passover.”

Thus in Greek the term for Easter is Pascha, in Latin the term is also Pascha.

From there it passed into the Romance languages, and so in Spanish it is Pascua, in Italian it is Pasqua, in French it is Paques, and in Portugese it is Pascoa.

It also passed into the non-Romance languages, such as the Germanic languages Dutch, where it is Pasen and Danish,
where it is Paaske.

Thus only in the highly Protestant countries of Germany (where the Reformation started) and England (where the intense persecution and martyrdom of Catholics was the harshest), does the term “Easter” have any pagan associations at all.

So perhaps in these two Protestant countries paganism was not sufficiently stamped out to use the Judeo-Christian term
for the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection that was used everywhere else in Europe.

Submitted by Doria2

Calculating the Date of Easter

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We are about to experience Easter falling on a date that will not occur again until the passing of 220 years!
As EVERY Easter is special, this one is also very unique.
 

May this Easter be an especialy “unique” time for each one of us, in our hearts.

Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) but that is pretty rare.

Here’s the interesting info:

This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see. Only the most elderly (95 or older) of our population have seen it this early and none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier! Here’s the facts:

1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913, so if you’re 95 or older you were around for that.

2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year.

Submitted by Doria2, courtesy of our friend, Robert G.

 

Christians, how do you love God when you’ve never met him in a literal sense?

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This was the basis of a recent question, posted on the Yahoo Answers website:

Christians, how do you love God when you’ve never met him in a literal sense?

My reply: 

Catholics have a definite edge in that regard, since we “know” Jesus … in the biblical sense … body, blood, soul, and divinity … from about the age of 8 … through the blessed sacrament that Jesus instituted for that express purpose.

In one aspect, this works as a supernatural “souvenir” testifying to the reality of the earlier, original events (in this case, the Passover Meal, the Last Supper, the subsequent Crucifixion of Christ)  permitting one to participate in them personally, and much more completely.

And for another, eating the real and substantial body and blood of Christ results in a level of divine intimacy that is difficult or impossible for non-Catholics to comprehend.

The old saying, “The way to a person’s heart is through the stomach.” isn’t far from the truth.

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