Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Oh That Those Who Follow Rome Would Know the Finished Work of Christ!
09/11/2009 - James WhiteI am in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the Discern 09 Conference at Calvary Chapel, Santa Fe. I was surfing the channels in my hotel room as I was getting ready to hit the hay, and I ran across EWTN. They were showing the Eucharistic Congress going on in, as I gather, Washington, DC. A woman was speaking, and as I listened, she spoke of the "gift of the priesthood," and then summarized the same quotation I have used many times in speaking on Roman Catholicism's grotesque perversion of Scriptural truth. She spoke of the great dignity of the priest, for when he, the priest, speaks, God "bows in obedience" to the priest's command. Her words echoed these from John O'Brien's The Faith of Millions:
When the priest announces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim.Though I have quoted these words many times in my debates, always to great effect upon anyone who is biblically oriented, my Roman Catholic opponents have never repudiated the words. They have had little comment to offer, in fact, on these incredible statements. The true nature of the Roman religion is exposed by them.
Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of mannot once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priests command.
Of what sublime dignity is the office of the Christian priest who is thus privileged to act as the ambassador and the vice-gerent of Christ on earth! He continues the essential ministry of Christ: he teaches the faithful with the authority of Christ, he pardons the penitent sinner with the power of Christ, he offers up again the same sacrifice of adoration and atonement which Christ offered on Calvary. No wonder that the name which spiritual writers are especially fond of applying to the priest is that of alter Christus. For the priest is and should be another Christ.
As I was typing these words, I watched the reading of only a portion of John 6 by a priest during the opening mass. After swinging a censor about before reading the text, as normal, the message of John 6, which is so counter to Rome's gospel, was completely obscured and missed. I sit watching the pomp and pageantry, the robes and regalia, and I think of the Lord Jesus, standing in the synagogue of Capernaum, speaking the gospel of truth, and I see a huge chasm between the two. Justin Cardinal Rigali is giving a homily at the moment, where he is speaking of "the sacrifice of enduring love." How utterly sad that he, and those who follow him, does not know a finished sacrifice, a perfecting sacrifice, but only one which has to be "re-presented, perpetuated, and renewed in the eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass" (quoting him directly just now). Oh, how precious become the inspired words in the face of such falsehood:
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those [sacrifices] there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins....By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all....For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:1-4, 10, 14)