First, the reason for the restriction is that the answer is extremely important, even unto staying in the Catholic church after 47 years of life. So your answer does not carry the weight I was hoping for. You seem to make a simple answer very complicated also IMHO. Be that as it may, beside the separation you gave as to what Jesus is in the Eucharist- When is Jesus present exactly, and when is he sacrificed, if that is what is happening? Also, what role exactly does the priest play in sacrificing him? What role do we play in sacrificing him? Is it bloodless like the quote from the newsletter says?"It is the same Sacrifice, with one exception: it is unbloody ... " Also another question that was unanswered- are we really taken back to calvary and sacrificing Jesus symbolicly? Thanks anyway-Me
I actually did answer you. I am sorry if you didn't see how that answers your questions. I tried to be thorough, and frankly that was not a complicated answer. It was an answer that has been understood by people with no Christian, let alone Catholic, background. I could have thrown a lot more in there.
1. The bread becomes Jesus Christ when the priest says the words "This is my Body...." and the wine becomes Jesus Christ when he says "This is the chalice of my blood...". This is why the priest genuflects after saying these words and raises the Host and chalice to the people at that time.
2. Christ sacrificed Himself (He is both priest and Victim) on Golgotha. This same sacrifice is made present again at the Mass. Most certainly this happens when both the Host and chalice are consecrated, though some theologians hold it is also essential that the Victim be consumed (the priest's communion). Certainly the celebrating priest's communion is required at every Mass, even if no one else receives, but it is a dispute point rather it is part of the essence of the sacrifice. This was explained in my previous post which went on about the symbolism of separating blood and body.
3. The priest acts "in the person of Christ". Hence, it is Christ who, through His priest here on earth, represents His sacrifice to the Father. When the priest speaks the words "This is my body" the "my" there is Christ, Christ is speaking through him.
4. A priest can offer Mass by himself, privately. The laity, the congregation, participate and can offer the Sacrifice, not the way the celebrant does, but by uniting their hearts and minds to God and offering up "with the priest" their adoration, petitions, praise and thanksgiving
5. It is the same sacrifice offered, but in an unbloody manner. Again, this was explained earlier. We do not break Christ, kill Him, shed His blood. The priest's words, in consecrating the Eucharist, "render an unbloody cut" as one Father put it.
You had to have heard the phrase "Sacrifice of the Mass" before? At the very least have heard the multiple references to the Mass being a sacrifice that are said at Mass? At least any Mass in English would be clear on that (the original Latin perhaps clear)..."May the Lord accept this sacrifice at your hands...". You have said that hundreds of times if you have been Catholic 47 years.
"As often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord,
until he come." states St. Paul in Scripture
Can I suggest something very simple? Read a Catechism on this.
The Roman Catechism is very clear, even if some aspects of it (matters of discipline, not doctrine) are outdatedhttp://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/m ... sacr-e.htm
Or there is the Catechism of pope St. Pius X
1 Q: Should the Holy Eucharist be considered only as a sacrament?
A: The Holy Eucharist, besides being a sacrament, is also the permanent Sacrifice of the New Law, which Jesus Christ left to His Church to be offered to God by the hands of His priests.
2 Q: In what in general does a sacrifice consist?
A: In general a sacrifice consists in the offering of some sensible thing to God and in some way destroying it as an acknowledgment of His Supreme Dominion over us and over all things.
3 Q: What is this Sacrifice of the New Law called?
A: This Sacrifice of the New Law is called the Holy Mass.
4 Q: What, then, is the Holy Mass?
A: The Holy Mass is the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ offered on our altars under the appearances of bread and wine, in commemoration of the Sacrifice of the Cross.
5 Q: Is the Sacrifice of the Mass the same as that of the Cross?
A: The Sacrifice of the Mass is substantially the same as that of the Cross, for the same Jesus Christ, Who offered Himself on the Cross, it is Who offers Himself by the hands of the priests, His ministers, on our altars; but as regards the way in which He is offered, the Sacrifice of the Mass differs from the Sacrifice of the Cross, though retaining the most intimate and essential relation to it.
6 Q: What difference and relation then is there between the Sacrifice of the Mass and that of the Cross?
A: Between the Sacrifice of the Mass and that of the Cross there is this difference and relation, that on the Cross Jesus Christ offered Himself by shedding His Blood and meriting for us; whereas on our altars He sacrifices Himself without the shedding of His Blood, and applies to us the fruits of His passion And death.
7 Q: What other relation has the Sacrifice of the Mass to that of the Cross?
A: Another relation of the Sacrifice of the Mass to that of the Cross is, that the Sacrifice of the Mass represents in a sensible way the shedding of the Blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross, because, in virtue of the words of consecration, only the Body of our Savior is made present under the species of the bread and only His Blood under the species of the wine; although by natural concomitance and by the hypostatic union, the living And real Jesus Christ is present under each of the species.
8 Q: Is not the Sacrifice of the Cross the one only Sacrifice of the New Law?
A: The Sacrifice of the Cross is the one only Sacrifice of the New Law, inasmuch as through it Our Lord satisfied Divine Justice, acquired all the merits necessary to save us, and thus, on His part, fully accomplished our redemption. These merits, however, He applies to us through the means instituted by Him in His Church, among which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
9 Q: For what ends then is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered?
A: The Sacrifice of the Mass is offered to God for four ends: (1) To honor Him properly, and hence it is called Latreutical; (2) To thank Him for His favors, and hence it is called Eucharistical; (3) To appease Him, make Him due satisfaction for our sins, and to help the souls in Purgatory, and hence it is called Propitiatory; (4) To obtain all the graces necessary for us, and hence it is called Impetratory.
10 Q: Who is it that offers to God the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass?
A: The first and principal Offerer of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass is Jesus Christ, while the priest is the minister who in the Name of Jesus Christ offers the same Sacrifice to the Eternal Father.
11 Q: Who instituted the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass?
A: Jesus Christ Himself instituted the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass when He instituted the Sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist and said that this should be done in memory of His passion.
12 Q: To whom is the Holy Mass offered?
A: The Holy Mass is offered to God alone.
13 Q: If the Holy Mass is offered to God alone why are so many Masses celebrated in honor of the Blessed Virgin And the Saints?
A: Mass celebrated in honor of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints is always a sacrifice offered to God alone; it is said to be celebrated in honor of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints to thank God for the gifts He has given them, and through their intercession to obtain from Him more abundantly the graces of which we have need.
14 Q: Who shares in the fruits of the Mass?
A: The entire Church shares in the fruits of the Mass, but more particularly: (1) The priest and those who assist at Mass, the latter being united with the priest; (2) Those for whom the Mass is applied, both living and dead.
Or there is the Catechism of the Catholic Church
1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:
[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper "on the night when he was betrayed," [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.187
1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner."188http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P41.HTM
BTW, I did my graduate work at a seminary school, with Dominicans.
Oh, in case there is any question, the 7th question and answer from St. Pius X. Basically all it is saying is that the words of consecration, "This is my Body" concerns only the body, and not the blood. If the Body and Blood of Christ were separate, then only the Body would be present under the appearance of bread. Natural concomitance just means means that since the body and blood are together in Christ, where His body is there is His blood. So, in crude language, the priest words have power to make present the body under the appearance of bread, but no power to make present anything else, but since the body is united to the blood, and what is more to the Divinity of Christ, you get the whole package