Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Oblation or Communion. . .

The Lutheran Reformation was never a denial of the great and profound character of the Sacrament as Scripture told and the Church affirmed through the ages but rather the distortion of the Sacrament that denied its sacramental nature and turned it into something else first and only secondarily eating and drinking for the forgiveness of sins.  So when the Lutherans insisted that the Mass was and is first of all a meal, this was not a denial of the Eucharistic sacrifice inherent in this blessed Sacrament but a denial that its primary purpose and character was sacrificial.  Rome insisted that it could not be as much a meal as an oblation, that is, eating and drinking the body of Christ and His blood for the forgiveness of sins was even as much a meal as a sacrifice. For Rome it was and is foremost a sacrifice from which we are allowed to partake of the victim, though this partaking was not necessary or even essential to the Sacrament.  And thus Trent insisted it was a sacrifice that could be a meal but not a meal that could be a sacrifice.

Rome was adamant that the Mass was not a reenactment of the Last Supper and in this the Lutherans concur that we are not primarily or secondarily trying to reenact what Jesus did when, on the night of His betrayal, He took bread and the cup.  Here Lutherans stand against most Protestants who see the Sacrament as a remembrance without receiving the thing signed.  Lutherans insist that by this Sacrament God makes present of the once for all oblation of the Son of God on the Cross on Good Friday not as a reenactment. Lutherans are falsely lumped in with those Protestants who speak only of table and not of altar.  Yet Lutherans insist that the Body and Blood of Christ are given to eat and drink first and foremost and not to be sacramentally sacrificed.  So the great divide for Lutherans is that the eating and drinking comes first and the Eucharistic sacrifice is engendered by this communion -- to the exclusion of the character of this Sacrament as an oblation. It is for good reason that Lutherans and the Church of the Council of Trent remain apart when Trent insists upon defining the Mass either exclusively or even primarily a sacrifice before that Sacrament is ever spoken of or used as food and remedy.

From the Council of Trent:
And forasmuch as in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner, who once offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross, the holy Synod teaches that this sacrifice is truly propitiatory and that by means thereof this is effected: that we obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid, if we draw nigh unto God, contrite and penitent, with a sincere heart and upright faith, with fear and reverence. … Wherefore, not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities of the faithful who are living, but also for those who are departed in Christ, and who are not as yet fully purified, is it rightly offered, agreeably to a tradition of the apostles. (Sess. 22, ch. 2)


Anonymous said...

“...and for those who are not as yet fully purified” because tetelestai doesn’t really mean man’s justification is fait accompli.

Gabrialex said...

Rome has got some doctrines of men going on there.