Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Gospel Presented in Every Catholic Mass

I have heard of zealous ex- Catholics who then discovered Christ outside the Church say they never heard the Gospel (at least the way it is presented by many Fundamentalists) when they were in the Catholic church.

For me, being an ex-fundamentalist, this was one of the first things I recognized in the Catholic Mass. The Gospel is preached in every Mass. It just amazes me how anyone can miss it.

The Gospel from a Catholic viewpoint is actually the whole of Christ's life and teachings-- not the truncated version that Fundamentalist present which leaves a lot out.

However, according to many Fundamentalist Churches and Campus Ministries, this is how they lay out the Gospel.

1) acknowledge that we are all sinners in need of God’s forgiveness.
2.) we recognize that only God can save us.
3.) acknowledge Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins and to bring us to God.
4.) the final step is that each individual accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior to be saved.”

The Gospel is Preached in Every Catholic Mass

1.) “First, we acknowledge that we are all sinners in need of God’s forgiveness.

Catholics start every Mass with a public declaration of our own personal sinfulness and look to God for forgiveness.
After the Greeting, the Mass continues to what is known as the Penitential Rite.

“I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault. In my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do.”

It is here in this section that each Catholic/Christian states publicly that he or she is individually a sinner- not merely in a general sense, but specifically in thoughts, words and deeds. You can’t get much more complete than that.
The priest reaffirms this confession of sin by praying,

“May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.”

And the whole congregation says “Amen,” that is, “I believe.” The priest continues.

“Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy,”
and finishes by saying;

“Lord show us your mercy and love. And grant us your salvation.”

2.) We recognize that only God can save us.Catholics look to God alone to save us

“Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us, you are seated at the right hand of the Father, receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.”

Likewise, the doxology spoken just prior to communion reads,

“Through him, with him, in him; in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is your, almighty Father, for ever and ever.”

3) The third step is that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins and to bring us to God.

Every week Catholics proclaim that Jesus died for them.
If Catholics don’t believe what they are praying, they ought not to be publicly proclaiming it. Since we can’t read the dispositions of other people’s hearts, we ought not to judge whether they truly believe what they are saying.
The Profession of Faith reads,

“For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate.”

In the Eucharistic Prayer 1, the priest prays

“Remember [Lord] all of us gather here before you. You know how firmly we believe in you and dedicate ourselves to you. . . We pray to you, our living and true God, for our well-being and redemption . . . Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen.”

The prayer ends with an appeal to God for salvation through Jesus Christ

“May, these and all who sleep in Christ, find in your presence light, happiness and peace. For ourselves, too, we ask some share in the fellowship of your apostles and martyrs . . . Though we are sinners, we trust in your mercy and love. Do not consider what we truly deserve, but grant us your forgiveness. Through Christ our Lord you give us all these gifts. You fill them with life and goodness, you bless them and make them holy.”

Similarly the second Eucharistic Prayer proclaims,

“Dying you [Jesus] destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory. . . Have mercy on us all; make us worthy to share eternal life with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with the apostles and with all the saints who have done your will throughout the ages.”

Likewise, Eucharistic Prayer 3 reads,

“All life, all holiness comes from you through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, by the working of the Holy Spirit . . .
Father, calling to mind the death your Son endured for our salvation, his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven, and ready to greet him when he comes again, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice. Look with favor on our your Church’s offering, and see the Victim [Christ] who death has reconciled us to yourself . . .
May he make us an everlasting gift for you and enable us to share in the inheritance of your saints . . . “

Lastly, the fourth Eucharistic Prayer reads,

“Father, you so loved the world that in the fullness of time you sent your only Son to be our Savior . . .

In fulfillment of your will he gave himself up to death; but by rising from the dead, he destroyed death and restored life.”

In this prayer, the congregation proclaims the mystery of faith

“Lord, by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world.”

4) the fourth and final step is that each individual accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior to be saved.

Catholics accept Jesus into their hearts initially and then reaffirm that at every communion. It is here that all those who are prepared to receive Jesus Christ walk up to the front of the church but they don’t just believe in Christ or merely ask Jesus into their hearts, they receive that same Christ who died on the cross on Calvary into their mouth and into their stomachs — body, blood, soul and divinity.

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Yay My Blog is back after a glitch that was redirecting it.