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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Eucharistic Offering in Chrysostom

Chrysostom comments on the sacrifice offered at Calvary and the unity of it with the daily sacrifice of the Church, i.e., the Eucharist. It is not a ‘new sacrifice’ of Christ since he is now impassible, but it is the same sacrifice as when Christ was offered then passible; yet it is a memorial offering. Chrysostom observes,
What then? do not we offer every day? We offer indeed, but making a remembrance of His death, and this remembrance is one and not many. How is it one, and not many? Inasmuch as that Sacrifice was once for all offered, and carried into the Holy of Holies. This is a figure of that sacrifice and this remembrance of that. For we always offer the same, not one sheep now and to-morrow another, but always the same thing: so that the sacrifice is one. And yet by this reasoning, since the offering is made in many places, are there many Christs? but Christ is one everywhere, being complete here and complete there also, one Body. As then while offered in many places, He is one body and not many bodies; so also [He is] one sacrifice. He is our High Priest, who offered the sacrifice that cleanses us. That we offer now also, which was then offered, which cannot be exhausted. This is done in remembrance of what was then done. For (saith He) ‘do this in remembrance of Me.’ (Luke xxii. 19.) It is not another sacrifice, as the High Priest, but we offer always the same, or rather we perform a remembrance of a Sacrifice.

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