How can I help my wife understand why we proclaim Christ's death at Mass, even though he rose from the dead?


Full Question

My wife's Baptist parents believe that we worship a "dead" Christ and that we "re-sacrifice" him every day. She wonders why we say, "We proclaim your death until you come again in glory." If Christ is risen, why are we proclaiming his death?

Answer

It may help your wife to know that this statement from the Mass is a rephrasing of what Paul says about the Eucharist: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes" (1 Cor. 11:26).

We proclaim his death because it was by his death that we are redeemed. We had better jolly-well proclaim it—and from the rooftops until he comes in his glory!

Christ is not dead; he is risen (1 Cor. 15:12–20)! Jesus is presently alive in heaven along with all who have died in him. The sacrifice we offer at Mass is not a new sacrifice. It is the same sacrifice of Calvary that transcends all time, liberating those who lived before it and those who came after it.


Fr. Vincent Serpa O.P.