One of the biggest differences between Catholics and most Protestants lies in our divergent understandings of the Eucharist. For the majority of our separated brethren, the Eucharist is just a memorial service, but we Catholics believe that it is a real participation in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Unfortunately, the scriptural data on this point is scarce and often indecisive, so it can be tough to pin down which side of this dispute the Bible supports.
However, we’re not entirely out of luck. There are a handful of key passages that clearly tip the scales in favor of the Catholic view, and a few of them actually come from the Old Testament. For instance, take this passage from the prophet Malachi:
“For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 1:11)
Admittedly, on the surface, it is difficult to see what this verse has to do with the Eucharist. In fact, it is tough to see what Malachi was referring to at all. However, if we dig a bit deeper, we find that this is actually an important prophecy of the Mass. Despite its apparent obscurity, this verse highlights some particular truths about the Eucharistic sacrifice that make the prophet’s meaning unmistakable once we finally see it.
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