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Sloppy Mass

One of the recent readings in the Daily Office lectionary was from Malachi chapter 1. I like all the Old Testament Prophets, but Malachi has some special nuggets of wisdom. In Malachi we hear God attacking the Levitical Priests saying that they have "despised" Him when they offered cheap sacrifices on the altar. We can easily apply this to the New Covenant Priesthood and see that the same concern exists today.

There are Priests who offer sacrifices that are "lame or sick" (Mal 1:8) on the altar of the Church. Just because the sacrifice of the Mass is truly Christ, does not mean that is always offered well (any more than a valid marriage means that husband and wife are always loving each other properly). Validity does not make abuse acceptable.

When Priests celebrate the Mass sloppily, and show no concern for the rules that were given to us, they are offering "tainted sacrifices". In Malachi, God warns that if the Priests do not repent, then He will refuse to accept their sacrifices. He also says He will punish them by allowing them to fall into greater sin and by making their ministry ineffective. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so too.

Finally, the Lord says that when the Priests fail to offer the sacrifices rightly, they also fall into doctrinal error and say that "good is evil and evil is good". He condemns their teaching saying that they are supposed to give the words of the Lord and are only giving their own ideas and inventions. Yup, that sounds familiar also.

For a Priest not to "keep the ways" of the Lord, and to be lazy in the Mass, doing it the way he likes and not the way commanded by the rubrics is a sign that we are under judgment. When Priests teach errors and promote immorality in the name of "inclusion" and "equality" then they have already given themselves over to the evil one. God will bring on their heads what their deeds deserve, and we must do all we can to ensure that we are faithful to our call--let us not be presumptuous.

I encourage you to go read the entire book of Malachi. It is not long, and is clearly speaking of the same types of things that we are dealing with today. It also has a wonderful encouragement for those who wish to remain true to the faith handed down to us: "Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts" (Mal 3:7).


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