Many former Catholics have looked back on their experience of participating in the weekly Sacrifice of the Mass as a "prison sentence." It was something they were forced to attend to avoid the penalty of a mortal sin. Others remember it as a mindless ritual of standing, sitting, kneeling and reciting responses as the priest performed his religious duties. All Catholics are obligated by the laws of their church to attend church every week: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass" (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], para. 2180). With this law so explicit and demanding, the question begs an answer: Why is participation so compulsory for Catholics? The answers are complex and controversial.

According to the Catechism, "The Mass is...the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated" (CCC para. 1382). "The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents the sacrifice of the cross....the sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: The victim is one and the same. In this divine sacrifice...the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner" (CCC para. 1366,1367). Catholics express their faith in the real presence of Jesus by genuflecting as a sign of adoration of the Lord.

Catholics are given no choice but to believe these oppressive dogmas. The Lord Jesus Christ cannot be physically present in the Eucharist on altars all over the world at the same time. Yet Catholics are between a rock and a hard place. If they deny the presence of Jesus, they are condemned by their church. "If anyone denies, that in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really and substantially the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ...let him be anathema" (Canon 1, Council of Trent). On the other hand, if they worship the Eucharist as the Lord Jesus, they commit the most serious sin of idolatry, similar to the sin of the Israelites, who worshiped a golden calf as the true God who delivered them out of Egypt. God's wrath burned hot against this sin and 3000 were put to death (Exodus 32:1-28).
Catholics are taught their redemption comes not from the perfect and finished sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary's cross, but through the repetitious sacrifices on altars. "Every time this mystery is celebrated, the work of our redemption is carried on" (CCC, para. 1068, 1405).  This blatantly denies the testimony of Scripture. Jesus "entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" (Heb. 9:12).
The sacrifice of the Mass clearly violates God's Word and is a powerful deception that holds Catholics in bondage. Catholics should heed Paul's sermon in Acts 17:23-30, "The God who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in tabernacles made with hands; neither is He offered with human hands...the Divine Nature is not like gold, or silver or stone." In other words, the Divine Nature is not like flour and water, or an image formed by the thoughts of man. Furthermore, Jesus Christ cannot be offered by the hands of sinful priests. Jesus Christ, the perfect High Priest, offered Himself, the perfect sacrifice, once, to a perfect God who demands perfection. Then He cried out in victory, "It is finished!" There are no more offerings for sin (Hebrews 10:18). In light of all of this, we must call our Catholic friends and loved ones to repentance and faith in the true Christ who secured eternal redemption for His people.