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The Lamb's Supper: The Bible and the Mass

Course Description
In this course we explore the intimate and inseparable relationship between the Bible and the Mass. Following an overview of the Eucharist in the New Testament, we look at the deep roots of the Mass in the biblical history of sacrifice - a history that culminates with the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist.

Besides the Old and New Testament readings we hear each Sunday, what does the Bible have to do with the Mass? Everything. In fact, one could argue that without the Bible there would be no Mass, and without the Mass there would be no Bible.

The Bible was made for the Liturgy and the Liturgy is where the Bible was meant to be proclaimed, expounded, interpreted and “heard.” That’s why, from the Sign of the Cross and the priest’s greeting: “The Lord be with you,” the Mass is one long biblical prayer - a tapestry woven from a fabric of biblical passages, phrases and allusions. This is no accident. In the Mass, the story of salvation told in the Bible continues - is made real and present - in our lives.

We’ll study how the great events of salvation history are re-read and re-lived in the “today” of the Church’s Liturgy of the Word. Using the Book of Revelation, we’ll see how, in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we are lifted up to a real participation with the angels and saints in the heavenly liturgy.

Finally, we ‘ll look at how in the Mass we renew our covenant with God - the new covenant made in the blood of Jesus which makes us children of God and heirs of the divine promises found in the Bible.

Course Registration

Courses are free! But we do ask that you register. You will be prompted for your E-mail Address and directed to a page where you will be asked for your Name, E-mail Address, Address and Phone Number. This is for our informational purposes only. We will not lend or sell your contact information to anyone else. Thanks for your cooperation. Important Note: You only have to register once. Once you have registered you are registered for all the courses.  Click here to register. A password is not needed and will not be given to you. Once you have registered return to this page or any of the other courses to begin studying.  The lessons are listed in the column to the right.

Course Objectives:

  1. To understand the biblical roots of the Mass.
  2. To understand the meaning and purpose of the Bible and the Mass in God’s plan of salvation.
  3. To see the Mass and the Bible with new eyes, and be able to enter into the Mass more fully, enthusiastically, and powerfully than before.

Course Requirements

None. However, students will get much more out of this course if they have first completed Covenant Love: Introducing the Biblical Worldview

Course Materials

The primary text will be the Bible. Each lesson will recommend certain passages for reading and study.  In addition, the instructors recommend the following book, which covers much of the material to be studied in this course:

The Lamb’s Supper: Mass as Heaven on Earth

 

Lessons

  • Lesson One: A Biblical Introduction to the Mass

    Lesson Goals:

    1. To understand basic Catholic beliefs about the relationship between the Bible and the Liturgy.

    2. To understand the biblical basis for the Mass.

    3. To understand how in the Mass, the written text of the Bible becomes Living Word.

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  • Lesson Two: Given for You - The Old Testament Story of Sacrifice

    Lesson Goals:

    1. To understand the biblical background to the Penitential Rite and the Gloria in the Mass.

    2. To understand how God is worshipped in the Old Testament.

    3. To understand the biblical notion of sacrifice as it is presented in the Old Testament.

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  • Lesson Three: One Sacrifice for All Time

    Lesson goals:

    1. To understand the death of Jesus Christ on the cross as a sacrifice.

    2. To see the parallels between the Old Testament sacrifices and the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

    3. To understand how that sacrifice is re-presented to us in the Mass.

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  • Lesson Four: Fulfilled in Your Hearing: The Liturgy of the Word

    Lesson goals:

    1. To understand Scripture as the living Word of God.

    2. To understand the place of Scripture at the center of the liturgy.

    3. To see Scripture as an encounter with Christ, the living Word of God.

    4. To see how the Liturgy of the Word prepares us for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

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  • Lesson Five: Heaven On Earth: The Liturgy of the Eucharist

    Lesson Goals:

    1. To understand the deep biblical foundations for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

    2. To see how the Book of Revelation describes the liturgy of heaven.

    3. To understand how the Mass we celebrate on earth is a participation in the liturgy of heaven.

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  • Lesson Six: Memory and Presence: Communion as the Coming of Christ

    Lesson Goals:

    1. To understand the deep biblical foundations of Jesus’ command that the Eucharist be celebrated “in memory of Me.”

    2. To see how Scripture portrays Jesus as the Passover Lamb and how that portrayal is reflected in the Mass.

    3. To understand the Eucharist as parousia, the “coming” of Christ, and as the “daily bread” we pray for in the Our Father.

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More Courses

  • Covenant Love: Introducing the Biblical Worldview

    Course Description
    “Covenant” is the master concept that unlocks the meaning of the Bible. The Bible tells the story of God the Father’s love for His children and His plan to fashion all people into one holy family. God unfolds this plan of salvation through a series of covenants, culminating in the New Covenant He makes in Jesus.

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  • Genesis to Jesus

    Course Description
    What is the Bible, where does it come from and what is its purpose? How are Catholics supposed to read the Bible and what story does it have to tell? These are the questions we take up in this “big picture” survey course.

    LEARN MORE

  • 'He Must Reign': The Kingdom of God in Scripture

    Course Description
    The drama in the Gospels turns on a single question: Is Jesus the long awaited Messiah, the son of David come to restore the everlasting monarchy promised to David? Underlying this drama are centuries of rival interpretations of the Jewish Scriptures and competing expectations of who the Messiah was to be, the signs that would accompany his coming, and the shape of the kingdom he would establish.

    We explore all these issues in this thematic survey course, which goes to the heart of what the New Testament has to say about the identity of Christ and the Church.

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  • Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God

    Course Description
    The Mother of Jesus is mentioned only about a dozen times in the New Testament. So why is Mary so important to Catholic faith and devotion?

    As we’ll see in this in-depth study, Mary is a key gateway into salvation history. The Bible portrays Mary as the all-holy one who gave the Word flesh, the Mother of God, and the spiritual mother of all who live by faith in her Son.

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  • Reading the Old Testament in the New: The Gospel of Matthew

    Course Description
    How did the New Testament writers read the Old Testament in light of the coming of Jesus Christ? This course offers an in-depth answer to that question, focusing on the use of the Old Testament in the Gospel of Matthew.

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