Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
The Question Box
by Father I.J. Mikulski
(From the Nov. 13, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)
Q. Those are really skilled folks who do the formulating of the Readings for each Mass. Now there’s an expression – Ite Missa est – that we used without knowing its origin. Can you help me out of this lack of understanding?
A. Those three words are a simple Latin idiomatic expression meaning. “Go, the assembly is dismissed.”
The first section of Mass, the from the opening prayer to the readings, came to be known by the words of dismissal of the neophytes, converts-to-be who were asked to leave because they were un-baptized students of the faith. Their assembly was dismissed. Those who remained were baptized Catholics who would receive Eucharist.
As often happens with developing movements, a small part of the new practice described the whole procedure. The name stuck. Like Topsy said, “It just growed.”
Q. We’re planning a trip to New York State this fall and we would like a side trip to the site of Blessed Virgin Mary’s apparitions. Do you have any information that we can use?
A. Alas, Ms. Leuken, the visionary of Bayside, had just nicely been put to rest. Her space is empty. May she find eternal rest.
Treat yourselves to a couple of tickets to a movie, a stage play, maybe a concert. Enjoy, there are tough times ahead.
Q. Since forever I’ve told that there are two versions of the Bible in English, the Catholic (Douay) and the Protestant (King James) versions. I even have a bet on this with a close friend. We agreed to accept your answer. What is it?
A. Pay up. We hope you didn’t bet the ranch.
Many versions have appeared since the invention of the printing press in the 15th and the Reformation in the 16th century. Some of them have faded into obscurity, some are relatively well-known, some are still being revised. There is no other book in any field that rivals the Bible.
The New American Bible (NAB), the one that was re-done in the 1990s, is the Catholic favorite used in our celebrations. Our British Catholic cousins prefer The New Jerusalem Bible and we cannot argue with their good taste. The Good News Bible is very popular, too.
Bibles to avoid: The Living Bible is a paraphrase with many faults. The New World Translation is the work of five zealous men who had no training in biblical languages. And there is the personal. Bible of that nice Mrs. Owen who deleted all mention of sex and violence. It’s a small edition.
Q. How did we get from Sabbath to Sunday for our Catholic tradition for Mass, because the Sabbath was the last day of the week when the Creator rested and we have Sunday as the first day, when we get started. How did we do that?
A. The observers of the Old Testament followed the law of Moses to worship God after everything was created. When the old laws were abolished and a new covenant was established our ancestors chose to observe the first day of the week as the Lord’s Day. P> In the Book of Revelation, John wrote about the “Lord’s Day” as a new beginning. Paul, once an ardent Jew, told his converts in Corinth to share Eucharist with him on the first day of the week. Our ancestors chose the first day of the week. St. Justin, in the earliest Christian catechism, about 150 A.D. said it well: “The reason why we all assemble on Sunday is that it is the first day, the day on which God transformed darkness and matter and created the world, and the day on which Jesus Christ our savior rose from the dead.”
“This food we call Eucharist and no one may share it unless he believes our teaching is true and has been cleansed in the bath of forgiveness for sin and rebirth and lives as Christ taught.”
With original documents like that, and many similar testimonials over 20 centuries, Catholic theology has not varied one iota from the original doctrine. Did anyone really expect the doctrine of our Eucharist to change?
(Father Mikulski welcomes your comments and questions. Write to him at 7718 Westwood Dr., Oscoda, Mich. 48750.)