For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the nations,
says the LORD of hosts.
Read Chapter 1
Aphrahat the Persian Sage
Purity of heart constitutes prayer more than do all the prayers that are uttered out loud, and silence united to a mind that is sincere is better than a loud voice of someone crying out. My beloved, give me now your heart and your thought, and hear about the power of pure prayer; see how our righteous ancestors excelled in their prayer before God and how it served them as a “pure offering.” For it was through prayer that offerings were accepted, and it was prayer again that averted the flood from Noah. Prayer has healed barrenness, prayer has overthrown armies, prayer has revealed mysteries, prayer has divided the sea, prayer made a passage through the Jordan. It held back the sun, it made the moon stand still, it destroyed the unclean, it caused fire to descend. Prayer closed up the heaven, prayer raised up from the pit, rescued from the fire and saved from the sea.
To him it was said, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” For you seek a sacrifice among the Jews; you have none after the order of Aaron. You seek it after the order of Melchizedek, though finding it not among them; but through the whole world it is celebrated in the church: “From the rising of the sun to the setting thereof the name of the Lord is praised.” “And they sowed fields and planted vineyards and got fruit of corn,” at which that workman rejoiced who said, “not because I desire a gift, but I seek fruit.” “And he blessed them, and they were multiplied exceedingly, and their cattle were not diminished.” This stands. For “the foundation of God stands sure, because the Lord knows them that are his.” They are called “beasts of burden” and “cattle” that walk simply in the church yet are useful; not deeply learned but full of faith. Therefore, whether spiritual or carnal, “he blessed them.”
You have all just now been born again of water and the spirit, and can see that food and drink upon this table of the Lord in a new light, and receive it with a fresh love and piety. So I am obliged by the duty I have of giving you a sermon and by the anxious care by which I have given you birth, that Christ might be formed in you, to remind you infants of what the meaning is of such a great and divine sacrament, such a splendid and noble medicine, such a pure and simple sacrifice, which is not offered now just in the one earthly city of Jerusalem, nor into that tabernacle which was constructed by Moses, nor in the temple built by Solomon. These were just “shadows of things to come.” But “from the rising of the sun to its setting,” it is offered as the prophets foretold, and as a sacrifice of praise to God, according to the grace of the New Testament. No longer is a victim sought from the flocks for a blood sacrifice, nor is a sheep or a goat any more led to the divine altars, but now ...
Whether betrayers of the divine books ordained Caecilian, I do not know; I did not see; I heard it from his enemies; it’s not declared to me by the law of God, or by the preaching of the prophets, or by the holy psalms, or by the apostles of Christ or by Christ’s words. But the testimonies of the entire Scripture proclaim with one voice that the church, with which the sect of Donatus is not in communion, is indeed spread throughout the entire world. “In your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,” said the law of God. “From the rising of the sun even to the going down, there is offered to my name a clean offering, for my name is great among the Gentiles,” said God through the prophet.
Sacrifice. Protestant, "incense. "(Haydock)
Clean oblation. The precious body and blood of Christ in the eucharistic sacrifice. (Challoner)
This is denoted by the very word mincha, the offering of flour and wine. (Calmet) See St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho; St. Iren us, Against Heresies iv. 32.; St. Augustine, City of God xviii. 35.)
"We pollute this bread, that is the body of Christ, when we approach the altar unworthily. "(St. Jerome v. 7.)
This sacrifice is always pure, though the priest or receiver be otherwise. (Calmet)
Hence it is always clean. (Council of Trent, session xxii. chap. i.) (Menochius)
It is offered daily throughout the world. The Jews see the completion of this prediction, and are vexed; they strive to elude its force. Though enemies, they bear about these proofs of our faith, and of their own condemnation. (Calmet)
God not only changed his people, but instituted a better sacrifice. Instead of the former needy elements, (Galatians iv.) which were oft...
And in addition to what has been said, it is good with our head cleansed, as the head which is the workshop of the senses is cleansed, to hold fast the head of Christ, from which the whole body is fitly joined together and compacted, and to cast down our sin that exalted itself, when it would exalt us above our better part. It is good also for the shoulder to be sanctified and purified that it may be able to take up the cross of Christ, which not everyone can easily do. It is good for the hands to be consecrated, and the feet. [One is consecrated] that they may in every place be lifted up holy and that they may lay hold of the discipline of Christ, lest the Lord at any time be angered; and that the word may gain credence by action, as was the case with that which was given in the hand of a prophet. The other [is consecrated] that they be not too swift to shed blood or to run to evil, but that they be prompt to run to the gospel and the prize of the high calling and to receive Christ wh...
It was with bread and wine that Melchizedek, the priest of the most high God, received Abraham, when he was returning from the slaughter of the alien tribes. That altar prefigured this mystical altar, even as that priest was a type and a figure of the true archpriest, who is Christ. For “you,” he says, “are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” This bread was prefigured by the loaves of proposition. This is quite plainly the pure and unbloody sacrifice which the Lord, through the mouth of the prophet, said was to be offered to him from the rising of the sun even to its going down.
He has in several ways changed the baptism ritual of the priesthood and the divine service, which was confined to one place, for instead of daily baptisms he has given only one, which is that into his death. Instead of one tribe, he has pointed out that out of every nation the best should be ordained for the priesthood; and that rather than their bodies, their religion and their lives should be examined for blemishes. Instead of a bloody sacrifice, he has appointed that reasonable and unbloody mystical one of his body and blood, which is performed to represent the death of the Lord by symbols. Instead of the divine service confined to one place, he has commanded and appointed that he should be glorified from sun rising to sun setting in every place of his dominion. .
And on the Lord’s day, after you have come together, break bread together. Break bread and offer Eucharist, having first confessed your offenses, so that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one who has quarreled with his neighbor join you until he is reconciled, lest your sacrifice be defiled. For it was said by the Lord, “In every place and time let there be offered to me a clean sacrifice, because I am the great king;” and also, “and my name is wonderful among the Gentiles.”