Monday, October 08, 2007

The Holy Eucharist

Jesus told us at the last supper taking the unleaven bread "Take this and eat of it, for this is my body which has been given up for you, Do this in remembrance of me".. then taking the wine he offered it up saying "Take this and drink of it, for this is my blood, which is going to be shed for you, do this in remembrance of me".

Participating in the ritual of the last supper is the pinnacle of Catholic belief and theology. It is the most important part of the mass, and it is a time when we gather about the table to share the body of Christ with our fellow Christians. Note Christ's words, "This IS my Body, This IS my Blood". Catholics believe that this is the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, it isn't just a symbolic picture, and it isn't a representation.. it IS the real body and blood of Christ transfigured through the power of the Priest at which time Christ is present to change the wine into blood and the bread into his flesh.

What are your thoughts on this? Is it truly the body and blood of Christ, and are you familiar with the many Eucharistic miracles that have happened over the years and still happen today?

12 comments:

liasophia_mary said...

I believe that we receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ in the Eucharist. It amazes me that he doesn't jump out of my hand or off of my tongue that he allows someone as unworthy as me to be that close to him. This is the main reason why I go to mass to give thanks to him for allowing this close bond with us.

I am familiar with some Eucharistic miracles but I am sure there are many many more that I am not aware of at all.

I think that transubstantiation is one of the hardest teachings of the church for Catholics and others to understand, and it makes me want to scream when I hear that Catholics "re-sacrifice" Jesus every time we celebrate the Eucharist

St. Michael the Archangel said...

I know exactly what you mean mary! Thank you for posting.

EJ said...

When you go to mass, you walk through some sort of door to get into that place, right? Jesus says that He is the door of the sheep (i.e. the believers), "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved" (John 10:9). So, is Jesus the door to your cathedral, or just St. Peter's in Rome?

Why doesn't the RC figure out what living water is? Jesus said, "whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst;" (John 4:10) The Pope could eliminate people dying of thirst if he and the R.C.C. were to get this figured out and distributed!

Jesus said, “I am the vine,” so do the priests or whoever grows the grapes and makes the wine for the eucharist understand that they are infact touching Christ when they are touching the grape vine? And do they attempt to abide in that vine because of the promise in John 15:5?

When exactly does the bread turn to flesh and the wine turn to blood? Does the unpleasant taste linger in your mouth like it does when you get a bloody lip? Also how does this reconcile with the prohibition of Lev 19:26 where the Law clearly states, “'You shall not eat {anything} with the blood,”?

There is no Old Testament example (type or shadow) of drinking the blood of the offering for forgiveness of sins and eternal life? It is a pagan practice. It was a pagan practice before and it is a pagan practice today!

Catholic teaching says that you need to be baptized to be saved, but you’re not necessarily saved if you’re baptized, and if you are, you’ll probably have to go thru purgatory for a while first.

Catholic teaching says that you need to take the eucharist for more assurance of eternal life. But, if you or the serving priests are not “right” with God during the ceremony, the worth is minimal, if any, and so (in all likelihood) you would be spending a good amount of time in purgatory for those sins and shortcomings.

But don’t forget, if you ever do a mortal sin, you’re lost forever. Good luck, and don’t forget to work hard because in Catholic theology, your salvation depends on you and what you do or don’t do. But God has promised that all who come to Him will not be lost or cast out. If someone truly has faith that is given to him from God, he will be saved. 1st John tells us that we can know that we have eternal life, and not once does John reference baptism, the eucharist, penance, or the other sacraments.

Michael, I know that some of my words have been biting, and you are probably livid with anger at me (see 1 John 1 & 2), but I am not trying to be argumentative or inflammatory. I simply want to point out that the idea that some mystical sanctifying/saving work is done by the consuming of the eucharist is not Biblical, or it is at least as biblical as salvation/sanctification by means of walking through a specific door or getting inside of a grape vine.

I pray that God will give you grace, true grace, that has nothing to do with works.

soli Deo gloria.
EJ

liasophia_mary said...

"Why doesn't the RC figure out what living water is? Jesus said, "whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst;" (John 4:10) The Pope could eliminate people dying of thirst if he and the R.C.C. were to get this figured out and distributed!"

Your right the church doesn't do anything to help people, I guess all the catholic charities, and hospitals, and soup kitchens, and warming centers, and etc should close!!

"When exactly does the bread turn to flesh and the wine turn to blood?"

During the Liturgy of the Eucharist the celebrant does what Christ did: takes the bread and wine and says the same words Christ said and then share the now consecrated bread and wine with the congregation. Roman Catholics believe that the bread and wine become the real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and remain such until the elements are entirely consumed. The Body and Blood not consumed at one Eucharist are reserved for the next celebration of the Eucharist and venerated as the Body and Blood of Jesus.

"Does the unpleasant taste linger in your mouth like it does when you get a bloody lip?"

Transubstantiation means the substance part of the bread and wine elements changes; but the accidental parts--sight, taste, smell, touch--do not.

"Catholic teaching says that you need to be baptized to be saved, but you’re not necessarily saved if you’re baptized, and if you are, you’ll probably have to go thru purgatory for a while first."

Yes but there is baptism by water, blood, and desire; Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized" (CCC 1281; the salvation of unbaptized infants is also possible under this system; cf. CCC 1260–1, 1283).

"Catholic teaching says that you need to take the Eucharist for more assurance of eternal life. But, if you or the serving priests are not “right” with God during the ceremony, the worth is minimal, if any, and so (in all likelihood) you would be spending a good amount of time in purgatory for those sins and shortcomings."

The teaching of the church is that Catholic must receive the Eucharist at least once a year.

"But don’t forget, if you ever do a mortal sin, you’re lost forever. Good luck, and don’t forget to work hard because in Catholic theology, your salvation depends on you and what you do or don’t do. But God has promised that all who come to Him will not be lost or cast out. If someone truly has faith that is given to him from God, he will be saved. 1st John tells us that we can know that we have eternal life, and not once does John reference baptism, the Eucharist, penance, or the other sacraments."

After his resurrection Jesus told the apostles, "‘As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’" (John 20:21–23). (This is one of only two times we are told that God breathed on man, the other being in Genesis 2:7, when he made man a living soul. It emphasizes how important the establishment of the sacrament of penance was.)

Mary

St. Michael the Archangel said...

EJ,

No I am not angry. I once was in my youth. When I get home from work I will approach each of your topics with the love and care that Christ himself wood.

Pax Christi,

Michael

St. Michael the Archangel said...

Mary,

Thank you, you had a wonderful answer, I just got home and it is late here, so I will prob not answer this until thursday morning.

Pax,

Michael

TShinnick said...

The bread and wine are not transformed into the body and blood of Christ by the power of the priest. The power of the sacrament lies in the Word and in our Savior, not in any man. Rather, the body and blood of Christ join with the bread and wine at some point.

The Bible says, "Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.'" (Matthew 26:26)
It doesn't say that he took bread, transformed it into his body and gave that to his disciples. No, he took bread, gave it to his disciples and said that it was his body. The lack of transformation detailed in scripture leads us to believe that Christ's body and blood are present in, with and under the bread and wine.

EJ said...

Michael – You asked me to comment and I did. I would like to hear you respond to some of the comments I made that I assume you were soliciting.

Mary – I have a decent grasp as to what the RCC teaches about the eucharist based on Matt 26:26. But in your response, you failed to address my concerns over the same hermeneutical interpretation of the fact that Jesus is the door of the sheep and that Jesus is the (grape) vine.

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
liasophia_mary said...

I didn't comment on your comparison of verses John 10:9 ("I am the door") and John 15:1 ("I am the true vine") because I don't see a connection to John 6:35, "I am the bread of life." "I am the door" and "I am the vine" make sense as metaphors because Christ is like a door—we go to heaven through him—and he is also like a vine—we get our spiritual sap through him. But Christ takes John 6:35 far beyond symbolism by saying, "For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed" (John 6:55), and He continues: "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me" (John 6:57).

Tracy said...

Hey Michael, I'm Tracy!

I'm the one who has asked for your help and you have so graciously done just that. I really enjoy reading your blog, you have a firm grasp on our Catholic faith, it is very nice to see that. thanks for the help!
Blessings

(I hope you don't mind if I add you to my blog roll)?

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