Catholic Friday:  The Eucharist; Is God Edible?

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When I first heard that Catholics believed that the prescence of Jesus's body and blood was in the bread and wine taken at Communion, I admit, I almost lost it. Here's how Dave explains the Catholic Eucharist.

More than a Saltine?

More than a Saltine?

The Eucharist

Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist (also called Holy Communion or The Lord’s Supper).  We believe that the consecration of the Bread and Wine transubstantiates these common items into the “body, blood, soul and divinity” of the Lord.  This fundamental understanding of the real presence comes primarily from the Bread of Life discourse in John 6.

The Bread of Life Discourse

John 6: 29, Jesus says, "this is the work of God that you believe in the one he sent".  Jesus then introduces the concept of bread that comes down from heaven to give life to the world.  The people, who the day before ate of the loaves and the fishes, ask Jesus for this bread.  Jesus says to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst".  The people then murmur amongst themselves trying to rationalize what he is saying.  Jesus explains that his bread will be greater than the manna from heaven the Israelites subsisted on and again says, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world". John 6: 51.

The people quarreled more, saying, "how can this man give us his flesh to eat"?  Jesus was speaking literally and to the people it sounded ridiculous.  However, Jesus did not retreat from this understanding, instead, he upped the ante.  As we know, the Jews believed that animals could be unclean.  An animal had to be properly slaughtered to be ritually clean.  This involves the draining all the blood from the animal as the drinking of blood is strictly prohibited by the book of Leviticus.  When the people were questioning the meaning of Jesus saying that he would give them his body to eat, Jesus did not retreat from their literal understanding, instead, he goes further -  line 53, "Amen, Amen I say to you, unless eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you do not have life within you".  Jesus follows this statement with, "For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink".  To a devout Jew of that day the idea of drinking blood would have been anathema.  We see the dramatic reaction that follows...

Jesus’ disciples say that this is too hard to accept.  Jesus counters that they would believe if they saw him ascending to heaven.  Then he states in John 6:63, "Is it the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.  The words I have spoke to you are spirit and life.  But there are some of you that do not believe".  After this many of Jesus’ disciples left him unable to accept what he was saying.  Jesus does not stop them from leaving b/c they have misunderstood him.  Rather, Jesus is content to let them go if they cannot accept what he is saying.  Only the twelve remain, Jesus then asks the twelve if they will leave too.  Peter replies for them, "Master, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and are convinced you are the Holy one of God".  (John 6: 68 – 69).  The Apostles are willing to accept what Jesus is saying (except Judas), not because they understand it, but because having lived with and learned from him they know that Jesus speaks the truth and have learned to trust him even if they do not understand.

The Eucharist is a Passover Sedar perfected.

At the last supper Jesus says, “I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink with you new in the kingdom of my father”.  What happens next?   "Then after signing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives".  (Matthew 26: 29 - 30).  This begins the Passion and carries great significance.  At the traditional Passover meal, four cups of wine are drank during the course of the meal.  The Hallel song is a psalm sung between the 3rd and 4th cup of wine.  At the last supper, Jesus is ending this Passover meal early to go out into the garden and begin the Passion.  Again notice the reaction of the Apostles, devout Jews who would have known that the Passover meal was not over, yet they quickly follow Jesus despite his doing something a typical Jew of this time would find unthinkable. 

Then Jesus, in the garden, during the agony says, "...if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as you will".  Jesus is relating the Passion back to the Passover meal he had just been conducting.  In Matthew 27: 34, during the passion, we see Jesus refuse the cup of wine mixed w/ gall.  This is in keeping with his statement that he will not drink again until the day he is to be with his father.

Until on the Cross, in John 19: 28 - 30, Jesus says, “I thirst'”.  There is some "common wine" in which they soak a sponge and placing it on a hyssop branch and hold it up to Jesus.  In line 30, "When Jesus had taken the wine he said, 'It is finished' and bowing his head he handed over his spirit".  Traditionally, the 4th cup in the Passover cedar is known as the "cup of consummation".  Thus, just before his death, just before Jesus' sacrifice is consummated and he returns to the father, he drinks of wine.  Note that Jesus death is voluntary, he is a willing sacrifice.  He chooses the moment in which he would give up his life for humanity.

It is easy to see the striking parallels.  The Passover commemorates when the Angel of Death passed over the houses of the Israelites during the taking of the first born sons.  Jesus was a first born and only son (of Mary and of God).  At Passover the Angel of Death knew which houses to avoid b/c the houses of the faithful Jews were marked with the blood of a lamb painted over the doorways with a hyssop branch.  Jesus is referred to as “the lamb of God” multiple times in the New Testament.  In 1 Corinthians 5: 7 - 8, Paul calls him the "paschal lamb".  And says, "therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, ... , but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”.  Jesus is given wine to drink (the 4th cup of the Passover) from a hyssop branch at the moment his sacrifice on the cross is consummated.  The cross is marked with his blood, the blood of the lamb, which will become the “doorway” to heaven.  Afterwards, the soldier pierced Jesus' side with a lance, the remaining blood and water flowed out, making the body of Jesus ritually clean.   

So, what happens to the sacrificial lamb served at a traditional Passover meal?  It must be consumed for the Passover to be complete.  At the last supper, Jesus said, "Do this in memory of me".  We see this continued in the Mass today.  At the Mass, the Priest, follows the command of Christ and standing in his place, repeats the words and actions of Jesus.  Catholics believe unleavened bread and wine is transubstantiated into true food and true drink, the body and blood of the resurrected and glorified Jesus Christ.  The Eucharist is consumed as the paschal lamb was.

It is the Eucharist that binds believers into "one body".

1 Corinthians 10: 16 - 17, Paul says, "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not participation in the blood of Christ?  The bread that we break, is it not participation in the body of Christ?  Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf."  Obviously, Paul was writing to the Corinthians who were not physically present with him.  Yet no one would doubt that Paul and the Corinthians, and all Christians, are united in one mystical body.  The bread he speaks about is clearly not a solitary physical loaf of bread but rather is the Eucharistic sacrifice.  This bread unites the many into one body.

Defaming the Eucharist can bring sickness and death.

Paul warns that coming to the Eucharist unprepared or unworthily is sinful.  "Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.  A person should examine himself and so eat the bread and drink the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.   That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number of dying”.  1 Corinthians 11: 27 - 30.  Symbols don't cause illness, infirmity and death.

The Eucharist unites our lives to Christ’s sacrifice.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), paragraph 1391,

                "Holy Communion augments our union with Christ.  The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus.  Indeed, the Lord said: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."223  Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet: "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."224

                On the feasts of the Lord, when the faithful receive the Body of the Son, they proclaim to one another the Good News that the first fruits of life have been given, as when the angel said to Mary Magdalene, "Christ is risen!" Now too are life and resurrection conferred on whoever receives Christ.225"

And paragraph 1368,

                "...In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ's sacrifice present on the       altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering.” 

This is something I have touched on before because God is eternal any sin results in infinite offense.  Our actions are insufficient to remedy this offense because we are finite.  Christ paid the difference in this price for us.  Therefore, when we are joined to him in the Eucharist our ineffective finite expressions are raised up to sufficient offerings through the miracle of the Eucharist.

Christ’s once and for all sacrifice is presented for all eternity.

The Jews believed that the Passover meal was more than just a memorial.  They believed that it made present again, for each generation, their release from slavery.  Like many other aspects of the Passover that were perfected on the Cross, this concept is continued in the Eucharist as well.  From the CCC, p.1366,The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:

[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper "on the night when he was betrayed," [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.187

However, it is important to note, that Catholics to not believe that Christ is “re-crucified” or that Christ “suffers again” at the Mass.  The Mass represents and celebrates the Passion and Resurrection, joining with Christ in offering to the Father eternally, the successful and effective work of the Son.

The Mass has remained basically unchanged since the Apostolic Era.

What was the first thing the resurrected Christ did?  He meets the disciples on the road to Emmaus.  Jesus talks to them about the scriptures, they discuss the events of the crucifixion, as they approach the village they invite him to supper and Jesus is recognized in the breaking of the bread.  Thus, the first thing the resurrected Christ did was a form of the Mass.  The Mass follows the same basic pattern today: read the scripture, preach the Gospel, Holy Communion.

The Apostles go out to spread the Gospel, including the Mass and participation in Holy Communion.  Acts 2: 42, "This They devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles, and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread, and to prayers."

The CCC paragraph 1345: As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did:

On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.

The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.

When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.

When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.

Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.

He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: 'Amen.'

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the "eucharisted" bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.169

Thus, in the Catholic way of looking at things, the Eucharist is the greatest of miracles.  At Mass, when a Catholic parishioner receives Holy Communion, they approach the Priest, who raises the host and says, “The Body of Christ”.  The parishioner responds, “Amen” which of course means, “I believe” or “it is so”.  This is a statement of faith.  We believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.  We believe that his body and blood are true food and true drink, not just b/c of objective evidence (the host and the wine look and taste the same) but b/c it is Christ telling us it is so.  The rewards for faith are great, an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

 

 

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  • Tony York

    Tony York September 24, 2010

    Question: “What is the Catholic sacrament of Holy Eucharist?”

    Answer: For Catholics, the Holy Eucharist / Catholic Mass is considered the most important and highest form of prayer. In fact, attending Mass is an obligation, under penalty of mortal sin, each Sunday and on certain other Holy Days of Obligation. The Mass is divided into two sections, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The Liturgy of the Word consists of two readings (one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament), the Responsorial Psalm, the Gospel reading, the homily (or sermon), and general intercessions (also called petitions).

    The center of the Mass is its second part, the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist. During this time, Catholics share in the body and blood of Jesus in the form of the bread and wine passed out to the congregation. According to the Bible, this is done in remembrance of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23-25, cf. Luke 22:18-20 and Matthew 26:26-28). However, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1366, “The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit.” The Catechism continues in paragraph 1367:

    The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” “And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, 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. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.”

    In the book of Malachi, the prophet predicts elimination of the old sacrificial system and the institution of a new sacrifice: “I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 1:10-11). This means that God will one day be glorified among the Gentiles, who will make pure offerings to Him in all places. The Catholics see this as the Eucharist. However, the apostle Paul seems to have a different slant on it: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1). The Eucharist can only be offered in select places: Churches consecrated and blessed according to Catholic Canon Law. The idea of offering our bodies as living sacrifices fits better with the language of the prediction, which says that the sacrifices will be offered “in every place.”

    The Roman Catholic Church believes that the bread and wine of the Holy Eucharist become the actual body and blood of Jesus. They attempt to support their system of thought with passages such as John 6:32-58; Matthew 26:26; Luke 22:17-23; and 1 Corinthians 11:24-25. In 1551 A.D., the Counsel of Trent officially stated: “by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation” (Session XIII, chapter IV; cf. canon II). By sharing in the Eucharistic meal, the Church teaches that Catholics are fulfilling John 6:53: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”

    What does that really mean? Jesus goes on to say that “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63-64). So, if “the flesh is of no avail,” why would we have to eat Jesus’ flesh in order to have eternal life? It does not make sense, until Jesus tells us that the words He speaks are “spirit.” Jesus is saying that this is not a literal teaching, but a spiritual one. The language ties in perfectly with the aforementioned statement of the apostle Paul: “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).

    Continued in next comment….

  • Tony York

    Tony York September 24, 2010

    In Jewish thought, bread was equated with the Torah, and “eating of it” was reading and understanding the covenant of God (cf. Deuteronomy 8:3). For example, the apocryphal book of Sirach states “‘He who eats of me will hunger still, he who drinks of me will thirst for more; he who obeys me will not be put to shame, he who serves me will never fail.’ All this is true of the book of Most High’s covenant, the law which Moses commanded us as an inheritance for the community of Jacob” (Sirach 24:20-22). Quoting from Sirach here is not endorsing it as Scripture; it only serves to illustrate how the Jewish people thought of Mosaic Law. It is important to understand the equating of bread with the Torah to appreciate Jesus’ real point.

    In John 6, Jesus is actually telling the crowd that He is superior to the Torah (cf. John 6:49-51), and the entire Mosaic system of Law. In the passage from Sirach, it states that those who eat of the Law will “hunger still” and “thirst for more,” the language of which is mirrored by Jesus when He says “He who comes to Me will never be hungry, he who believes in Me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). Jesus is not commanding people to literally eat His flesh and drink His blood, He is telling them the core of all Christian doctrine: belief in Jesus Himself (“The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent,” John 6:29, emphasis added). Therefore, the Catholic interpretation of John 6 is unbiblical.

    Secondly, there is a very clear analogy in John 6 to the days of Moses and the eating of manna. In the days of Moses, manna was God’s provision for food for the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness. In John 6, however, Jesus claimed to be the true manna, the bread of heaven. With this statement Jesus claimed to be God’s full provision for salvation. Manna was God’s provision of deliverance from starvation. Jesus is God’s provision of deliverance from damnation. Just as the manna had to be consumed to preserve the lives of the Israelites, so Jesus has to be consumed (fully received by faith) for salvation to be received.

    It is very clear that Jesus referred to Himself as the Bread of Life and encouraged his followers to eat of His flesh in John 6. But we do not need to conclude that Jesus was teaching what the Catholics have referred to as transubstantiation. The Lord’s Supper / Christian communion / Holy Eucharist had not been instituted yet. Jesus did not institute the Holy Eucharist / Mass / Lord’s Supper until John chapter 13. Therefore, to read the Lord’s Supper into John 6 is unwarranted. As suggested above, it is best to understand this passage in light of coming to Jesus, in faith, for salvation. When we receive Him as Savior, placing our full trust in Him, we are “consuming His flesh” and “drinking His blood.” His body was broken (at His death) and His blood was shed to provide for our salvation. 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

    Whether the Catholic definition of Holy Eucharist is a “re-sacrifice” of Christ, or a “re-offering” of Christ’s sacrifice - both concepts are unbiblical. Christ does not need to be re-sacrificed. Christ’s sacrifice does not need to be re-offered. Hebrews 7:27 declares, “Unlike the other high priests, He (Jesus) does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins ONCE for all when He offered Himself.” Similarly, 1 Peter 3:18 exclaims, “For Christ died for sins ONCE for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God…” Christ’s once for all death on the cross was sufficient to atone for all of our sins (1 John 2:2). Therefore, Christ’s sacrifice does not need to be re-offered. Instead, Christ’s sacrifice is to be received by faith (John 1:12; 3:16). Eating Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood are symbols of fully receiving His sacrifice on our behalf, by grace through faith.

  • Scott

    Scott September 26, 2010

    Thank you, Tony, you have answered Dave’s statements very well.

  • Dave VT

    Dave VT September 27, 2010

    The question is not whether the bread of life discourse can be interpreted metaphorically, of course it can.  The question really is:  should it also be interpreted literally?  Its plain meaning and simple scriptural, biblical and religious truths show that it must be.
     
    Of course Tony cues in on “the flesh is of no avail” line from the discourse to suggest that Jesus is only speaking metaphorically – but let’s look at what actually happens and is said there.  Repeatedly through the Bread of Life discourse Jesus says that HIS flesh is true food.  He says HIS flesh gives life.  Then Jesus switches in John 6:63, “Is it the spirit that gives life, while THE flesh is of no avail.  The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.  But there are some of you that do not believe”.  Could Jesus have been speaking about his own flesh as being “of no avail”?  If you believe that Jesus is the son of God, if you believe that Jesus is God become man, if you believe that Jesus is THE INCARNAITON of God, then how can God’s flesh be of no avail?  It is Jesus’ flesh that was nailed to the cross.  It was Jesus flesh that was sacrificed to redeem your sins.  It was Jesus’ flesh that was resurrected.  Jesus’ flesh is not “of no avail”.  Jesus’ flesh is everything.

    Remember the context of this statement by Jesus.  The previous day he fed the multitudes with miraculous loaves of bread.  The next morning Jesus moves off and the crowd follows him.  When they find him Jesus knows they are looking for him to get more food but Jesus says that he has better food, food that feeds the soul.  They ask for this food and when Jesus tells them it is his body and BLOOD – the people say it is too hard to accept.  Then Jesus says to them, “Does this shock you?”(John 6: 61).  Why does he ask this?  It shows that at this point the people ARE taking him literally.  Then Jesus says, “It the spirit that gives life, while THE flesh is of no avail”.  In other words they had faith (spirit) yesterday b/c of what they saw, heard and ate but they are quickly losing it when confronted with something difficult from God.  THEIR flesh is weak, not Jesus’, and they don’t like the thought of doing something uncomfortable.  (It’s also a simple metaphor the things of the spirit are important, the things of flesh aren’t). 

    Note again the blood.  As Tony says, the Torah might be associated with bread but nothing that I am aware of is associated with blood.  The consumption of blood is PROHIBITED to the Jews.  Jesus is leaving NO DOUBT that he is asking them to believe something hard.  If Jesus was using the analogy Tony suggests he would have stopped at bread.

    Then Jesus says, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.  But there are some of you that do not believe”.  What are the words Jesus has spoken?  That his flesh is true food and his blood is true drink and unless you eat them you do not have life within you.  Those words are SPIRIT i.e., faith and if you have faith to believe them, you will have LIFE.  Then look what HAPPENS.  If this was Jesus saying to the crowd that he was speaking in metaphors then why do the people STILL LEAVE?  Jesus is God incarnate as a Rabbi and teacher.  He capable of getting his point across.  He never had a problem before.  Yet the disciples that clearly thought he was speaking literally still leave after he explains he was just being metaphorical?  I don’t think so.  The people leave b/c Jesus does not retreat from his position.  AND what do the APOSTLES say?  They confirm this interpretation.  Jesus asks them if they will leave too?  Peter’s answer is that they don’t understand this difficult teaching (they still think he is being literal too!) but will stay b/c they have faith in Jesus.

    The irony is not lost on me that so many people that would argue for “faith alone” can’t accept on faith that the miracle of the Eucharist happens.  The Eucharist is the miracle of faith.  It is us choosing to be the Apostle that stays behind and says, ‘I don’t understand but I’ll stay b/c I trust you’ rather than the disciple that walked away saying ‘this is to hard to accept’.

  • Dave VT

    Dave VT September 27, 2010

    A few other points:

    The Mass and the Eucharist can be offered anywhere.  Churches are consecrated and made holy in order to provide a fitting place for God but it is not necessary to say Mass in a Church.  For example, I have been to Mass in the forest as a Boy Scout at least a dozen times.


    As Paul said we offer our lives to Christ all the time.  At Mass, in our cars, and our homes.  Offering your life, good works and sufferings to God does not preclude other offerings. 

    Hebrews 7: 26 – 28 is referring to the end of DAILY BLOOD sacrifices of animals as no longer being necessary.  We see just before this in Hebrews 6: 20 that Jesus is a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.  What sacrifice did the line of Melchizedek offer to God?  Bread and wine. 

    Finally, you have made many valid comparisons and analogies to different aspects of scripture but allow me to venture one more – the incarnation.  At the nativity the God, humbled himself to become man.  God, who is bigger than the entire universe, who wills the entire universe into existence, became a man.  He humbled himself again, when he was nailed to a cross and died for our sins.  In Luke 22:15 this God says to you, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you…”.  He says of bread and wine, “this IS my body” and “this IS my blood”, harkening all they way back to the first sacrifices of Melchizedek.  At the Eucharist, this God humbles himself and becomes present again, under the species of bread and wine, b/c “he greatly desires to eat this Passover meal with you”.  He wants to eat it with you Tony and he wants to eat it with you Scott.  He desires to eat this passover with us all. 

    On the road to Emmaus, Jesus wasn’t recognized in the discussing of scripture, he wasn’t recognized in discussing the events that had just happened in Jerusalem, but he WAS RECOGNIZED in the breaking of the bread.  The Apostles went about breaking the bread.  Paul references the breaking of the bread multiple times.  When asked by the roman emperor what was Christianity the saint Justin Martyr described the Mass and the Eucharist.  This is the Christian way and it has been since the beginning.  The same story plays out today that is recorded in John 6.  I hope you can humble yourselves enough to CONSIDER that I and the Church might be right.  If their is even a chance that i am, consider what you are missing.

    This week is scheduled to be the last Catholic Friday. :-(  I have answered all the questions Jess sent me.  It has been my pleasure to answer these questions.  It has confirmed and deepened my faith for sure.

  • Tony York

    Tony York September 27, 2010

    Dave,

    I hope you can appreciate the irony in your statement:

    “I hope you can humble yourselves enough to CONSIDER that I and the Church might be right.  If their is even a chance that i am, consider what you are missing.”

    I would answer with just this:  I have Christ.

  • Sean Hutton

    Sean Hutton December 24, 2010

    “Thank you, Tony, you have answered Dave’s statements very well.”

    In all fairness, gotquestions.org is where the entirety of the response came from, specifically this article:

    http://www.gotquestions.org/Holy-Eucharist.html

    In the future, Tony, I would respectfully suggest that you identify your sources when quoting from them. And I have a question for you, if you don’t mind answering…

    The article you provided states:

    “there is a very clear analogy in John 6 to the days of Moses and the eating of manna”

    I entirely agree! Yet the article then states:

    “Just as the manna had to be consumed to preserve the lives of the Israelites, so Jesus has to be consumed (fully received by faith) for salvation to be received.”

    In other words, while Jesus’ literal flesh which came down from heaven is the “antitype” of the type of the manna in John 6’s analogy, the authors of this article insist that it is believing in this person of Jesus that is the antitype of eating the manna.

    Now, for the question:

    What is the antitype of the manna in 1 Corinthians 10, and what is the antitype of the act of eating the manna in 1 Corinthians 10?

    Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response.

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