Bread of Life

BREAD OF LIFE
 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. (john 6: 50)
The miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him. Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded. Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church—with the whole community of Catholics around the world…and in heaven.

THE REAL PRESENCE

Why does the Catholic Church believe Christ is really present in the Eucharist?
The Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence is the belief that Jesus Christ is literally, not symbolically, present in the Holy Eucharist—body, blood, soul and divinity. Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist because Jesus tells us this is true in the Bible:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them,

"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; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” - John 6:48-56
Furthermore, the early Church Fathers either imply or directly state that the bread and wine offered in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is really the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In other words, the doctrine of the Real Presence that Catholics believe today was believed by the earliest Christians 2,000 years ago!

This miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him.

Monday, March 22, 2010

THE DEVIL IS A THIEF

As baptized Christians we belong to God, as a son belongs to his father. The devil is a thief, and his chief delight is to steal God's most precious possessions-his sons and daughters. He cannot steal us by brute force, but must convince us to renounce our birthright willingly by committing sin.

It would seem an impossible task to convince a prince to swap his palace for a pigsty, but the devil is up to the challenge. He is the father of lies, and we must not underestimate his power. He is an expert deceiver and knows just how to persuade us to exchange our priceless inheritance for a bowl of moldy lentils. This is sin, a deception of huge proportions. If only we saw this as clearly as Jesus did, we would never sin again.

Surely, we all want to please God but our desires are still so mixed. We need to be purified in the crucible of suffering, so that only the gold of our selfless desire to please God and help others remains.
Let us ask Jesus to teach us to see the world as he sees it, with a great supernatural spirit, so that like him, we will value the things of heaven more than the things here below.
It should be our one desire to belong to God alone. Let us totally abandon ourselves to God's holy will. Let us never sell our heavenly birthright for the measly pleasures of the world here below.

4 comments:

Tortoise said...

Three crosses stand on top of Calvary, the tragic hill, and remind us of a detail of the great drama related by St. John:

"There they crucified him and with him two others, one on each side and Jesus in the Middle" (Jo. 19, 18).

When the four authors of the gospels noted this circumstance of the Passion, it was not just to bring out a picturesque detail, but rather to point out an important circumstance of the sufferings of Jesus, the ignominy and shame of his death and the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy: "He was counted among the wicked" (Is. 53, 12).

These three crosses, if we look at them with attention, will teach us a still more important lesson. The two thieves crucified with Jesus represent all sinful mankind, likewise condemned to death.

Are we not all of us thieves, and great ones? Did we not rob God of his glory and of the honor we owed him? Are we not, all of us, condemned to the cross with Jesus? "If anyone wises to come after me, let him…take up his cross every day…" (Lk. 9,23).

Looking at the three crosses of Calvary, we shall learn what our attitude to our own cross can be, and what will result if we (1) reject it as did the bad thief, (2) accept it as the good thief did, or (3) embrace it with Jesus.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I would suggest that if you think you have the ability to "never sin again" you've downplayed the demands of God moral law.

"A judge is a law student who grades his own papers."

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10 ESV)
What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous? (Job 15:14 ESV)
Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you. (Psalm 143:2 ESV)
you say, 'I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.' Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, 'I have not sinned.' (Jeremiah 2:35 ESV)
For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. (James 3:2 ESV)
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 ESV)
If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? (Psalm 130:3 ESV)
You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. (Psalm 90:8 ESV)
If I sin, you watch me and do not acquit me of my iniquity. (Job 10:14 ESV)
But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused? (Psalm 76:7 ESV)
he who handles the bow shall not stand, and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself, nor shall he who rides the horse save his life; (Amos 2:15 ESV)
let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father's house have sinned. (Nehemiah 1:6 ESV)
But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. (Malachi 3:2 ESV)
for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" (Revelation 6:17 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

God's moral law, that is:)

Michael Gormley said...

Dear Charlie,
Thanks for the comments!