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.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

INDIVIDUAL INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE IS PROHIBITED BY HOLY SCRIPTURE

It was a sad day when I read that the internet was being used with avid interest by those who are scrambling to form their own churches. These people comb the internet searching for the beliefs of these various sects, just so they can find a niche to make theirs different from all the others. They completely disregard the teaching of Our Lord when He said, "...and there shall be ONE FOLD and ONE SHEPHERD." John 10:16
There are over 38,000 individual non-Catholic sects in the world now, with more being added every day. With the advent of millions of potential 'customers' who are easily reached on-line, that number is expected to increase at an accelerated rate. This hurts the Christian cause, as it is satan's way to divide and conquer, and it is GOD's way to unite into one Church with one Shepherd. It is making Protestantism even more and more impotent.
The primary root cause of this is the false belief of individual interpretation of the Bible. Protestant churches cannot teach that they are the 'One True Church' which Jesus Christ founded because none of them can trace their origin back 2000 years to Jesus Christ when He founded His Church in Matthew 16:18. If all Protestantism was united in the Holy Spirit, then how can you explain that Calvinists believe Baptism is a Sacrament, but Baptists do not? How do you explain that Lutherans say that Mary is the Mother of GOD,  but Evangelicals say she is not? How do you explain that Episcopalians believe man has free will, yet Presbyterians deny it? You can go on and on through all 38,000 non-Catholic Christian sects and see differences of opinion as presented in this sampling. If all Christian Churches taught the same thing then there would be only one Church, as there was for the first 1500 years of Christianity.

In all of the above examples, the one side interprets the Bible this way, and the other side interprets it that way. "The simple fact of the matter is, that it is not possible to put together any selection of words in which some ingenious person may not find a meaning not meant by the writer of the verse." Frank Sheed.

"Only a public authority, divinely guided, can spell out without error, a public message divinely revealed." Fr. Pere Benoit... The Pope, in accordance with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, is the public authority,  divinely guided, of which Fr. Benoit speaks.

There are many Bible verses which tell us that individual interpretation of the Bible simply cannot be done without divine assistance...

Luke 24:45, "Then He opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures."
So it took Jesus Christ to open the minds of the Apostles so that they could teach others in the truth. Do you believe likewise that Jesus Christ opened the minds of each of the leaders of all those 38,000 non-Catholic sects? If so, why is there so much disagreement between them?

Acts 8:27-40, the eunuch was trying to read Isaiah when Philip asked him, "Do you understand what you are reading?" But he said, "Why, how can I, unless someone shows me?"
Since Philip had been filled by the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:4, he was able to explain the truth of Isaiah to the eunuch.

2Peter 1:20, St. Peter said, "This then you must understand first of all, that NO PROPHECY OF SCRIPTURE IS MADE BY PRIVATE INTERPRETATION." I do not see how Peter could have said it any plainer than he did here. Why do Protestants ignore verses such as this one?

2Peter 3:16-17, St. Peter said, "...In these Epistles there are certain things difficult to understand, WHICH THE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE DISTORT, JUST AS THEY DO THE REST OF THE SCRIPTURES ALSO, TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION. YOU THEREFORE, BRETHREN, SINCE YOU KNOW THIS BEFOREHAND, BE ON YOUR GUARD LEST, CARRIED AWAY BY THE ERROR OF THE FOOLISH, YOU FALL AWAY FROM YOUR STEADFASTNESS."
Here is a very clear warning that it is easy to fall into error by private interpretation of Scripture.

Who would you prefer to believe...
A group of thousands of learned Bishops with impeccable qualifications, and the Holy Spirit to guide them, or some individuals interpretation of the Bible, who has questionable qualifications, and who does not have the truth of the Holy Spirit to guide him?

©
Written by Bob Stanley, January 21, 1998
Updated December 28, 2006

6 comments:

Toyin O. said...

Insightful post, thanks for sharing.

Michael Gormley said...

Thanks, Toyin!!

daveg4g said...

The Bible is meant to be read in its entirety, and never to be taken out of context.

That is what satan tried to do to Jesus in the desert in Matthew 4 – Taking individual verses out of context, trying to use them to mean something they really don’t.

Anonymous said...

No interpretation of the bible can contradict Church teaching, since the Bible is a product of the Church. That would be like saying that a government document contradicts the government agency that issued the document.


In a lot of cases, the New Testament reading is prefigured in the Old Testament. For instance, when one reads that Jesus’ face shone like the sun in Matthew 17, you can flip way back in the Old Testament and see that Moses’ face also shone (Exodus 34).

The deeper meaning here is that Moses was a biblical “type”, or foreshadowing of Jesus - Moses was the lawgiver in the Old Testament; Jesus is the lawgiver of the New Testament.

Moses went up the mountain and brought down the Word of God to the people for the Old Covenant in Exodus 34; Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, which is the Word of God for the New Covenant.

Tortoise said...

When fundamentalists relegate exegetes to the role of translators only (failing to grasp that translating the Bible is already a work of exegesis) and refuse to follow them further in their studies, these same fundamentalists do not realize that for all their very laudable concern for total fidelity to the word of God, they proceed in fact along ways which will lead them far away from the true meaning of the biblical texts, as well as from full acceptance of the consequences of the incarnation.

The eternal Word became incarnate at a precise period of history, within a clearly defined cultural and social environment.

Anyone who desires to understand the word of God should humbly seek it out there where it has made itself visible and accept to this end the necessary help of human knowledge.

Addressing men and women, from the beginnings of the Old Testament onward, God made use of all the possibilities of human language, while at the same time accepting that his word be subject to the constraints caused by the limitations of this language.

Proper respect for inspired Scripture requires undertaking all the labors necessary to gain a thorough grasp of its meaning.

Certainly, it is not possible that each Christian personally pursue all the kinds of research which make for a better understanding of the biblical text.

This task is entrusted to exegetes, who have the responsibility in this matter to see that all profit from their labor.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#

Rosemi said...
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