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.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TRANSUBSTANTIATION

The Roman Catholic Church through history approached her faith life with the clarification of language. That is, she translated the essentials of revealed faith into the vocabulary of living language.

To the revealed Word that there is "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" the Church labeled the belief "Trinity."
To the revealed Word that the "Son of God became man" the Church labeled the belief "Incarnation."
To the revealed Word that the "blood of Christ spilled on Calvary saved us" the Church labeled the belief "Redemption."
To the revealed Word that "my flesh is true food, my blood is true drink" the Church labeled the belief "Transubstantiation."
Transubstantiation reflects Roman Catholic faith in the literalness of the words of the Bible.

Jesus (omnipotent God) said: "This is my body; this is my blood." And again Jesus said: "I am the bread of life;" "My flesh is true food; my blood is true drink;" "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood ...;" etc.

Roman Catholics take Jesus at His word: the bread is his body; the wine is his blood.

From the Apostles at the Last Supper until today, the bread and wine of Eucharist looks and feels and tastes like bread and wine in the eating and drinking.

Similar to all of God's Word, faith is essential. Faith in what? In the words of Jesus even though the bread does not look, feel, taste like flesh; even though the wine does not look, feel, taste like blood.

Medieval philosophers and theologians sought simply to label this simple biblical faith: Jesus said that bread is his body and wine is his blood even though it did not appear to change into visible flesh and blood.
Transubstantiation means the substance part of the bread and wine elements changes; but the accidental parts--sight, taste, smell, touch--do not. Catholics believe that since Jesus said it and He is God, he can do it. They believe! "Transubstantiation" merely labels it.
In everyday life, it is not at all uncommon to believe in things man cannot perceive by the senses: wind, electricity, love, peace, etc. All the more when Jesus says it.

3 comments:

claybar said...

"We should never again use the expression, 'When Jesus was on earth' or think of Him as being only in heaven, Jesus is still on earth."

"While all the sacraments confer grace, the Eucharist contains the author of grace, Jesus Christ Himself." - Louis of Grenada (1554-1623)

Fr. Larry said...

The Eucharist is a person not a thing. Read more athttp://wherethereispeter.blogspot.com/2011/07/eucharist-is-person.html

Michael said...

Jesus said in Matthew 28:20 "I am with you always until the end of the world;" not just My Body, not just My Blood, but "I am with you." This is why it is important to remember the entire definition of the Eucharist-- BODY and BLOOD, SOUL, and DIVINITY.

When you have body and soul you have the whole person; and because Jesus was a divine person (not a human person) we have His DIVINITY as well. The Eucharist is an encounter with a PERSON not a THING.