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, September 19, 2011

SCIENCE AND CHRIST

"LET ME EXPLAIN THE problem science has with Jesus Christ." The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand. "You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"
"Yes, sir."
"So you believe in God?"
"Absolutely."
"Is God good?"
"Sure! God's good."
"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"
"Yes."
"Are you good or evil?"
"The Bible says I'm evil."
The professor grins knowingly. "Ah! THE BIBLE!" He considers for a moment. "Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help them? Would you try?"
"Yes sir, I would."
"So you're good...!"
"I wouldn't say that."
"Why not say that? You would help a sick and maimed person if you could... in fact most of us would if we could... God doesn't."
No answer.
"He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?"
No answer.
The elderly man is sympathetic. "No, you can't, can you?" He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. In philosophy, you have to go easy with the new ones. "Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?"
"Er... Yes."
"Is Satan good?"
"No."
"Where does Satan come from?"
The student falters. "From... God..."
"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he?" The elderly man runs his bony fingers through his thinning hair and turns to the smirking, student audience. "I think we're going to have a lot of fun this semester, ladies and gentlemen." He turns back to the Christian. "Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?"
"Yes, sir."
"Evil's everywhere, isn't it? Did God make everything?"
"Yes."
"Who created evil?"
No answer.
"Is there sickness in this world? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All the terrible things - do they exist in this world?"
The student squirms on his feet. "Yes."
"Who created them?"
No answer.
The professor suddenly shouts at his student. "WHO CREATED THEM? TELL ME, PLEASE!" The professor closes in for the kill and climbs into the Christian's face. In a still small voice: "God created all evil, didn't He, son?"
No answer. The student tries to hold the steady, experienced gaze and fails. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace the front of the classroom like an aging panther. The class is mesmerized. "Tell me," he continues, "How is it that this God is good if He created all evil throughout all time?" The professor swishes his arms around to encompass the wickedness of the world. "All the hatred, the brutality, all the pain, all the torture, all the death and ugliness and all the suffering created by this good God is all over the world, isn't it, young man?"
No answer.
"Don't you see it all over the place? Huh?" Pause. "Don't you?" The professor leans into the student's face again and whispers, "Is God good?"
No answer.
"Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?"
The student's voice betrays him and cracks. "Yes, professor. I do."
The old man shakes his head sadly. "Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen your Jesus?"
"No, sir. I've never seen Him."
"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"
"No, sir. I have not."
"Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus...in fact, do you have any sensory perception of your God whatsoever?"
No answer.
"Answer me, please."
"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."
"You're AFRAID... you haven't?"
"No, sir."
"Yet you still believe in him?"
"Yes..."
"That takes FAITH!" The professor smiles sagely at the underling. "According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son? Where is your God now?"
The student doesn't answer.
"Sit down, please." The Christian sits...Defeated.
Another Christian raises his hand. "Professor, may I address the class?"
The professor turns and smiles. "Ah, another Christian in the vanguard! Come, come, young man. Speak some proper wisdom to the gathering."
The Christian looks around the room. "Some interesting points you are making, sir. Now I've got a question for you. Is there such thing as heat?"
"Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."
"Is there such a thing as cold?"
"Yes, son, there's cold too."
"No, sir, there isn't."
The professor's grin freezes. The room suddenly goes very cold.
The second Christian continues. "You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold, otherwise we would be able to go colder than the minus 458 degrees - You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just, the absence of it."
Silence. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom. "Is there such a thing as darkness, professor?"
"That's a dumb question, son. What is night if it isn't darkness? What are you getting at...?"
"So you say there is such a thing as darkness?"
"Yes..."
"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, Darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker and give me a jar of it. Can you...give me a jar of darker darkness, professor?"
Despite himself, the professor smiles at the young effrontery before him. This will indeed be a good semester. "Would you mind telling us what your point is, young man?"
"Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with and so your conclusion must be in error...."
The professor goes toxic. "Flawed...? How dare you...!"
"Sir, may I explain what I mean?" The class is all ears.
"Explain... oh, explain..." The professor makes an admirable effort to regain control. Suddenly he is affability itself. He waves his hand to silence the class, for the student to continue.
"You are working on the premise of duality," the Christian explains. "That for example there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science cannot even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism but has never seen, much less fully understood them. To view death, as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, merely the absence of it." The young man holds up a newspaper he takes from the desk of a neighbor who has been reading it. "Here is one of the most disgusting tabloids this country hosts, professor. Is there such a thing as immorality?"
"Of course there is, now look..."
"Wrong again, sir. You see, immorality is merely the absence of morality. Is there such thing as injustice? No. Injustice is the absence of justice. Is there such a thing as evil?" The Christian pauses. "Isn't evil the absence of good?"
The professor's face has turned an alarming color. He is so angry he is temporarily speechless. The Christian continues. "If there is evil in the world, professor, and we all agree there is, then God, if he exists, must be accomplishing a work through the agency of evil. What is that work, God is accomplishing? The Bible tells us it is to see if each one of us will, of our own free will, choose good over evil."
The professor bridles. "As a philosophical scientist, I don't view this matter as having anything to do with any choice; as a realist, I absolutely do not recognize the concept of God or any other theological factor as being part of the world equation because God is not observable."
"I would have thought that the absence of God's moral code in this world is probably one of the most observable phenomena going," the Christian replies. "Newspapers make billions of dollars reporting it every week! Tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?"
"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do."
"Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"
The professor makes a sucking sound with his teeth and gives his student a silent, stony stare. "Professor. Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a priest?"
"I'll overlook your impudence in the light of our philosophical discussion. Now, have you quite finished?" the professor hisses.
"So you don't accept God's moral code to do what is righteous?"
"I believe in what is - that's science!"
"Ah! SCIENCE!" the student's face spits into a grin. "Sir, you rightly state that science is the study of observed phenomena. Science too is a premise which is flawed..."
"SCIENCE IS FLAWED?" the professor splutters.
The class is in uproar. The Christian remains standing until the commotion has subsided. "To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, may I give you an example of what I mean?" The professor wisely keeps silent. The Christian looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?" The class breaks out in laughter. The Christian points towards his elderly, crumbling tutor. "Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain... felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain?" No one appears to have done so. The Christian shakes his head sadly. "It appears no one here has had any sensory perception of the professor's brain whatsoever. Well, according to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says the professor has no brain."

The class is in chaos. The Christian sits... Because that is what a chair is for.

AUTHOR UNKNOWN


May we walk with Christ each and every day!

1 comment:

Michael said...

Evolution and Heliocentrism are neither taught in Scripture, nor are taught by the Fathers and Medieval theologians of the Catholic Church, nor are there any official teachings from the Catholic Church endorsing either of the two teachings.

Furthermore, the modern scientific evidence does not in the least support Evolution, and in fact denies it completely, while the scientific evidence for Heliocentrism is at best a draw when compared to Geocentric models, and at worst a distortion of both science and Scripture.