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.


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, September 20, 2011


Quite early in salvation history some important lessons had to be taught. Many are familiar with the lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen 19. The cities were destroyed by God as an everlasting testament to the evils they contained, particularly sodomy , which was a significant deviation from God’s plan for life. In the Onan account (Gen 38), which is not too well known or understood, another important lesson about procreation had to be taught. Onan was one of three sons of Judah.

The first son did evil in the sight of God and was killed. We are not given the reason. Under the Levirate law at the time, Onan was asked to marry his bother’s widow, Tamar, in order to procreate offspring in his brother’s name. Onan married her but when he had intercourse, he went through the motions, then spilled his seed on the ground. In medical terminology, this is called “coitus interruptus”.
More commonly, it is called “withdrawal” and is a form of contraception. Onan did this because he did not want to have children under his dead brother’s name. God killed him. It is clear that God killed him because he defrauded the marriage of its procreative purpose.
Tamar later went on to have illicit sex with Judah, her father-in-law. Tamar bore twins. Despite their sins, neither she, Judah, nor the twins were killed. Only Onan was killed as an everlasting testament to the evil of defrauding the marriage of its procreative purpose. Onan was not killed because he did not want to marry Tamar. The punishment for not marrying Tamar ( see Deut 25 ) was not death. If he chose not to marry Tamar, she could remove his sandal and spit in his face publicly, thereby humiliating him. This is much less than the death penalty.

Onan was killed because his action of contraception had far reaching effects and consequences. His action attacked God’s plan for life. Children were supposed to be born who were not born. We see from this account that contraception thwarts God’s plan for life and that God repudiates contraception. God essentially says 'The plan for life and creation is my plan.'

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