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.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Think before you answer that question.

I asked that question of so many of my friends recently and almost all, save for only one, gave me the wrong answer.
Some even became indignant for my even asking the question. Why they became indignant, I have no clue.
Nevertheless it is an important question about the person of Jesus the Christ.

1. Is Jesus the Christ a human person?

2. Is Jesus the Christ a Divine person?

3. Is He both?

4. Is He neither?

What answer do you have for each of those four simple questions?

In order to come to the correct answers to those four questions, we must first lay some groundwork as to definitions.

The subject of action. The center of attribution in a rational nature.
Person has a body, a soul, a spirit, and five senses with which to communicate with the outside world.
1Thessalonians 5:23;
"May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept
sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Some Biblical references to the word 'person';
Job 32:21, Ezekiel 44:25, Matthew 22:16, Mark 12:14, 1Corinthians 15:44-47,
Galatians 2:6, 1Thessalonians 5:23, and Hebrews 4:12.

That which makes a person or thing be what it is. The essential
characteristics and qualities of a person, or of a thing. What does it do?
What can be done to it? Nature decides what a being can do, but the person
does it. Nature presents the question 'what', while person presents the quesion 'who'.

Various natures mentioned in Scripture;
female-Romans 1:26, the law-Romans 2:14, uncircumcised-Romans 2:27,
tree-Romans 11:24, hair-1Corinthians 11:14, Jewish-Galatians 2:15, not divine-Galatians 4:8,
children of wrath-Ephesians 2:3, divine-2Peter 1:4.

Person possesses a nature. Nature does not possess a person. Nature describes what a person can do, but the person does it. That is a very important point as we shall soon see.
Person poses the question 'who'.
Nature poses the question 'what'.
Persons (who's) die on crosses, not natures (what's). Persons with a nature are born of mothers, not natures only.
Persons are those who can say 'I' because they reflect in some way the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit from whom all personhood comes.

Here is a very good publication regarding these subjects, and many more about basic theology;
"Theology and Sanity" by Frank Sheed.
A son takes on the nature of his father.
The son of a cat is a cat.
The son of a man is a man.
The Son of GOD is GOD.
Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit and of His Blessed Mother Mary.
Since Jesus was born of GOD a Divine person, He is GOD, a Divine person.
Jesus did not have a human father so He could not be a human person.
The substance of the body of Jesus was provided from the substance of Blessed Mary.
Mary gave birth to a Divine person and is rightfully called 'Theotokos', the Mother of GOD.
Council of Ephesus 431 A.D.

Here are three verses that should prove to everyone that Jesus was NOT a human person:

Philippians 2:6-8;
(6) "...though he was by nature GOD, did not consider being equal to GOD a thing to be clung to,
(7) but emptied Himself, taking the nature of a slave and being made like unto men.
And appearing in the form of man,
(8) He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even to death on a cross."

Elucidation of Philippians 2:6-8;
1. He was by nature GOD.
2. He took the nature of a slave (man).
3. He was made like unto men. Likened to a human person, but it does not say that He was one.
4. He appeared in the form of man. Again, in the form of a human person but it does not say that He was one.

'Haydock' is considered to be one of the best Bible commentaries ever written.
Let us see what it has to say about the above.

Ver. 6. Who being in the form of God, (that is truly, properly, and essentially God from eternity,
as the ancient Fathers here observed against the Arians) taking the form of a servant,
(i.e. taking upon him our human nature) became truly a man, and as man the servant of God, but remaining always God as before, thought it not robbery, no injury to his eternal Father, to be equal, to be esteemed, and to declare himself equal to God, to be one thing with him:
as on divers occasions he taught the people, as we have observed in the notes on St. John's gospel, (Witham)

The Nestorian Heresy, Jesus was two persons, one divine and one human.

Nestorianism (5th Century);
This heresy about the person of Christ was initiated by Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, who denied Blessed Mary the title of Theotokos (Greek: "God-bearer" or, less literally, "Mother of God"). Nestorius claimed that she only bore Christ’s human nature in her womb, and proposed the alternative title Christotokos ("Christ-bearer" or "Mother of Christ").

The teachings of Nestorius were opposed by Cyril who argued that Nestorius was actually denying the reality  of the incarnation by making Jesus Christ into two different persons, one human, one divine, sharing one body.

The Council of Ephesus 431 A.D. was called to settle the matter.
This council (reinforced by the Council of Chalcedon in 451) clarified orthodox Catholic doctrine, pronouncing that Jesus, true God and true man, has two distinct natures that are inseparably joined in one person and partake of the one divine substance.
Nestorius was removed from office after the Council of Ephesus.

Here are a few more verses, Biblical proof that Jesus is not a human person.

2Corinthians 2:10;
"And to whom you have pardoned any thing, I also. For, what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned any thing, for your sakes have I done it in the person of Christ."

Did you notice that the verse said 'person' of Christ, singular, and not 'persons'?

1Corinthians 15:45-48;
(45) "Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
(46) But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual.
(47) The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
(48) As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven."

Elucidation to 1Corinthians 15:45-48;
1. 'The last Adam' is Jesus Christ. 'A life-giving spirit' cannot be a human person.
2. The second man, Jesus, was not a 'man of dust', as a human person would be.
3. The second man, Jesus, came from Heaven.
4. Since Jesus came from Heaven, He could not be a human person.
Go here for much more regarding the above graphic and acknowledgments.

Did you notice in the above graphic, those two verses in RED, that it was ONE
and the same person of Jesus Christ who spoke both as GOD and as Man?

So, let us review those first two very important questions one last time.

Is Jesus the Christ a human person?
Holy Scripture has clearly instructed us that He could not be a human person.

Is Jesus the Christ a Divine person?
Holy Scripture has clearly taught us that He is a Divine person.


He was born into eternity of a Father without a mother.
He was born into time of a Mother without a father.
He is born into us at Baptism.

Father Dermot Dwyer

Written by Bob Stanley
May 12, 2011

Galations 4:16

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