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, August 21, 2012


1 Corinthians 10

14 Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols.
15 I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say.
16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
18 Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar?
19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?
20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons.
21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
Note that some translations have "communion" in place of "participation" in verse 16. Notice also (v. 17) that the Eucharist is the bond that joins Christians as well as being a symbol of their unity. This agrees with the description of the first Christians in Acts 2:42, which implies that the eucharist was a cause of their unity: "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers."
Notice how St. Paul draws a parallel pagan sacrifices and the Eucharist; the former is offered to demons, the latter to God: "By eating the meat of animals offered to Yahweh, Jews participated in the sacrifice and worship in his honour; and by receiving the body and blood of the Lord, Christians unite themselves to Christ; similarly, those who take part in idolatrous banquets are associating themselves not with false gods--which have no existence-- but with demons." (Navarre Bible, commentary on vv. 14-22) Thus, the Eucharist is a sacrifice to God.
This teaching of St. Paul also brings out the full meaning of chapter seven of the Letter to the Hebrews, in which Christ is called ``a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek'' (cf. Psalm 110:4). Melchizedek offered bread and wine as his sacrifice to God (Genesis 14:17-20), a sacrifice which foreshadowed Jesus' own sacrifice. For Christians, the Holy Eucharist is the unbloody renewal of the sacrifice of Calvary. It is not a new sacrifice, but a continuation of our Lord's self-immolation, which transcends all time and place. In communion, a Christian receives our Lord and also offers himself to the Lord: it is an exchange of persons. To the early Christians this exchange must have been painfully obvious, since their participation in the Eucharistic feast implied their willingness to confess Christ even to death.

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