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, December 24, 2013


One thing that happens frequently is an individual begins to rage against God when something unexpectedly painful and unjust occurs. Commonly, when someone whom one loves is tragically taken because of accident or illness, the surviving spouse or family member begins to become angry at God. Some even lose their faith that God exists. Typically, the thought, “Why would God let this happen?” is raised with vigor.

The usual answer that is given is, “God doesn’t make bad things happen. We humans have free will and choose things that lead to death and pain. Look at the Garden of Eden and what happpened there.”

This answer usually ends up only upsetting the grieving person even more, even though there is truth to it. The person is angry at God and sees death as an act of omission by God who, if he is all-good, would never allow such tragedy to occur. Often, that is as far as the conversation goes, with no resolution for either party.

The problem here is in our understanding of God, who he is and how he is. This is exactly why God as Trinity is so important to consider. Three Persons, one God. One of those persons, Jesus Christ the Son of God, assumed human nature and became irrevocably one of us. Not only that, he chose death out of love for us, and his death was tragic. His Father did not prevent it. The Father, instead, cried in grief and loved intensely for the Father and the Son and the Spirit, one God in eternal communion and relationship, never separated but worked in all ways together. In his death, Jesus, God the Son, did not rage against his all-loving Father but embraced his Love for him and for all the world. The Father and the Spirit, one God, rejoiced it the love of Jesus’ sacrfice.

The reason we humans often rage against God when we experience tragedy is because our pain keeps us from recognizing God’s never-ending presence in our lives and his willingness to share our pain. Pain can blind us to God’s presence. It is pain that we see. It is a thick curtain, a foggy mirror, an eclipse of the sun, that will rob us of our vision if we allow it.
Those who rage against God in their grief don’t need theological truth as much as they need recognition of their pain and a human presence in its midst that will lead them back to faith, to clear vision, to another experience of God in their lives.

Some times, this takes years. May God assist all of us who minister to them. This entry was posted in General Interest on August 29, 2012.

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