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.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Our own reason and intelligence can give us good grounds for believing that when the body dies something in us lives on. Man is not just body, he is also spirit. He has a soul. The body is a material thing. When the life goes out of it, as we say, it falls into its separate parts. It drops to dust.

But there is something in us that is not a material thing, that cannot come apart, that cannot corrupt. How do we know?
You stand by the body of a friend who has died and you may be struck most of all by the fact of death. Everything seems finished. And yet if you think it over the conviction deepens that death is not the end.

You find a letter that your friend had written to you during his life. He had used paper and ink to capture his thoughts. But his thoughts were more than just paper and ink.

During his life he had spoken to you. His thoughts had been a sound in the air. But they were more than just a sound. Nor were they just a twist of a membrane in his head. They were more than just material things. There was something in him which paper and ink, sound, flesh and blood, even a brain could only roughly capture and express.

He had spoken, for example, of Justice, of Truth. But Justice and Truth are not material things. A material thing can be weighed, has a colour, a shape, can be measured. Even the material force that we call energy, such a thing as electricity, can be measured.

But who can measure Justice or Truth? These are ideas, spiritual things. You cannot say, "How long is justice?" "How wide is truth?" These things have no parts and so they cannot come apart. They cannot corrupt.

Now if a man can have spiritual ideas then there is something in him that is not material. And that something we call his soul. When the body dies the soul lives on.

Pagan Belief in Life After Death

That conviction is not just sentiment. It is sound reasoning. It is a conviction that has been shared by the vast majority of mankind. Wherever we find traces of human beings — burial grounds, graves thousands of years old, we find, too, evidence of belief in survival after death.

The ancient pagans like the ancient Jews, God's chosen people, had the same conviction. But survival is very little. There is life beyond the horizon of death. But what kind of life? And that is where reasoning power begins to fail. So the pagan took little comfort from his belief in immortality.

"We, when we go down there among the dead, what are we? A handful of dust and a shadow," wrote the pagan poet.

The Bible

Even in the Bible in the Old Testament you will find phrases which show that the ancient Jews only learnt very slowly that life after death is more than just survival. You will find phrases like this:

Better a living dog than a dead lion... The dead know nothing more. They have said goodbye to this world and all its busy doings under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 9.)
But as the ages rolled on God gave more and more light. So if you take up the Book of Wisdom you can read these lovely words:
The souls of the just are in God's hands and no torment in death itself has power to reach them. Dead? Fools think so, think their end loss, their leaving us annihilation; but all is well with them. The world sees nothing but the pains they endure. They themselves have eyes only for what is immortal. So light their suffering, so great the gain they win. God all the while did but test them, and testing them found them worthy of Him . . . Trust Him if thou wilt, true thou shalt find Him; faith waits for Him calmly and lovingly. Who claims His gift, who shall attain peace, if not they His chosen servants? (Wisdom 3.)
When Our Lord came on earth He made it certain for us.
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he is dead, will live on, and whoever has life and has faith in Me, to all eternity cannot die. (John 11: 25 – 26)
On another occasion He quoted from the words of the Old Testament:
Then at last, He said, the just will shine out clear as the sun in their Father's Kingdom. (Matt. 8.)
Their Father's Kingdom is Heaven. That is the home we are made for. What does it mean?


No comments: