Bread of Life

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.

THE REAL PRESENCE

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.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

WHAT IS TRUTH?

Pontius Pilate asked the question to Jesus,“What is Truth”. As it turns out, Pontius was staring The Truth right in the face and didn’t even know it.

Jesus Christ proclaimed that He is The Truth in John 14:6: Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.

The term I AM is the name of God that Moses learned way back in Exodus 3:14:

God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'"

So when Jesus said “I Am” the Truth, He was really saying that God is Truth. So many people today believe that what they think is the truth, regardless of what God says in His Word. Their ego and pride are so big that they have convinced themselves that whatever ideas they come up with regarding abortion, homosexuality, money, etc., are true, because it seems true to their 40 or 50 year old mind.

In other words, truth to a lot of people is subjective, not objective. When worldly people use the term “I think for myself”, it is supposed to proclaim to the ignorant Christian that they are somehow smarter than we are, who blindly follow the Pope, the Bible, or the Church. (Proverbs 3:5 says " Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.")

But just look how silly this "I think for myself and therefore whatever I come up with is true" philosophy. A camera is a camera whether or not you believe it to be. If one person says that a camera is really a cow, that doesn’t make it a cow, no matter how sincere the person may be, and how convinced the person’s mind may be.

And if God says in his word that homosexuality, sorcery, adultery, etc., are evil, how stupid is it of man to believe otherwise? Truth is truth, no matter how much man may rationalize otherwise. And signing up to follow a set of principles as espoused in the Bible is not “blindly following the Pope”.

Rather, obeying what is true is good and right, and is a virtue, not a vice. Going off on your own way because you “feel” it’s right is a vice. What if you’re going the wrong way? Where will you end up 100 years from now by following what you “feel” is best? Heaven or Hell?

The devil, called by Jesus “the father of lies” in John 8:44, has done a great job of convincing the Media, Madison Avenue, and Hollywood (an unholy trinity if there ever was one), that evil is good and good is evil. The bible condemns this upside down thinking in Isaiah 5:20:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

And yet, that is exactly the kind of society we live in today. GK Chesterton, the great Catholic writer of the early twentieth century, once said that only dead bodies go with the current. It takes live ones to swim against it. And that is so true.

It’s so easy to go with the flow, rather than to speak The Truth and get made fun of for being a bible thumper. The biggest battle most parents have today is convincing their children that what they see on TV, billboards, and in the movies is garbage, and what they learn in church on Sunday is The Truth.

We are all being inundated with lies when we watch entertainment. For instance, when there is a death or an imminent catastrophe about to happen on a show, how many people do you see praying? None. When a clergyman is portrayed in a TV show, is it a positive or a negative portrayal? More than likely it’s a negative one.

When marriage is portrayed on TV, is it holy, or unholy? Unholy, most likely. And just how many times do we hear organizations like the military and schools ignore the term “Christmas”, in favor of the innocuous term “holiday”?

In John 8:44, Jesus compares lying to murder:

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.

Here are some great quotes from God regarding what truth is:

Isaiah 45:19 I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, `Seek me in chaos.' I the LORD speak the truth, I declare what is right. Ezra 45:1: "Now concerning the signs: behold, the days are coming when those who dwell on earth shall be seized with great terror, and the way of truth shall be hidden, and the land shall be barren of faith.

(**NOTE** - These days appear to be here now)

Psalm 45:8: The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.

John 1: 14 : And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.

John 1:17: For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 8: 31-32: Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

John 8:44: You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 14:6: Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.

John 15:26: but when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me;

John 16: 7: Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

John 16:13: When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

John 18: 37-38: Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them, "I find no crime in him.

Romans 1: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth.

Romans 1:25: because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

Galatians 4: 16: Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?

1 Timothy 3: 15: if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

1 John 1: 6: If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth;

1 John 1:8: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 John 4:6: We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

1 Timothy 1:8-10: Now we know that the law is good, if any one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for menslayers, immoral persons, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

(**NOTE** Here lying is lumped in with a murder, immorality, sodomy, and kidnapping)

1 John 2: 4: He who says "I know him" but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

1 John 2:22: Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:20: If any one says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

1 John 5:10: He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne to his Son. Revelation 21:8: But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death."

So don't be like Pontius Pilate and question what truth is. Truth is whatever God, His Word, and His Church says it is, not what we may think it is, or what we wish it to be. Jesus Christ is Truth, and the devil is the father of lies. Thinking for yourself when it comes to deciding what truth is may seem smart and right, but listening to what The Word says is the better, and only true, path to take.

God sent the Holy Spirit to guide His Church in Truth, not to each individual person. Sinful priests today do not negate what the Truth is, anymore than the sinful Judas and Peter negated what Jesus taught way back when.

And intelligent people need to discern (a gift of the Holy Spirit, by the way) when people are giving their strong personal opinions cleverly disguised and packaged as fact. People can be sincere in their opinions, for sure, but also be sincerely wrong.

CS Lewis once remarked that Hell is full of people who said "My will be done". Heaven is full of people who said "Thy will be done", so choose wisely !

1 comment:

michael gormley said...

GOD sends no one to hell. We send ourselves through the decisions we make in this life. In addition to GOD's laws written in our hearts, GOD also built in a hunger for Him and an innate desire to seek Him out. Since GOD is 'truth', that innate desire is to seek the 'truth' in all things. When we have sought the truth and have found it, then we have found GOD.