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.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


by Rich A. Rosendahl.

We all submit to social norms — some are helpful, some are unhelpful and even hateful.

Often, the social norms we adhere to are rooted in ideologies that have developed over time and are connected to an affinity group that we may be part of.

In other words, we are following them because people like us follow them.

For example, I am a white guy who grew up in a small town in the Midwest with a culturally Christian and conservative background.

These are just a couple of examples of potential attributes from my formative years that could affect the affinity group and subsequent social norms that I adhere to for the balance of my life.

Jesus, on the other hand, seemed to have zero concern for social norms or ideologies of those who he was supposed to be like — his affinity group. When he went against these norms he was often challenged or ridiculed and eventually even killed for his approach and ideology.

But none of that stopped him from having what sometimes seemed like a big F*** You attitude when people tried to pressure him to conform to their social norms.

So what was this ideology of his? It was the ideology of Love.
To this day, we fight the concept of Loving others, often to the death. Our affinity groups lead toward division, mistrust, and misunderstanding. While we are busy trying to conform to the social norms that make us part of our group, even if unintentionally, others are doing the same.

This creates gaps between us and others that sometimes seem insurmountable, because Loving others feels like a rejection of our own affinity group.

But the ideology of Love — the ideology of Jesus — rejects and resists the pressure to conform to social norms and affinity groups altogether by revealing the humanity that we share, the friendships that are accessible, and the remarkable things we can achieve together.

The ideology of Jesus makes room for us to be unique, including the helpful social norms we adhere to, even as it removes the need to feel threatened or fearful of the those who are uniquely different than us.

Right now, there seems to be a hell-of-a-lot of influential religious and political leaders jockeying for us to follow their ideologies — often trying to leverage what should be our affinity group to pressure us into the social norms that fit their agenda.

In the midst of all of this, I am reminded that there was a leader that came before all of them who rejected these concepts altogether, showing us how to do the same and revealing the ideology of Love.

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