A Few Questions for Apologists about the Eucharist

Greetings,

My name is David, I am 19 years old from Conowingo, MD. I’ve been a lurker for quite some time and thought I’d take the plunge to ask some questions on the forums!

I am a former Protestant and probably harbor quite a few misconceptions about Catholicism. I am now B’nai Noach (Judaism) and am looking into Catholicism for research purposes.

A few of these questions are from CARM and I have not yet found answers to these questions.

  1. When Jesus instituted the supper, he had not yet been crucified. How then was the Eucharist is crucified body and blood?

  2. If, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches, that the Eucharist Wine is the literal blood of Christ, then how is that not violating the Old Testament law against drinking the blood of any flesh (Lev. 17:14)?

Thank you,

David
Conowingo, Maryland

Mine as well. I welcome you here, and will attempt to answer your questions. You identify yourself as a Jew (and that’s fine), but I will answer from a Catholic perspective, and I will not apologize for doing so.

  1. When Jesus instituted the supper, he had not yet been crucified. How then was the Eucharist is crucified body and blood?

Where does the idea of “crucified body and blood” enter? Jesus said, “This my Body/Blood” (not "crucified Body/Blood). If Jesus is divine, is it beyond his divine power to offer the Apostles his Body/Blood, at any time?

  1. If, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches, that the Eucharist Wine is the literal blood of Christ, then how is that not violating the Old Testament law against drinking the blood of any flesh (Lev. 17:14)?

If you back up one verse, to the justification of this teaching, you will read

it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.

I find a pleasing and appropriate symmetry here, as well as a justification to find an exception to this Old Testament teaching for the Son of God. The OT teaching forbade this because we have no claim to the atonement of the life of any animal. No animal offers its blood for this purpose. Only Our Lord’s voluntary Sacrifice overcomes this restriction. Only the Blood of Our Lord makes atonement for all of humanity.

Hi David :slight_smile:

I believe Dr Scott Hahn explains it really well here - “The Eucharist: Sacrifice and Banquet” Dr. Scott Hahn (12min youtube video) :slight_smile:

I have not done much research on this, however off the top of my head, I would say it has something to do with the ‘substance’ and ‘accidents’ of the Holy Eucharist.

When at his Last Supper, Jesus said: *“This is my body”, *what he held in his hands still had all the appearances of bread: the “species” or “accidents” remained unchanged. However, when Jesus made that declaration, the underlying reality (the “substance”) of the bread was changed into that of his body, blood, soul and divinity. In other words, it actually was his body, blood, soul and divinity, while all the appearances open to the senses or to scientific investigation (accidents) were still those of bread, exactly as before. The same change of the substance of the bread and of the wine occurs at the consecration of the Eucharist.

The substance being the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ and accidents being the appearance of bread and wine.

Could this be all in our heads? thankfully we are reassured of this through the many Eucharistic miracles that have taken place throughout history were the ‘accidents’ have also changed into literally flesh and blood, (many are still preserved at the Vatican to this day).

What are Eucharistic Miracles? Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, Jesus has proven beyond any doubt that He is truly present in the Holy Eucharist. Why did He have to prove this to us? It is because at certain times in history, there were heresies that denied the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. On other occasions, some priests doubted the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. And yet, on other occasions, the Holy Eucharist was abused by believers and non-believers alike.

What follows are some of the Eucharistic Miracles that took place throughout the history of the Catholic Church. All of these have received the full approval of the Catholic Church. Please find the following link - catholicdoors.com/misc/eucharisticmiracles.htm

I would also like to share with you Scott Hahn’s conversion story, it’s Scott Hahn’s conversion story that converted my Father to Catholicism, as Scott Hahn used to be an evangelical protestant and has converted many to Catholicism, his conversion story free to listen to is here - youtube.com/watch?v=FrQN8LHYg5g

It’s that one absolute truth to the real presense in the Holy Eucharist that converts so many to Catholicism I believe.

I would also like to share with you this youtube video called “Science tests faith” which contains a very recent Eucharistic Miracle in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1999, Pope Francis, then known as Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, also sought a scientific investigation into this Eucharistic Miracle.

Science Tests Faith

For any further questions, I would strongly recommend Dr Scott hahn, as he explains it very well I believe … and CAF :slight_smile:

Hope I have helped

Thank you for reading
Josh

It is interesting that in eg Leviticus 8:15 atonement was not actually made by shedding blood, atonement was made by applying the blood to that which is being consecrated.

That is a difference between CARM (which is Presbyterian which is Calvinist) and Catholic understanding. The Calvinist believes atonement was achieved by the act of the shedding of blood. Catholics believe the Old Testament model of shedding and applying to make atonement.

  1. Because his self-sacrifice (pouring out blood) began right there, at the table.

  2. Yes, it is. Jesus is the new Moses with new rules.

Foundation.

Either a community has one, or it does not. Both the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches have practiced and understood the Holy Eucharist to be the true presence of Christ for nearing 2,000 years. They took Jesus at His word - both on the Eucharist and on the Sacrament of Baptism (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16). Both Churches trace directly back to Christ via the twelve Apostles in an unbroken line.

Slick Matt founded **** (rhymes with harm) a few years back on the foundation of his ego and personal opinion. He “teaches” that the Eucharist is not Christ and that Baptism is not needed - that Christ could not make Himself understood on either the Eucharist or on Baptism. Slick Matt believes that he is smarter than the Apostles. Question: should you listen to such a man who contradicts Christ?

Since extremely few protestants agree with him, you are well advised to completely avoid such ego-driven fringe opinions as those of self-elected pope Matt. History reduces his accusations to empty, but dangerous words.

Kohai. Welcome to CAF.

You said:

I am now B’nai Noach (Judaism) and am looking into Catholicism for research purposes.

Then you said:

A few of these questions are from CARM and I have not yet found answers to these questions.

With good reason you have not found Catholic answers there.

CARM will NOT give you a good handle on Catholicism.

The folks at CARM have repeatedly been corrected on their mischaracterizations of Catholicism and although there has been some improvement over the years, there are still many partial, or even false assertions about what Catholicism is and is not.

You will not be able to get a genuine authentic view of Catholicism from CARM.

Catholics see Jesus as the fulfillment of many Old Testament teachings/people (“greater than Moses”, “a greater than Solomon is here”, the sacrifice provided from God for Abraham was found with a proverbial crown of thorns [head in a thorn thicket], etc.).

The fullness of Christianity (Catholicism) sees Jesus and His work as the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and so much more.

Jesus is the new Moses and the New Covenant is a New Exodus (out of the slavery of sin). Jesus is many other aspects of the Law and the Prophets fulfilled as well (beyond the scope of this thread to go into more detail).

CARM admittedly will see a truncated and partial view of this, but very reduced. You will NOT be able to receive an accurate assessment of Catholicism there.

Just as Rabbinic Judaism, Catholicism grew out of Temple Judaism (I see Catholicism as fulfilled Judaism).

CARM has some facets of authentic Christianity, but it also borrows heavily from the invention of Protestantism in the 1500’s, and the subtractions and additions of their own writers and speakers personal views held as “Christianity”.

I hope your research goes well, but if looking for authentic Catholic teachings, I suggest avoiding CARM.

God bless.

Cathoholic

Matt Slick and CARM were a stepping stone between my christadelphian (very very anti-Catholic) upbringing and the Catholic Church. He helped me on my path to the Catholic Church, so for me he has done good, but probably not in the way he expected.

Please consider writing and telling him the great news!

Maybe not… :smiley:

Thank You, God Bless, Memaw

First of all in those pasaages of the Gospels recounting the Last Supper, Christ tells the Apostles that this bread is his body and this wine is his blood. The separation of blood from the body was recognized as a sign of death. Futher Jesus and the Apostles were celebrating the Passover at which a lamb is sacrificed to recall the covenant.But at this particular celebration Christ was offering Himself as the Pascal Lamb of the new covenant. He was sacrificing himself in advance of the actual crucifixion.

And since he was God, he could make his body and blood present present in the Sacrament before he had physically experienced death. Also in the same vein, since the Apopstles could not see his body or his blood, they understand that they were receiving a body which was some how " spiritualized. " At that moment they wouldn’t have understood that because they had not yet grasped what Christ had told them that he would rise again. So once again, they were experiencing an event which had not yet taken place. They were receiving the glorified body and blood of Christ in anticipation of his actual Resurrection. So at the Last Supper Christ worked a number of first class miracles.

He converted the bread and wine into his body and blood, he offered his actual sacrifice before the event had taken place in time, and he gave the Apostles his Resurrected and Glorified body and blood before the event, both in anticipation of the actual events. So at the Last Supper, the Apostles received the sacrificed and glorified body and blood of Christ through the transforming power of his Divinity. This is what Paul is telling us in first Corenthians, 1-11. .

If, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches, that the Eucharist Wine is the literal blood of Christ, then how is that not violating the Old Testament law against drinking the blood of any flesh (Lev. 17:14)?

Christ was establishing a new covenant which had been foretold in the Old Testament. Thus the old law was abolished, the Old Testament was being fulfilled in a new covenant. The old dietary laws were abolished, ipso facto.

Pax

Linus2nd

Yeah… CARM’s not that great a site to research Catholicism on. It’s better than Chick Tracks, but there are still much better options.

Take, for instance, the Ten Commandments. They claim that Catholics removed the commandment on idolatry, when really, we grouped it with the prohibition against worshiping false gods. (Something you’d understand, because I believe Judaism does the same thing)

  1. When Jesus instituted the supper, he had not yet been crucified. How then was the Eucharist is crucified body and blood?

Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey…

In all seriousness, though. God is outside of time. Just because Jesus hadn’t actually been crucified until that day on Calvary, doesn’t mean God couldn’t save people before that. Mary was saved through her son’s death when she was conceived.

  1. If, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches, that the Eucharist Wine is the literal blood of Christ, then how is that not violating the Old Testament law against drinking the blood of any flesh (Lev. 17:14)?

Understand that in Catholicism (and most of Christianity), we see Levitical Law as having been fulfilled. You’ll also notice that we’re fine with eating pork or shellfish or doing a lot of stuff prohibited in Leviticus. It’s because in Christianity, we believe that Jesus fulfilled the (Old) Law of the Old Covenant, and that we’re bound by a new Law of a New Covenant.

The dietary laws of the Old Covenants no longer apply under the New Covenant. See Mark 7:14-23.

Thank you all for your replies! Very much appreciated.

I seen a lot of Catholics answer question number 2 with the standard “Doesn’t apply” reply. What, then, is the Catholic position on Exodus 12:14, 12:17, 12:43, 27:21 etc. which all proclaim that “This is an eternal law for all generations”

Deuteronomy also identifies anyone who tries to claim that the law is “abolished” or in a sense “no longer applies” as a false prophet.

What is the Catholic view on that?

Thank you,

David

The Catholic view is basically that if one is “in Christ”, that is, baptized into His Life and Death, one has already fulfilled the law inasmuch as Christ lived a perfectly blameless life.

One no longer lives his own life, but the Life of one who has died, been resurrected and lives at the right hand of God. The Abrahamic Covenant no longer applies to Him.

peace
steve

vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P1N.HTM

I. JESUS AND THE LAW

577 At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus issued a solemn warning in which he presented God’s law, given on Sinai during the first covenant, in light of the grace of the New Covenant:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets: I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law, until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.329

581 The Jewish people and their spiritual leaders viewed Jesus as a rabbi.340 He often argued within the framework of rabbinical interpretation of the Law.341 Yet Jesus could not help but offend the teachers of the Law, for he was not content to propose his interpretation alongside theirs but taught the people “as one who had authority, and not as their scribes”.342 In Jesus, the same Word of God that had resounded on Mount Sinai to give the written Law to Moses, made itself heard anew on the Mount of the Beatitudes.343 Jesus did not abolish the Law but fulfilled it by giving its ultimate interpretation in a divine way: "You have heard that it was said to the men of old. . . But I say to you. . ."344 With this same divine authority, he disavowed certain human traditions of the Pharisees that were “making void the word of God”.345

You said it all, in two sentences, Steve !

"He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3:21 RSVCE

CCC 608 a, c After agreeing to baptize him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”.422 By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is . . . . the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover.423 Christ’s whole life expresses his mission: "to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."424

Kohai. You correctly pointed out the unending nature of the Passover in post 14. And I see you also appropriately asked how Catholics thought of this perpetual nature of the Passover feast or Passover Festival (“What is the Catholic view on that?”).

That is a great question.

The Passover IS to be kept for ever. The Passover IS an immemorial offering to be kept in perpetuity. (This is one of the reasons I am Catholic)

EXODUS 12:14 14 "This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance for ever.

Catholics do NOT do away with the Passover.

Catholics participate in the fulfilled Passover. This is part of the reason why I said that Catholicism is fulfilled Judaism.

If I were in Rabbinic Judaism, I would merely be participating in the Passover in this life and NOT for ever, NOT in perpetuity.

But in Catholicism we are participating in the Passover “for ever” . . . . in this life . . . AND . . . .in the life to come.

This is WHY even in HEAVEN we participate in the fulfilled Passover or the “Wedding Supper of the Lamb.”

REVELATION 3:20 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

In HEAVEN we participate in the fulfilled Passover or the “Wedding Supper of the Lamb.”

A prefigurative glimpse of this is seen in Exodus with the blood of the Covenant leading to going up on the mountain to . . . . behold God and eat and drink.

EXODUS 24:8-11 8 And Moses took the blood and threw it upon the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.” 9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

This is WHY St. Paul who studied at the feet of Rabbi Gamaliel, can say . . . .

1st CORINTHIANS 5:7-8a 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival . . .

There is a free video offered by Dr. Brant Pitre here that will explain all of this much better than I can. I would get this video as quickly as possible because sometimes these free offerings are taken down by the authors and this one is particularly excellent.

REVELATION 19:3-9a 3 Once more they cried, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5 And from the throne came a voice crying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.” 6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8 it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”-- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. 9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

**
CCC 1329a** The Lord’s Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.143

The Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meat when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread,144 above all at the Last Supper.145 It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection,146 . . . .

There seem to me to be 2 major points to consider:

  1. Whose blood?
    The text seems to be concerned with the blood of animals - but could also I suppose include human blood altho the text does not mention humans.

  2. Purpose for consuming the blood.
    The purpose seems to involve doing it in a religious ritual context and doing it for the purpose of receiving the “life” contained in the blood.

So, Leviticus is forbidding the consumption of blood of animals and blood of human persons related in some inappropriate way (desire/motivation/…) to receiving their life within oneself. Just a wrong thing to do ------ and it doesn’t work anyway!

But drinking the blood of a Divine Person is something entirely different. The Leviticus passage mentions nothing about such blood - either for or against. It just isn’t a part of the Leviticus prohibition.
The “life” in Our Divine Lord’s blood is not ordinary human “life”.
John 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 6:54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life,

It’s immortal life – a type of life that is not present in ordinary humans.
John 6:53 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;

A correction/addition to my above post regarding the “Purpose for consuming the blood”.
Altho the Leviticus passage deals with religious ritual, Deuteronomy forbids it for ordinary consumption also.

Deut.12:15 et seq "However, you may slaughter and eat flesh within any of your towns, as much as you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and as of the hart. … Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out upon the earth like water.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.