Are we really taking Jesus' words literally at the last supper?


#1

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

CCC
1374 …In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.”… it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."

I was always taught that it didn’t matter under which species we received the Eucharist because was whollly present in both.

So are we really taking Jesus’ words literally. What we are saying is “This is Me, wholly and substantially present but symbolic of my body/ blood which will be spilled for you”.

Aren’t we actually taking His words as a symbol?


#2

Strictly speaking, the consecrated Bread becomes His Body – but because His Blood, Soul, and Divinity can no longer be separated from His Flesh, since he can no longer be injured or killed, they come along too. The technical term is that the other three aspects of Jesus are present "by concomitance.’

Likewise, the consecrated Wine becomes His Blood – but His Body/Flesh, Soul, and Divinity come along for the ride by concomitance, because they cannot be separated.

It’s true, though, that we do not believe that any given Host is a particular piece of Jesus-meat, nor the contents of a particular chalice a specific quantity of His Blood. There is a symbolic element, to be sure, in that we eat something sort of flesh-like and drink something sort of blood-like, but we are not really tearing into muscle and drinking blood. We are receiving Jesus, without cutting Him apart or affecting Him in any way, under another form.

Usagi


#3

It’s late, and I’m half asleep, but I’m tempted to answer from a philosopher’s point of view, and it seems to be a matter of distinction.

We believe that we receive the substance (in an Aristotelian sense) of Christ when we receive Holy Communion. The substance of ordinary bread and wine are changed into the substance of Christ (hence transubstantiation).

The flesh and blood themselves don’t have a substance on their own. In a particular sense: Jesus’ flesh cannot exist without Jesus.

This is why we say that we receive “the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus” in the Blessed Sacrament. What we’re receiving is Christ himself, as a whole, not just a portion of him.

And, on a basic level, perhaps Christ spoke the way he did that way he didn’t need to teach the Metaphysics to fishermen :wink:


#4

Perhaps that was a bit high level in the event that he isn’t familiar with the Aristotelian definitions for substance and accident.

In the event that this is the case, two handy little definitions:

Substance is that to which it belongs, or is characterized by the ability to exist by itself.

Accident is that to which it belongs, or is characterized by existing in some other thing.

So, to use an example: a tree is, substantially, a tree. But it has accidents of shape, color, size, etc. If it loses its leaves, it continues to be a tree, because that is its substance.

If you burn the tree, it changes substantially and becomes ashes, now with accidents corresponding to ashes. That was both a substantial and accidental change.

In the case of the Eucharist, however, we have a case where the substance of the bread and wine is changing into Christ’s Body and Blood, but the accidents remain the same, so it still appears and smells and tastes like bread and wine.


#5

Christ did not explain all the theological details. He was talking to those present, and also said to do this in memory of me. The priest consumes both species. Something to remember regarding the transubstantiation is that the Most Holy Trinity is present in the Eucharist, because, as defined dogmatically in the Council of Florence, each of the persons of the Most Holy Trinity interpenetrates the others. This is called perichoresis, circumin***c***ession, or circumin***s***ession.


#6

This is might sound completely idiotic but then when He says, “this is My Body” He doesn’t literally mean this is My Body. But, “This is Myself”
And likewise with the Blood, “This is myself, but it symbolises the separation of my body and blood.”

So ironically we also believe Jesus was speaking somewhat symbolically there.

And don’t flesh and blood have their own substance? With their own accidence? If I bled that blood would substantially be blood, one of it’s accidence would be its relation to me, as well as colour etc.


#7

We take his words at the last supper literally, for they are actually his body and blood.

We take his words at the last supper symbolically, for the blood and the body are symbolically separated under the forms of wine and bread, which represent his death…the sacrifice of the lamb on the altar.

As Edward R Murrow long ago would say in his new casts, “you are there”.

May divine mercy, peace, and love be yours in ever greater measure.


#8

I rather think Jesus was speaking for emphasis without the intention of exclusion. I think when Jesus said, “This is my body,” I do not think he meant to exclude the other aspects of his offering of himself (his blood, soul and divinity) also present but meant to emphasis the offering of his body when he blessed and broke the bread. Likewise, when he said, “This is my blood,” I do not think he meant to exclude the other aspects of his offering of himself (his body, soul and divinity) also present but meant to emphasis the offering of his blood when he blessed and shared the wine.

For example, should a person sitting down to eat a hamburger patty in a bun topped with cheese, lettuce, ketchup, onions, and pickles be asked if his meal included a serving from various food groups might respond by raising his whole hamburger and saying, “This is my serving of bread,” by raising his whole hamburger a second time and saying, “This is my serving of meat,” by raising his whole hamburger a third time and saying, “This is serving of dairy,” and by raising his whole hamburger a fourth time and saying, “This is my serving of vegetables.” All four times the whole hamburger was raised but only one food group in the hamburger was emphasized each time, though other food groups were also present in the hamburger.


#9

But Jesus’ flesh and blood cannot exist without Jesus. He is necessary for either to be. If they have their own substance and accidents (and I’m not sure what the answer would be off the top of my head), they are secondary to the primary substance of Jesus. The substance of Jesus exists “inside” or “underneath” them, and is required for them to be at all.


#10

It’s not that idiotic. Actually it’s closer to the Greek and Latin, being that the demonstrative in English is so vague and perhaps misleading.


#11

SirEwenii;12634883
I was always taught that it didn’t matter under which species we received the Eucharist because was whollly present in both.

So are we really taking Jesus’ words literally. What we are saying is “This is Me, wholly and substantially present but symbolic of my body/ blood which will be spilled for you”.

Aren’t we actually taking His words as a symbol?

At the last supper (Jesus); the Word of God is present institutes the Eucharist, not as a symbol but as a Sacrament. Sacrament is the visible sign (bread and wine) instituted by Jesus Christ to part Grace to the believer, with His presence.

A symbol never has such graces or power to bring about the works of God. When a sacrament reveals the finger (works) of God has come upon us.

Each small visible particle (crumb, drop) of the blessed Sacrament in Eucharist is the whole body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.

At the last supper Jesus is fulfilling the Old Testament Passover perpetual law as the sacrifice, God himself will provide. The law dictates we must consume the lamb sacrifice, who takes away the sin of the world.

Real blood, real lamb flesh consumed is the divine promise of eternal life. A symbolic blood or symbolic lamb flesh in the form of bread and drink can never give eternal life.

In the old covenant Passover consumed a real lamb of flesh which prefigured the real lamb of God in the new and everlasting covenant which fulfills the covenant of flesh into the eternal covenant of the Spirit in the incarnation (fully human flesh/ fully divine) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Word of God says; “This is my body, this is my blood”. God calls us to faith here; Faith is the (assurance) realization of things hoped for , the evidence (conviction) of things not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval. By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen (visible) was made out of the things (invisible) which do not appear.

Faith in Eucharist is a spiritual (eternal) reality, that is describes in spiritual terms, which the carnal mind cannot perceive without the Spirit of God.

The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. For that which is discerned according to the flesh in the world avails nothing, but that which is discerned in the Spirit of God gives life. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which comes from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God… but we have the mind of Christ 1Cor.2:6-16

A symbolic body and blood is discerned from a carnal mind.
A true and real presence of Jesus body, blood, soul and divinity is discerned with the Spirit of God.

The Eucharist is Spirit and Truth.

Peace be with you


#12

Yes, but the point is, what is “This”? Is it the bread/wine? Or is the body/blood? If it’s both, that would be consubstantiation but that’s not what Catholics believe.


#13

Agreed. Transubstantiation gives a reasonable definition that a change in substance has taken place. Faith in the real presence however, takes precedence over what the senses dictate to our flesh of taste, sight, smell.

When ever Jesus performed a miracle of healing, no one questioned Jesus with medical terms on how Jesus healed the sick, the blind man, lepers. Amazingly, Jesus informs the healed person; “your faith has healed (saved) you”.

No one questions how Jesus gave sight to the man born blind, including the blind man himself, who asked Jesus to show him who the Son of Man is; so that he may believe in him.

Should not our hearts burn when we hear the liturgy of the Word as did the disciples on the road to Emmaus? And should not our eye’s of faith see Jesus in the breaking of bread? while Jesus present with his disciples in the breaking of bread is known and then vanished from their physical eye sight but not from their hearts and faith.


#14

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