Communion is just a symbol!

Of course i do not believe this, but I want to put on my fundamentalist protestant hat and play objector for this thread.

My family and friends think it is just symbolic because…He who is Truth said…do this in REMEMBRANCE of me. So the idea is that it’s just like a memorial of sorts with no spiritual significance.

In the book of John, Jesus spoke symbolically and refers to Himself as a gate in John 10:9, but Catholics don’t take him literally there, so why do you take him literal 4 chapters earlier when he said " For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink." John 6:55

Clearly, Jesus is speaking symbolically there as well. Once again the Catholic Church got it wrong!!!

Firstly, they are interpreting “in remembrance of me” wrongly. It means to reconnect to the event being done, it doesn’t mean “just think of me when you do this.”

Secondly, ask them why Jesus was so specific and made it a commandment to do this rite, if it is only spiritual? Why did St. Paul tell us that people had gotten sick and died because they ate and drank the sacred species unworthily, if it is only spiritual, merely a symbol?

Thirdly, what was Jesus doing at the Last Supper? He told us himself, he was establishing a new covenant in his body and blood. All the covenants God made with man from Adam on were actual sacrifices, not merely “spiritual.” Jesus was saying that the offering of his body and blood was the new sacrifice offered for sin.

Fourthly, it is a symbol, but it’s not only a symbol. All the sacraments are symbols and signs of actual graces being bestowed through them. So, they’ve got that part kind of right, but not fully right.

In the book of John, Jesus spoke symbolically and refers to Himself as a gate in John 10:9, but Catholics don’t take him literally there, so why do you take him literal 4 chapters earlier when he said " For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink." John 6:55

Clearly, Jesus is speaking symbolically there as well. Once again the Catholic Church got it wrong!!!

All the metaphorical images he used, gate, shepherd, etc. were leading up to telling them about being united with him more intimately, through consuming his body and blood. The Jews were so shocked by this they not only didn’t believe him, many who had been his disciples turned away and followed him no more. Jesus didn’t correct them. He didn’t tell them he was speaking metaphorically. Instead, he turned to Peter to ask if his central core followers, his Apostles would also leave him over this teaching. Peter answered for them all saying, “To whom else can we go? You have the words of everlasting life.” Seems pretty straight-forward.

The teaching that the Eucharist is truly Christ’s body and blood is an ancient one. Actually, it is they, your family/friends, who have to explain why they have rejected the clear teaching of the Church, as taught by the Apostles. Catholics don’t have to explain why we retained this teaching so central to Christian belief and practice as recorded in Scripture. :slight_smile:

Word study on “anamnesis” (Gk) and “zikkaron” (Heb).

This is a pretty interesting video, and the website, just need to translate.

youtube.com/watch?v=qbg_dhI4XCs

forosdelavirgen.org/77743/el-papa-francisco-fue-protagonista-de-uno-de-los-mayores-milagros-eucaristicos-de-la-historia-14-04-22/

I just did a quick search, but did not dig deep into the author.

I always found it interesting that the manna in the desert, according to fundamentalism, was real, but the true manna from heaven is fake.

Peace and God Bless
Nicene

That’s one area of the Orthodox Church that I love.

They very strongly equate manna from the OT to the bread of Life in the Eucharist. I don’t even think they call it anything though, just “what is it” which is what manna means, or so I have been told.

I’ve been told that the word “anamnesis” means to GNAW ON or basically eat it like a hungry savage.

Is that accurate?

You scared me! Luckily, I have already refuted this belief on my blog!

thanks

As a Catholic I think it’s just another incredible miracle given to God’s holy Catholic and apostolic Church.

As a protestant I would dismiss it as Satan playing more tricks to lead Catholics to hell. Anything to take their eyes off the “real Jesus” who desires not signs for us, but personal relationships with us.

This was a very problematic verse for me as a non-Catholic. Symbols don’t kill people, last I checked.

The protestant rebuttal is that it wasn’t communion itself that killed them, it was the act that angered God, just like when Ananias lied to the Spirit and dropped dead.(I think Acts 5)

Thirdly, what was Jesus doing at the Last Supper? He told us himself, he was establishing a new covenant in his body and blood. All the covenants God made with man from Adam on were actual sacrifices, not merely “spiritual.” Jesus was saying that the offering of his body and blood was the new sacrifice offered for sin.

Fourthly, it is a symbol, but it’s not only a symbol. All the sacraments are symbols and signs of actual graces being bestowed through them. So, they’ve got that part kind of right, but not fully right.

Good point

All the metaphorical images he used, gate, shepherd, etc. were leading up to telling them about being united with him more intimately, through consuming his body and blood. The Jews were so shocked by this they not only didn’t believe him, many who had been his disciples turned away and followed him no more. Jesus didn’t correct them. He didn’t tell them he was speaking metaphorically. Instead, he turned to Peter to ask if his central core followers, his Apostles would also leave him over this teaching. Peter answered for them all saying, “To whom else can we go? You have the words of everlasting life.” Seems pretty straight-forward.

So the protestant rebuttal for that is that Jesus speaks figuratively does not make a habit of correcting himself:

John 2:19-22New International Version (NIV)

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

Thanks for your response!!!:thumbsup:

You’re talking about “trogo” (Gk).

better question, why are some so determine to deny the Lord’s Real Presence in the consecrated bread and wine?

clearly Jesus has the power to turn the bread and wine in to His Body and Blood. clearly, there is nothing greater in this world than being able to have complete communion with the Whole of the Incarnate Word.

surely accepting that the consecrated bread and wine is the Real and Complete Presence of Jesus in this world does not diminish the mysterious and spiritual presence of Jesus in the Body that is His flock and His Church or in the least of these we encounter in this world. nor does it diminish our experience of Jesus in the rest of our prayers.

so what is the motivation of those who would deny the greatest, after His Church, of all the gifts that Jesus has given to His flock?

it cannot be that Jesus did not have the power to change the bread and wine in to His Body and Blood. it cannot be that the Holy Eucharist in any way diminishes our encounter with the Risen Lord through other ways. so what is it that prompts people to
question the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist.

why reduce the Lord’s Words and His Infinite and Mysterious gift to a mere symbol? after those who deny the Real Presence answer these questions, maybe i could provide more on this issue, but without such answers, i do not even know where to begin addressing their assertions.

the above is why i could never stop believing in the Real Presence of the Lord in the consecrated bread and wine.

Protestant objection…

If the elements actually change, then why did Paul still refer to it as “bread”:

1 Corinthians 11:28New International Version (NIV)

28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.

also, i am not sure i agree that when Jesus refers to Himself as the Gate in to the Kingdom of heaven he is speaking symbolically. as i see Catholic spirituality, Jesus is the literal gate in to the Kingdom of Heaven and the only way in to the Kingdom of Heaven is through the gate that is Jesus.

i suppose we could say that Jesus is speaking analogously when He refers to Himself as the Gate into heaven, but symbolically, i do not think so if symbol means representative instead of actual.

it seems that once again we need to agree on what we mean when we use words such as symbol and literal.

The objections of Protestants who deny the Real Presence are pretty weak, don’t you think? There’s so much going against their interpretations, that, if it were I having to rely on them, I’d blush to present them. Some people will say anything to deny something they simply don’t want to believe–some from fear and others from deliberate unbelief. I’d be inclined to remind them, if push came to shove, that the Pharisees and Sadducees played the same kind of word games with Christ, and look what it got them. :stuck_out_tongue:

Because it’s still under the appearance of bread and wine and more sophisticated ways of talking about it did not yet exist. Paul still instructs us to discern the truth of it, though.

Christians believed it was true flesh and true blood for fifteen hundred years before the Reformation. It’s well documented. Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans, and Methodists agree. Did evangelicals suddenly just stumble on it being otherwise 400 years ago?

by elements are they referring to the atoms?

the doctrine is that the actual nature of the bread and wine change.

st. paul, the apostle to the gentiles, had not been involved in the protestant rejection of the traditional teaching of the apostles. for him, there was no need to make the distinction that became necessary after the protestants rejected the tradition we had received through the apostles. to st. paul, the bread and the wine were the Body and the Blood after the words of consecration, his terminology had nothing to do with the sixteenth century objection that most likely rose out of the protestors rebellion against apostolic authority.

that would make that particular passage irrelevant to the discussion.

When Jesus says “Hey guys, I am being literal here. My flesh is food. My blood is drink. You must eat and drink it, gnaw at it with your teeth” repetively after multiple objections, we are supposed to then just say he’s speaking in metaphor?

symbols are not holy in and of themselves. they represent something holy.

why would st. paul say that those who take the bread and wine unworthily bring condemnation upon themselves by doing so.

how would unworthily accepting a mere symbol of something holy result in condemnation?

however, unworthily accepting something that is actually holy would and should result in condemnation, as i see it.

there is a substantive difference between accepting something that is only representative of something else and accepting something that is something that is real, the actual thing not just a representation.

maybe an analogy, is spitting on a picture of Jesus the equivalent of spitting on Jesus Himself? is that what protestants believe?

And yet, what greater personal relationship can we have when we receive the Risen Christ in the Eucharist!

It is a LIVING MEMORIAL!

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