Eucharist Questions


#1

I’m still trying to understand the belief on the Eucharist. Here are some questions I have: 1. How is it that at the Last Supper, Jesus stated the bread was His Body and the wine, His Blood, yet His physical body was still intact before them? Wouldn’t this lead one to believe He was speaking symbolically? 2. Jesus told His Disciples that He was leaving and He would be sending the Comforter in His place. Then, later, He ascends into heaven & the disciples are told that He would return in the same manner that He left. If Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist, wouldn’t that run contrary to what He had said about sending the Holy Spirit and His eventual return to earth? I definitely need some clarification. Thanks.


#2

[quote=oilman]I’m still trying to understand the belief on the Eucharist. Here are some questions I have: 1. How is it that at the Last Supper, Jesus stated the bread was His Body and the wine, His Blood, yet His physical body was still intact before them? Wouldn’t this lead one to believe He was speaking symbolically?
[/quote]

Actually, take a look at the Loaves and Fishes Discourse in John. He tells of the coming Eucharist and after telling that it is required that one Eat of His Flesh and Drink of His Blood, a majority of his followers depart in disgust at such a teaching. On many previous occations Jesus has clarified what he meant when he was misunderstood, and yet here, not only did he not say “Wait a minute guys, I just meant a figurative, symbolic eating of the Bread of Life, just a representative Lamb of God being given here.” No, instead he turns to the Apostles and asks if they too will leave. “Truly, Truly I tell you” (or other translations, “Amen Amen I say to you”)

[quote=oilman]2. Jesus told His Disciples that He was leaving and He would be sending the Comforter in His place.
[/quote]

*(?, paraclete ?, which translation are you using, what verse?) *The Paraclete is the Holy Spirit which descended upon the Apostles at the Pentacost, when they were praying in the upper room. The Holy Spirit has been with us throughout time, as promised and is behind the Charism of Infallibility which guides the Church in staying true to the teachings of Christ, as He revealed them to us 2000 years ago.

[quote=oilman]Then, later, He ascends into heaven & the disciples are told that He would return in the same manner that He left. If Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist, wouldn’t that run contrary to what He had said about sending the Holy Spirit and His eventual return to earth? I definitely need some clarification. Thanks.
[/quote]

Hmmm, don’t know what to say. I’ll think on it and perhaps get back to you (unless someone else here does a better job then I can).

CARose


#3

[quote=oilman]I’m still trying to understand the belief on the Eucharist. Here are some questions I have: 1. How is it that at the Last Supper, Jesus stated the bread was His Body and the wine, His Blood, yet His physical body was still intact before them? Wouldn’t this lead one to believe He was speaking symbolically? 2. Jesus told His Disciples that He was leaving and He would be sending the Comforter in His place. Then, later, He ascends into heaven & the disciples are told that He would return in the same manner that He left. If Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist, wouldn’t that run contrary to what He had said about sending the Holy Spirit and His eventual return to earth? I definitely need some clarification. Thanks.
[/quote]

While going through RCIA, I read this book:

On Being Catholic
Thomas Howard

The section on the Eucharist, especially, made a huge impact on me. It really helped me understand the meaning of the Mass. May not help with all your specific questions, but still it is a good read.

Mark Wyatt
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com


#4

Oh, and as for his body being intact before them at the same time as he held aloft the bread and wine saying “take this and eat it, this is my body” remember Christ is God, and as such he operates outside the constraints of time and space. He can therefore hold up his own body from after the crucifixion which has not yet occurred in time.

CARose


#5

[quote=oilman]I’m still trying to understand the belief on the Eucharist. Here are some questions I have: 1. How is it that at the Last Supper, Jesus stated the bread was His Body and the wine, His Blood, yet His physical body was still intact before them? Wouldn’t this lead one to believe He was speaking symbolically? 2. Jesus told His Disciples that He was leaving and He would be sending the Comforter in His place. Then, later, He ascends into heaven & the disciples are told that He would return in the same manner that He left. If Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist, wouldn’t that run contrary to what He had said about sending the Holy Spirit and His eventual return to earth? I definitely need some clarification. Thanks.
[/quote]

How can God create things out of nothing? How is that possible?

Because He is God!


#6

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]How can God create things out of nothing? How is that possible?

(John 6:53-63) ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat? They said, Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. As I, who am sent by the living father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me. This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our ancestors ate; they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’

He taught this doctrine at Capernaum, in the synagogue. After hearing it, many of his followers said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it? Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before? ‘It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”

I have always believed that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Jesus, and about thirty ago the Holy Spirit confirmed to me that it is truly Jesus’ Body and Blood. Now do I believe that the bread and wine change physically into His body and blood, I can’t say, because when I taste the Eucharist it still taste like bread and wine? Now I know God can do anything so if it happens it happens. Jesus did say to Peter that this teaching was spiritual.
Giver

Because He is God!
[/quote]


#7

You merely taste the accidents, not the substance.


#8

[quote=porthos11]You merely taste the accidents, not the substance.
[/quote]

How do you know?


#9

[quote=oilman]I’m still trying to understand the belief on the Eucharist. Here are some questions I have: 1. How is it that at the Last Supper, Jesus stated the bread was His Body and the wine, His Blood, yet His physical body was still intact before them? Wouldn’t this lead one to believe He was speaking symbolically? 2. Jesus told His Disciples that He was leaving and He would be sending the Comforter in His place. Then, later, He ascends into heaven & the disciples are told that He would return in the same manner that He left. If Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist, wouldn’t that run contrary to what He had said about sending the Holy Spirit and His eventual return to earth? I definitely need some clarification. Thanks.
[/quote]

  1. Because he is God and could be in two places and under two different forms at one time.

1.b. NO. Unless you heard through someone who heard from a reformer who came up with that idea in the 16’th century for ALL of Christinity believed the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist until then.

  1. No, because Jesus is God and can be physically present in one, two or many more forms at one time and in more than one place.

Ken


#10

[quote=Giver]How do you know?
[/quote]

Basic philosophy. Things like shape, color, texture, taste, smell, etc, are all accidents. Strictly speaking, no one perceives substance. One only perceives accidents, otherwise known as “properties.” For example, in unconsecrated bread, what you “see” is not the bread, but rather, the visual accidents of bread. The substance of the bread is its “is-ness.” Substance is not perceivable.


#11

[quote=CARose]Oh, and as for his body being intact before them at the same time as he held aloft the bread and wine saying “take this and eat it, this is my body” remember Christ is God, and as such he operates outside the constraints of time and space. He can therefore hold up his own body from after the crucifixion which has not yet occurred in time.

CARose
[/quote]

Hi CARose,
I bolded this part of your response in oder to focus on it.

I think it might be just a tad innacurate to say that at the Last Supper Christ gave His disciples His Glorified, Post-Crucifixion, Post-Resurrection Body.

To be sure, they did participate in the sacrifice of Calvary then, but by way of anticipation rather than by way or *re-presentation (*as we do now.) Thus in that sense, the Last Supper was the same priest and the same sacrifice (and in an unbloody and sacramental manner, just as *our *Mass is.) However, I think that we should make the distinction between the pre-Calvary Eucharist and the Post-Calvary Eucharist, not because they are different – they both are the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ – but because the Doctrine of the Real Presence would seem to indicate that Christ was not really glorified yet, and so the disciples did not receive His glorified body at the Last Supper.

For support of this please see Fr. Hardon’s Easter and the Eucharist:

At the Last Supper, when Christ pronounced the words, “This is my Body” this is the chalice of my Blood,” the Body and Blood that were to be nailed to the Cross and shed on Calvary. . . Since the Resurrection of Christ, the Holy Eucharist is indeed the true, living Body and Blood of Christ. But it is now the Risen Christ in His glorified humanity.

and St. Thomas Aquinas

[font=Times New Roman][size=3]For it is manifest that the same body of Christ which was then seen by the disciples in its own species, was received by them under the sacramental species. But as seen in its own species it was not impassible; nay more, it was ready for the Passion. Therefore, neither was Christ’s body impassible when given under the sacramental species.

[/size][/font](Part III, Q. 81, Art. 3 of the Summa)

I bring this up only because I beleive that it help protect the Doctrine of the Real Presence and can help us more to adore and kneel in wonder before our Lord Jesus Christ, really present.

What do you think?

God Bless,
VC.


#12

[quote=oilman]I’m still trying to understand the belief on the Eucharist. Here are some questions I have: 1. How is it that at the Last Supper, Jesus stated the bread was His Body and the wine, His Blood, yet His physical body was still intact before them? Wouldn’t this lead one to believe He was speaking symbolically?
[/quote]

My first question to you is, what exactly would the symbolism have been? Protestants argue that to eat His flesh and drink His blood is symbolic of accepting and acting on His teachings, but the Last Supper, if symbolic, does not support that. Christ did not hold up anything representing His teachings, He held up bread and wine.

Secondly, what are the properties of Christ’s glorified body? Do you know for certain that God Himself could not have held His own glorified body at that moment?

  1. Jesus told His Disciples that He was leaving and He would be sending the Comforter in His place. Then, later, He ascends into heaven & the disciples are told that He would return in the same manner that He left. If Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist, wouldn’t that run contrary to what He had said about sending the Holy Spirit and His eventual return to earth? I definitely need some clarification. Thanks.

But doesn’t Jesus “return” every time two or three are gathered in His name? Your same arguments go against those clear words of Scripture.


#13

[quote=oilman]2. Jesus told His Disciples that He was leaving and He would be sending the Comforter in His place. Then, later, He ascends into heaven & the disciples are told that He would return in the same manner that He left. If Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist, wouldn’t that run contrary to what He had said about sending the Holy Spirit and His eventual return to earth? I definitely need some clarification. Thanks.
[/quote]

This stuff gets confusing. The first point is that Jesus is going to return physically at the Second Coming. It’s somewhat wrong to think of the presence in the Real Presence as physical, strictly speaking, because it exists on a level deeper than just physical. The words that the Church uses are truly, really and substantially, and perhaps those would be the best words to use here. Jesus is truly, really and substantially present in the Eucharist, and he will return physically on the Second Coming.

I can’t really help if you want more explanation of the point about why physical isn’t necessarily the best term, but maybe some of the people here can help.


#14

[quote=oilman]I’m still trying to understand the belief on the Eucharist. Here are some questions I have: 1. How is it that at the Last Supper, Jesus stated the bread was His Body and the wine, His Blood, yet His physical body was still intact before them? Wouldn’t this lead one to believe He was speaking symbolically? 2. Jesus told His Disciples that He was leaving and He would be sending the Comforter in His place. Then, later, He ascends into heaven & the disciples are told that He would return in the same manner that He left. If Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist, wouldn’t that run contrary to what He had said about sending the Holy Spirit and His eventual return to earth? I definitely need some clarification. Thanks.
[/quote]

you think it’s hard to imagine Jesus in the bread and before them
at the same time… imagine this, He is in the host i consume,
wholly… not part of Him, but Jesus, completely… and in the host
the person behind and before me takes… it’s only
possible because He is God…

Jesus will come back ‘bodily’ just as he left bodily, this is the
2nd comming… He can and does come back anytime as
often as He wishes spiritually…

Matthew 18:
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

and remember, this is only my feeble attempt to explain
mysteries that are unexplainable… lol

:slight_smile:


#15

[quote=oilman]… 2. Jesus told His Disciples that He was leaving and He would be sending the Comforter in His place. Then, later, He ascends into heaven & the disciples are told that He would return in the same manner that He left. If Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist, wouldn’t that run contrary to what He had said about sending the Holy Spirit and His eventual return to earth? I definitely need some clarification. Thanks.
[/quote]

I think you need to understand that these are two seperate incidents which are being adressed, as you say(Then, later).
In which what is being addressed is His second coming at the end of time. So that we may not be fooled, as Jesus warns us when He tells the aposltes not to be fooled when people say look there he is, for we are to look for Him at the end coming as He went.
To the first question though, the sacrefice of Jesus was not a single instant occurance in time, but rather an eternal sacrifice which is represented at the mass. We do not resacrifice Him but we enter into His eternal sacrifice. And since it was eternal, and eternity is outside time, it became efficatious both backward and forward. If then those who came before Him were saved by the cross, where is the problem?


#16

[quote=Verbum Caro]I think it might be just a tad innacurate to say that at the Last Supper Christ gave His disciples His Glorified, Post-Crucifixion, Post-Resurrection Body.

To be sure, they did participate in the sacrifice of Calvary then, but by way of anticipation rather than by way or *re-presentation (*as we do now.)
[/quote]

When we speak of the Mass being a *re-presentation * of the sacrifice of Calvary, it is just another way of saying that it is that same sacrifice made present to us now. Not a different sacrifice, but the same one.

That being the case, I’m not sure that the Apostles receiving the same sacrifice by way of anticipation rather than *re-presentation * really makes any difference in the underlying reality.

If the sacrifice of Calvary can be extended throughout time and space by the power of God, so as to be present in each and every Eucharist, I don’t see any particular reason why there should be any difference between extending that reality to “future” times as in extending it to “past” times such as the Last Supper.

Time and location are, after all, mere accidents as far as the Eucharist is concerned.

And when speaking of God’s reality, all times are now; all places are here.

I hesitate to quibble with either Aquinas or Fr. Hardon; this is just my own thinking. But perhaps their thinking along these lines was too constrained by concerns of temporal time lines.


#17

When we speak of the Mass being a re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary, it is just another way of saying that it is that same sacrifice made present to us now. Not a different sacrifice, but the same one.

the sacrefice of Jesus was not a single instant occurance in time, but rather an eternal sacrifice which is represented at the mass. We do not resacrifice Him but we enter into His eternal sacrifice.

So let me get this straight: Jesus death was the once and for all final sacrifice. Then He rose from the dead and is now seated on the right hand of the Father, glorified in heaven. So is it that He is in a state of eternal sacrifice or is it that the sacrifice is done and complete and what we now have is the eternal RESULT of that final sacifice? I hope I’m not confusing the issue but I am just trying to make sense of this all. I realize these are great mysteries of which we can only understand in part but I need some basic clarity of these mysteries before I can consider embracing them as truth.


#18

Please note that the first two paragraphs of my above post are quotes made by others on this thread.


#19

The Second Person of the Trinity had to become incarnate as man in order to accomplish the sacrifice on Calvary. He had to become human, and in his human nature, He could suffer and die, at a particular place and time.

But the sacrifice is also an eternal sacrifice, continually offered to the Father in Heaven.

We make much of “salvation history” and rightly so. For God injected himself into history from the beginning, culminating with sending His Son.

But from God’s eternal viewpoint, did He watch history unfold, waiting for the proper time to send his son? No–because God does not exist in time, but eternity. He sees all times as now.

Jesus is risen from the dead in his glorified body and sits at his Father’s right hand. At the same time, his eternal sacrifice continues to be offerred. That’s the best I can do. I’m sure that are some theological nuances that I’m missing.


#20

Thanks JimG, you’ve done an excellent job of representing my position on this for Oilman.

Oilman, I had a priest explain to me that we are traveling on a line constrained by time, moving in one direction only, and God on the other hand is not constrained by time at all, being God as he is. This simple explanation opened up a whole new way of understanding the Eucharist for me, as I realized that we have in fact the Actual Sacrifice brought forward from a point in time and made present for us in our current time and place by a God who knows no constraints of time or space. This realization made the Eucharist so much more real for me, as you suggested above.

But if God is not constrained by time moving forward, neither is He constained by time from moving backwards, as was the case with Mary and saving her at the moment of her conception, so that she was Conceived without the stain of Original Sin.

But I contemplated even further on the subject, and why/how could God not be constrained by time, and I came to realize that we are bound by time because we are physical beings, having a material form. As such, we require time in order to move, much like an old fashioned movie film, with each frame (moment in time) capturing a particular state of action. If you take the frames in any random sequence, the action would have little likelihood of presenting a coherent sense of order, no specific tasks would be shown to be brought to completion, nothing would be accomplished, there would be no story.

The same is true for physical beings. We move through our lives by willing our bodies to move, one moment at a time working towards a goal, either momentary or momentous.

God, on the other hand, is pure Spirit and is therefore not constrained by time. I don’t know how this applies to Angels, good or bad (I’ve thought about it and have my conjecture, but I don’t know what the Church teaches on the subject that I may not have learned, so I hesitate to suggest I know anything specific).

To me, this is simply another case of how the more I know, the richer the truths of the Church have been found to be.

This is why I love being Catholic. I learn and I find ever more to Love.

CARose


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