Holy Eucharist, and dealing with objections


#1

The Holy Eucharist, ‘you must eat my flesh and drink my blood’, Catholic view of John 6, Passover, and dealing with objections to Catholic teaching of the Eucharist.

In another thread we were dealing with Eucharistic objections to John chapter 6 but we were focusing on one “preacher’s” objections.

I would like to broaden the topic and examine any common objections to this Catholic view of John 6 (not merely focusing on this one preacher’s objections)

First in order of course is . . . . what IS the “Catholic view” of Chapter 6?

Let’s use the CCC below for starters of what "the Catholic view" is. .

CCC 1324a The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life . . .

CCC 728a Jesus does not reveal the Holy Spirit fully, until he himself has been glorified through his Death and Resurrection. Nevertheless, little by little he alludes to him even in his teaching of the multitudes, as when he reveals that his own flesh will be food for the life of the world.110 . . .

CCC 1336 The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them
“This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”
The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery
and it never ceases to be an occasion of division.
“Will you also go away?”: the Lord’s question echoes through the ages,
as a loving invitation to discover that only he has “the words of eternal life”
and that to receive in the faith the gift of his Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself.

If you are a non-Catholic who considers his/her self a Bible believer, what are the objections you personally have to a Catholic understanding of John 6? What would Jesus have had to say for you to say: “Well I guess Jesus REALLY meant it, so I believe it.”

If Catholic, what are the objections you have personally been exposed to and how did you answer them defending a Catholic understanding of John 6?

Remember the Catholic teaching.

[LIST]
*]In the Eucharist NO bread and NO wine remains after the elements (bread and wine) are consecrated.
[/LIST]

[LIST]
*]In the Eucharist Jesus is substantially present, body, blood, soul, and Divinity.
[/LIST]

[LIST]
*]In the Eucharist the APPEARANCE of bread and wine remains (sometimes referred to philosophically as "the accidents").
[/LIST]


#2

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus said that this is my body and this is my blood, when the Truth speaks it is true. There is no room for discussion.


#3

Many Protestants actually believe that Holy Communion truly contains Christ's body and blood. The issue that Mainline Protestants have is with the sacramental nature of the priesthood and the authority of the church, rather than a wholly different interpretation of John 6. Even with flawed beliefs such as "consubstantiation" (held by very few), Christ's words present a challenge, because one is still thought to consume the body of the Lord.

Only in Baptist or similar communities is Holy Communion thought to be purely symbolic (which, incidentally, reflects the truth of the matter as practiced by these communities)/


#4

After the disciples heard what the Lord said about eating Him, and they seemed to have a problem understanding and then Jesus said:

Jn:6:63: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

And since the understanding that the Truth of God says is that He speaks of is spirit, and life how is it that the Catholic theology sees it otherwise? Such as physical blood and flesh. If this is what Catholic theology says it is, then why isn’t it real flesh and real blood? Why did the Lord chose to use wine and bread which is not real flesh and blood?


#5

[quote="D_Martin, post:4, topic:345928"]
After the disciples heard what the Lord said about eating Him, and they seemed to have a problem understanding and then Jesus said:

Jn:6:63: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

And since the understanding that the Truth of God says is that He speaks of is spirit, and life how is it that the Catholic theology sees it otherwise? Such as physical blood and flesh. If this is what Catholic theology says it is, then why isn’t it real flesh and real blood? Why did the Lord chose to use wine and bread which is not real flesh and blood?

[/quote]

Catholic theology teaches that it is real flesh and blood. Presumably, Christ choose the appearance of bread and wine to make the sacrament palatable. Half his disciples left after telling them they must consume his body. If the priest were passing about bits of consecrated mouton meat (literal Lamb of God...) at mass, I think we would all be a little hesitant...


#6

[quote="D_Martin, post:4, topic:345928"]
After the disciples heard what the Lord said about eating Him, and they seemed to have a problem understanding and then Jesus said:

Jn:6:63: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

And since the understanding that the Truth of God says is that He speaks of is spirit, and life how is it that the Catholic theology sees it otherwise? Such as physical blood and flesh. If this is what Catholic theology says it is, then why isn’t it real flesh and real blood? Why did the Lord chose to use wine and bread which is not real flesh and blood?

[/quote]

Could you walk to the altar and eat flesh in it's human form? When the Eucharist was turned into flesh literally it was put aside and worshipped, not eaten. That is why Jesus comes to us in the form of bread and wine; He is there body, blood, soul and divinity. A test of your faith.


#7

[quote="D_Martin, post:4, topic:345928"]
After the disciples heard what the Lord said about eating Him, and they seemed to have a problem understanding and then Jesus said:

Jn:6:63: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

[/quote]

Actually, it was the disciples who did not take him literally who walked away. It was those who listened to Christ with a spiritual ear (John 6:63) who remained. I blogged about John 6:63 here. :o Only with spiritual eyes can one see Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist.

In another post on John 6 and symbolic vs. literal interpretation (which we actually believe both, btw, and do not believe there is a dichotomy between the two), we can see that the literal interpretation is demanded by the principle of typology in which the New Testament type surpasses the glory of it's OT type. For example:
http://oi43.tinypic.com/qn4cpu.jpg


#8

Quick question:

When did Jesus first Sacrifice Himself?


#9

[quote="dronald, post:8, topic:345928"]
Quick question:

When did Jesus first Sacrifice Himself?

[/quote]

Early 1st Century A.D. :o


#10

Was it on the cross or at the last supper?


#11

What I have found in most conversations like this those, who desire to justify their theology with Scripture, that portion of Scripture is almost always literal when someone argues for a theology. If someone disagrees with the same theology that someone insists on a symbolic understanding of the same Scripture.

Your assumption that I say the Lord is speaking symbolically is wrong if it’s going to be literal than what the Lord Jesus just said after he spoke of what to eat, in John 6 is also literal as in spirit and life. And there is no reference to the Eucharist as in the bread and wine in the last supper. Isn’t that true?

Question, when Jesus was speaking on certain subjects, did He ever make reference to the Torah and mean it in the terms and view of the Torah?

Again why did the Lord use wine and bread? Why not something else, anything else, like water and asparagus?


#12

[quote="dronald, post:10, topic:345928"]
Was it on the cross or at the last supper?

[/quote]

Historically speaking, on the Cross at Calvary.


#13

[quote="D_Martin, post:11, topic:345928"]
there is no reference to the Eucharist as in the bread and wine in the last supper. Isn’t that true?

[/quote]

Well, he did hold up bread and wine and say "this is my body/blood which is given up for you" so I'm not sure what you mean.

Again why did the Lord use wine and bread? Why not something else, anything else, like water and asparagus?

"Why" is a separate question – because in Catholic understanding the evidence shows that he did use bread and wine, and even if we couldn't determine "why," we would submit to any mystery of divine revelation. That being said, in Catholic theology the sacrament is an outward sign of an inward reality. In eating something, it assimilates to our bodies. As vegetation, their very "birth" comes about only by being "buried" first. This unites them to Christ's burial and resurrection. Bread is not only a fulfillment of the OT manna from heaven, but in the very grains of wheat that come together to form a single body of bread is the figure of the many members of the Church forming a single body, which is Christ's body. That's why we also call the sacrament "Communion." You can read this in the Catechism and Pope John Paul II's Ecclesia de Eucharistia. As for wine, we have a similar phenomenon in that it is a fruit that grows in "bunches," which also resembles the many members together. Also, as a fruit of the "vine," we are called to John's figure of Jesus as the vine and we as the branches. We see in ourselves the bunches of grapes receiving and growing - but only because we are entirely dependent on the vine. So those are just a few reasons why bread and wine are fitting for a communal and sacrificial sacrament.


#14

It is in fulfillment of the Scriptures. Psalm 110:4, Acts 2: 34-36, much in Hebrews etc. It has to do with the Mysterious and eternal High Priesthood of Melchizedek who offered bread and wine to Abram.

Jesus Christ our High Priest was taking his rightful place at the very beginning of our earliest covenential bond. The Mosaic sacrifice was a type of that which was to come, but veiled and shrouded in imagery. For example, the Show Bread that was always kept before the Holy of Holies.

Jesus combined the sublimity of Melchizedek’s eternal sacrifice with the Mosaic bloody Sacrifice on the cross at Passover. Therefore Bread and Wine are used in HIS fulfillment of the eternal covenant in his own Body and Blood.


#15

[quote="MarcoPolo, post:13, topic:345928"]
Well, he did hold up bread and wine and say "this is my body/blood which is given up for you" so I'm not sure what you mean.

[/quote]

Are you going to honestly tell me I wasn’t talking about the text in question, chapter 6 of the gospel according to John? I wasn’t talking about the whole of the gospels. You remove text from its context. WOW

"Why" is a separate question – because in Catholic understanding the evidence shows that he did use bread and wine, and even if we couldn't determine "why," we would submit to any mystery of divine revelation. That being said, in Catholic theology the sacrament is an outward sign of an inward reality. In eating something, it assimilates to our bodies. As vegetation, their very "birth" comes about only by being "buried" first. This unites them to Christ's burial and resurrection. Bread is not only a fulfillment of the OT manna from heaven, but in the very grains of wheat that come together to form a single body of bread is the figure of the many members of the Church forming a single body, which is Christ's body. That's why we also call the sacrament "Communion." You can read this in the Catechism and Pope John Paul II's Ecclesia de Eucharistia. As for wine, we have a similar phenomenon in that it is a fruit that grows in "bunches," which also resembles the many members together. Also, as a fruit of the "vine," we are called to John's figure of Jesus as the vine and we as the branches. We see in ourselves the bunches of grapes receiving and growing - but only because we are entirely dependent on the vine. So those are just a few reasons why bread and wine are fitting for a communal and sacrificial sacrament.

I’m sorry I thought this was the place to discuss Catholic theology, Catholics predominantly declare that the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is in the Eucharist. Which seems to be a presumption based on a theology not scripture. There is no statement that I am aware of that states plainly that His Presence is in what the Catholic Church calls the Eucharist.


#16

[quote="D_Martin, post:15, topic:345928"]
Are you going to honestly tell me I wasn’t talking about the text in question, chapter 6 of the gospel according to John? I wasn’t talking about the whole of the gospels. You remove text from its context. WOW

[/quote]

Actually the comment I was responding to was the one where you said "in the last supper."

I’m sorry I thought this was the place to discuss Catholic theology

It is. That's what we're providing here. If you still think there is no evidence for Catholic understanding in the Eucharist in Scripture, what can be said. Go forth and believe as you will!


#17

[quote="dronald, post:10, topic:345928"]
Was it on the cross or at the last supper?

[/quote]

The lamb of the Last Supper was sacrificed on the Cross.


#18

[quote="AmbroseSJ, post:14, topic:345928"]
It is in fulfillment of the Scriptures. Psalm 110:4, Acts 2: 34-36, much in Hebrews etc. It has to do with the Mysterious and eternal High Priesthood of Melchizedek who offered bread and wine to Abram.

Jesus Christ our High Priest was taking his rightful place at the very beginning of our earliest covenential bond. The Mosaic sacrifice was a type of that which was to come, but veiled and shrouded in imagery. For example, the Show Bread that was always kept before the Holy of Holies.

Jesus combined the sublimity of Melchizedek's eternal sacrifice with the Mosaic bloody Sacrifice on the cross at Passover. Therefore Bread and Wine are used in HIS fulfillment of the eternal covenant in his own Body and Blood.

[/quote]

Also note the first place bread is mentioned with Adam :

Gen:3:19: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

And the second is:

Gen:14:18: And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

And the first place wine is mentioned is with Noah :

Gen:9:21: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

And the second is:

Gen:14:18: And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

Both mentioned with Abraham who receives both at the hand of the high priest.

Adam’s existence that once was blameless in the earth, is now justified by the sweat of his brow, Noah finds Grace in God’s sight, who was born in to sin. (Noah is also the first place where Grace is mentioned)

And both are brought to Abraham that righteousness is accounted to him by God through Faith. And these are the things that restore the sons of man into the Presence of the Lord God.

The receiving of the bread and the wine doesn’t put you in the Presence of the Lord God. It is he who has found Grace in God’s sight and is justified through Faith that is to receive the bread and the wine that Jesus has brought to him.


#19

[quote="dronald, post:8, topic:345928"]
Quick question:

When did Jesus first Sacrifice Himself?

[/quote]

[quote="dronald, post:10, topic:345928"]
Was it on the cross or at the last supper?

[/quote]

These are the same event of the ONE sacrifice.


#20

D_Martin. You said in post 4:

Jn:6:63: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Jesus says “the flesh” profiteth nothing.

Do you think Jesus was referring to HIS flesh?

If not, why bring it up as an objection.

If so, WHY would Jesus leave His own context in this teaching?

Please consider that Jesus did not say: “My flesh profits nothing.”

JOHN 6:51b 51b . . . . and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."

So we would both agree that Jesus giving HIS FLESH on Calvary is not mere metaphor correct?

And can we both agree that when Jesus says . . . .

JOHN 6:63 63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

. . .that Jesus is NOT referring to HIS own Sacred flesh?


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.