Can you think of a way that Christ could have chosen to use something physical to unite Himself to us, if He had not chosen us eating His flesh in the Eucharist?
For example, He could have chosen a lit candle. Maybe the rite would include the priest saying, “This is my body…” and then lighting the candle in a pitch black church. We would receive Holy Communion when the light rays hit our eyes.
Clearly, the Eucharist as is, is perfect, utterly perfect. I’m trying to brainstorm to help evangelize/catechize somebody who may be like the disciples in John 6 who might be a little turned off by the eating of the flesh.
I think by showing the flaws in the other possibilities will help show the perfect choice of bread and wine.
For the purposes of this activity, let’s assume that there was not compelling reason to choose bread and wine, or to be the Lamb of God. Clearly, this was not a random choice. Does anybody have any ideas other than the one with the candle in the first post?
I think you could write a book on this to thoroughly hash out “Why bread and wine?” (plenty have) as the appearance of Christ, and a lot of this would be rooted in Old Testament theology in much the same way that water is the matter used in baptism. A few concise reasons why specifically the choice of a meal versus another means:
A meal physically penetrates a person in the way a candle would not. You bring Christ inside of your entire person. You absorb him (except, as St Augustine notes: with normal digestion, the meal is converted into our flesh, but with Christ, we are converted into him)
Bread & wine as the matter used in the sacrament of the Eucharist does not require sacrificing an earthly animal, solidifying that the Lamb in Heaven is our sacrifice.
You could present a rose and smell him, or play the lyre and hear him, or have oil and rub him into your skin, or have him be sand to rub between your fingers, or wind that blows through your hair ,but none of these symbolically or literally penetrate the person in the way consumption does, nor are they so apparently communal (a meal being the most basic, traditional communal act, in Jewish culture or otherwise).
Why do you want to do it differently than Jesus did?
Instead of becoming milder when there was issue taken with his description, he became even more and more graphic, more and more difficult to listen to.
He wants people to want what he gives them, whatever it its… He asks, “Will you also go away?”
His body and blood have to be in us, because it is the Spirit that gives life to a body and blood (in his resurrection, his Soul and Divinity give life to his body again, and it is in us, so his Soul and Divinity dwell with our soul, as his body and blood co-mingle with our own)
In consuming the sacrifice, the ‘fate’ of the sacrifice is your own, death and life, the Father in the Son (even in his body which we consume), and the Son in the Father (including our lives now given in love to his service), are One.
God does what is best for us, who are we to question HIM. His ways are not our ways so our imagination is useless. HE is who HE is and that’s it. I read a slogan once that read, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it !” God Bless, Memaw
Agreed. The Eucharist as a Communion with Christ is perfect. I also cannot think of any other way that is better to achieve this Communion and unity with Christ, so I would not be able to contribute to your brainstorming.
The food that we eat would be assimilated into our body, our body is what we eat, every grain, every sinus and every cell. And as we grow, the growth of our body depends on the food we eat. In other word, the food that we eat become us, not just a part of us but all of us.
The body of Christ is even greater … it not only nourishes the body but also the soul. Truly perfect and Jesus is a genius for coming with this idea.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
14Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samar′ia had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,15who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit;16for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.17Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
21*Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”22And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
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;
2 Timothy 2:2
2*and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
6*So they are no longer two but one.[a]*What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Anointing of the Sick
14*Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;
Every Sacrament gives us more and more of God’s Grace. They are his “physical signs” that unite us closer and closer to Him.
To get more in-depth on the Eucharist and understand the WHY? I would recommend listening to Scott Hahn.