How do we know the bread and wine are LITERALLY the Body and Blood of our Lord?

So, I’ve been reading, listening to, and watching many tracts that are promoted by Protestants to assert that the Lord’s Supper is symbolic. I’ve watched many Catholic apologetics, and probably memorized all of them. But one major doubt remains:

Jesus said we are truly going to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood, but I don’t see anything that implies that the substance of the bread and wine changes into His Very Flesh. I know that the passover and eating of the lamb were truly prefigurements of this cleansing sacrifice, and that in order to be fully forgiven we have to eat the flesh of the lamb, but couldn’t it be symbolically eating and drinking? I’m not seeing any sign of the bread and wine literally changing into the Lord’s Flesh.

Also being in Matthew’s account of the Last Supper, Jesus then says about the chalice that He won’t drink “the fruit of the vine…” That just makes me wonder if even He has asserted that it was just wine?

I once spoke to somebody about this issue and I referenced 1 Corinthians 11, when Paul warns of eating and drinking Judgement to ourselves if we eat and drink unworthily, as signs that this was not a mere symbol because symbols cannot have someone killed, but he then proceeded to reference Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10:1-2, when they were killed for offering bad incense, pointing out that incense is symbolic, too, not literal…

But I look at the first letter to the Corinthians, in which Paul compares this celebration with the sacrifices of the Gentiles and those who continue to obey Moses’ commandments, using language that reflects that prophecy of Malachi, that being the “Table of the Lord” compared to the altars.

“… The Mystery of Faith…”

:gopray2: :highprayer:

I will let others reply, but sometimes you simply have to have faith. We Catholics believe in many mysteries which we cannot fully explain or understand in human terms.

Besides the Trinity, mircles of Jesus, and Virgin Birth, most Protestants do not believe any mysteries. They do not take stock in visions, mysticism, etc.

There is a reason the Priest says “Mystery of Faith” (and used to say “Let’s us proclaim the Mystery of Faith”). :signofcross:

God Bless.

I just don’t get this debate, and I find myself getting angrier and angrier the more it comes up.

  1. The several verses throughout the Gospels, in my mind, support the grave and solemn order as to the nature of the Eucharist.

  2. 2000 years of Orthodox and Catholic (Traditional Lutherans & Anglican Catholics as well) understanding as to It being the Real Presence of Jesus Christ.

  3. Being a Catholic yourself (and this applies to ALL) can you not witness as to Its power as it courses through you?

Zwingli!! The nerve!!!

Sit in silence in an Adoration Chapel for one hour and you will find your answer.

**so true… In Adoration I feel God’s presence. **

Your question, in and above itself makes me question whether or not you are really a Catholic as you state you are. If you are truly a Catholic, having to ask this question either means that you have not been properly catechized.
In addition to the Mystery of Faith as listed by other respondents, and if you do not wish to read the Biblical references cited, you do have an obligation to heed the teaching of the Catholic Clergy, who are far more learned in the Faith than you obviously are.
If you do not trust the word of our Clergy, why is it that you are questioning basic Catholic Dogma? Is it just for the sake of argument?

You also have to understand that God is faith, god is believing, remember he was upset at Thomas b/c he didn’t believe that he had resurrected. You don’t have to understand how God is in the bread and wine, you just have to believe it. Remember he constantly said this is my body this is my blood. You believe it b/c he said. God is God, he is everywhere and knows everything. We on the other hand don’t have that quality, but since he says that he is the bread, he is the wine, then I believe it b/c he said so.


To me it is a consequence of believing that Jesus is who He says He is.

Jesus is alive, has resurrected from death. This I believe.

Therefore I trust His words, that unless I eat the bread of life and drink the blood of the lamb I will have no life in me.

John Chapter 6

6:52 If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
6:53 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
6:54 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.
6:55 He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.
6:56 For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.
6:57 He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me: and I in him.
6:58 As the living Father hath sent me and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.
6:59 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live for ever.
6:60 These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum.

Many of Jesus’s Disciples did not believe this could be true and abbandoned Him.

In Matthew Chapter 26 we read:

26:26 And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread and blessed and broke and gave to his disciples and said: Take ye and eat. This is my body.
26:27 And taking the chalice, he gave thanks and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this.
26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.

This is the reason we Catholics believe and have believed since the beginning this truth.
May God open your heart to the truth.

As for your concern in Jesus stating He would no longer taste the fruit of the vine until His glorious return at the end of days, He is just stating a fact, a truth. Nothing more.
Does not change the fact that we that remain here, will continue what the Apostles themselves taught us.

I’m 22, baptized, raised in the faith, Catholic high school, Bible studies, retreats, etc…

George, I’m actually happy that the OP is asking the question. I’ve read that polls indicate that only 30% to 40% of Catholic youth actually beleive in the real presence of Christ. Our youth are simply not getting properly catechized. CCD, etc often depends on our Children receiving proper training at home. But too many parents are NOT properly catechized themselves. So our young are lots.

I’m 36. My parents did a terrible job of catechizing us at home. Today, out of 5 kids, I’m the only practicing Catholic (having retuned to the Church not too long ago after getting married outside the Church). Two of my siblings & my father are now practicing Protestants and my other two siblings do not attend Church and do not beleive in most of the teachings of the Church.

We need to start catechizing all cradle-Catholic the same way we catechize in RCIA. We also need to start having CCD for Parents during the same time our kids are attending CCD.

Question…did your catechism training focus on the “why” the Chruch teaches what it teaches?

I’m personally of the believe that our current methods of catechizing does not work because it assumes that our young are learning catechism at home too.

Do your parents pray the LOTH at home? Do they go to Adoration? Do they they do anything other than Sunday Mass and Holy Days (assuming that they attend all days of obligation)? Do they attend Confession at least once a year? Do they fast at least one hour before Communion?

NOTE: I’m not attacking your parents, but I’m trying to determine or show that today’s Catholic parents are not catechized as well as they used to be.

God Bless.

The reason that we know the Eucharist is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ is because Jesus said Himself at the Last Supper: “Take and eat; this IS My Body…Take and drink; this IS My Blood.” NOT: Take and eat; this is a symbol of My Body, etc."
Definitive proof plus a little faith the size of a mustard seed will help you to fully understand this very important and holy subject. May God bless you and may the knowledge of the Holy Spirit come upon you.

Amen, Amen, Amen

Because Jesus said it and the Church He founded teaches it.

From Catholicism for Dummies…

In the Synoptic Gospels each writer uses the same phrase to describe the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to His disciples and said, This is My Body. The verb ‘to be’ is used such that an equality exists between ‘This’ (which refers to the bread) and ‘My Body’. So the bread becomes the body of Christ. Because all three Gospels (MT 26:26, MK 14:22 and LK 22:19) meticulously repeat the exact same phrase, as does St. Paul (1 Cor 11:24) these sacred words must be taken literally

The words of the Last Supper spoken by Christ over the bread and wine are consistent with the New Testament: Jesus explicitly and graphically commanded, “Eat My flesh and drink My blood” more than a few times. The Church reasons that if Jesus had meant this to be symbolic He wouldn’t have allowed so many of His followers to leave with such a serious misunderstanding. For Catholics the Holy Eucharist is the Last Supper, His death on the cross and His Resurrection all rolled into one. That is why we say the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith.


To me wine smells like something “died.” I can’t go anywhere near wine of any kind without feeling violently ill. I once worked as a bagger in a supermarket. Sometimes when a customer bought wine, I’d go to put it in a bag or their shopping cart, the bottle or jug would slip out of my hand and fall to the floor, shattering the container. The smell was about more than I could stand.:sad_yes: When I take communion I can only take the bread.:shrug:

Can somebody answer this? HE is saying that in the Old Testament, God told His proiphets to EAT HIS WORDS via belief, Jesus is the Word made flesh, therefore we must eat the Flesh through believing? But I wonder why Jesus adds drinking His Blood?

JD, why do you keep sticking your head into these a-C propaganda places? You clearly do not know your faith well enough to answer them all (based on the number and type of the threads you keep opening around here…)

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Meanwhile, I have an article on my blog that get’s into this scripturally and through the ECF that will pretty well cover this typical n-C argument. What he fails to notice (and you failed to point out) is the literal statements of Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ in John 6 (detailed in my article) that show that even the people who heard the Bread of Life Discourse knew He was speaking literally and that he made it a make or break question by His asking the apostles if they wanted to leave too.

Also, in that same context, consider ***Mark 4:[34] he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything. ***

Either we believe what Jesus said, or we don’t believe him. For 1500 years the doctrine of the real presence was never questioned. Lack of faith in Jesus words is not so surprising. What is unusual is to take the position that the apostles, the fathers of the Church, and all the successors to the apostles got it wrong, and only now, 2000 years later, do we get it right. That’s just chutzpah.

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