One of my friends is Protestant and wonders why I need to go to a Catholic church rather than any other one. I keep trying to tell her about the Eucharist but she isn’t getting it. She says that there are other religions that believe in the true presence of Jesus in the host. I am at a loss then. Are those churches more right than ones who don’t believe in His presence? BTW she even went through RICA. Thank you and God Bless you.
It’s not just a matter of believing in the Eucharist, but of actually having it (which requires the priesthood established by our Lord). And it’s not just a matter of having the Eucharist, but of being in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church which Christ founded. It is true, there are separated brethren who believe in, even have, the Eucharist, but they cannot fully benefit from the means of salvation unless they are fully united to the Church.
This other thread dealt about the difference also in the belief of transubstantiation which is what Catholics believe and consubstantiation which is what Lutherans believe.
The ability to confect the Eucharist is given to all priests by the laying on of hands by the priest in authority. (bishop). The Catholic Church has this unbroken line of apostolic succession with the laying on of hands to ordain priests.
The first priests were ordained by our Lord Jesus Christ at the Last Supper when He said “Do this in memory of me”.
A full explanation to the apostles was given prior to that…In John 6. That is when many walked away from Him, as they did not understand.
Here is my understanding of the Eucharist:
The Eucharist is the host of the supper.
The host of the dinner is Jesus.
To see how Jesus is the host of the event, consider the actions of the Crucifix, the bread and wine, the priest, and altar servers.
I begin by viewing the Sanctuary (Tabernacle, Altar, and Ambo) as the Temple of Jerusalem.
Prior to the Mass beginning, we sign ourselves with holy water, re-presenting our baptism in the River Jordan.
When the priest signs himself with holy water before the entrance re-presents the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry with the baptism in the River Jordan.
At the beginning of the Mass, the entrance procession re-presents Jesus’ triumphant entry into the temple.
The readings and homily re-present Jesus preaching in the temple.
The declaration of the Nicene Creed, namely “True God from True God,” re-presents Jesus’ declaration “…before Abraham was, I AM.”
The Crucifix leaving the Sanctuary re-presents Jesus hiding to prevent being stoned.
The offering of the bread and wine re-presents the Roman soldiers handing over Jesus to the high priest and Roman authority.
The offering of the money re-presents Judas returning the money to the high priest.
The priest handing the wine over to the deacon for pouring into the chalices re-presents Pontius handing over Jesus to the Roman soldiers for scourging.
The priest washing his hands re-presents Pontius washing his hands.
The priest going down to his knee three times during the Liturgy of the Eucharist re-presents Jesus falling three times in His Passion.
The breaking of the host re-presents the death of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world.
The consuming of the host re-presents the resurrection of Jesus Christ in glorified body.
The signing with holy water when exiting the church re-presents Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan beginning his public ministry.
Thank you for sharing the interesting question! I pray this helps us grow our love for the Eucharist!
Ask your friend if they went to a show and thought they would see the real Elvis Presley, but instead they saw a person do an immitation of him, would they be disappointed?
Secondly it isn’t just about this or that one thing, but about doing what Jesus wants us to do. He started the Catholic church, and that is his church, and that is the one he wants us to belong to, and not an immitation of his church, or of his body and blood.
May God our Father give you grace and peace.
Even though I’m not Christian, here’s what I told my 8 year old daughter:
"You’ve heard people say “you are what you eat”, right?
Well, that’s how you can think about communion - that bread becomes Jesus and when you eat it, you are trying to become more and more like Jesus. It’s actually pretty cool when you think about it - Divinity is becoming your very sustenance."
And yes, I use words like sustenance with my daughter, b/c that’s how I teach her vocabulary.
Maybe use this as an opportunity to learn about other church’s beliefs about Eucharist…
I once had a paper listing the different religion and who founded them. When it listed the Catholic Church it said Jesus Christ. That was years ago so I can’t find it. I would love to give it to her. Does anyone know a website where I can get it? Thanks
Tell her to go to some church were Eucharistic adoration is taking place. Let her remain there for 15 or so minutes. Then, tell her that it is time to go. She will refuse this request and ask for some more time. You will see.
I would simply explain that there is only One Church founded by Jesus Christ, not many churches. If she persisted in further dialog regarding this, I would simply tell her I don’t think that all those other denominations are the Church, they are simply imitations of the real thing and to go there isn’t the same thing as going to a Catholic Church on Sunday. Then I would invite her to “come and see.”