If the real presence is REAL, then why can't celiacs receive the Eucharist?

I was raised catholic and still go to mass yet I have an issue with the very most important thing about being a catholic: the Eucharist. It is my understanding from my catholic upbringing that it is THE body and blood of Jesus Christ. My capitalization of the word ‘the’ to emphasizes that Jesus’ words were taken very literally NOT figuratively. And this is where the problem lies with me. How do we KNOW that Jesus was literally saying the bread and wine was his flesh and blood? So the big hump for me though isnt just that it seems Catholics just have a different interpretation of the Bible (hence why the world has so many religions) but the problem for me lies in the fact that people with severe wheat allergies cant take the Eucharist. This for me is proof that its not THE body of Jesus. And that when Jesus said ‘this is my body… take this in memory of me’ he was meaning it as more we should do it as a symbol. If it was infact Jesus we were eating on Sunday than even people with celiac or severe wheat allergies could eat him.RIGHT??
Can someone prove my theory wrong? And is it wrong of me to still go to mass and call myself a Catholic if I dont believe this highly important Catholic belief (the main difference b/t Catholic and Protestants)? I do like mass… maybe b/c that is what I grew up with… i dont know.
Thank You!!

Hi,

First of all, we BELIEVE that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. This is something we take on faith—as did His Apostles. In Jn 6:52 we read: “Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said.” Jesus replied that only by eating His flesh and drinking His blood would they have eternal life. “For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.”

“After hearing it, many of his followers said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’” (Jn 6:60b) Jews, after all, were not allowed to drink ANY kind of blood. “After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.” Now if He had been speaking only figuratively, they would not have left. Further, if He had been speaking only figuratively, He could have called them back and explained that He wasn’t speaking literally, BUT He didn’t. He was adamant that they would really eat His flesh and drink His blood.

“Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘ Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’” (Jn 6:67-70)
His Apostles didn’t understand how He could do this any more than the disciples who left Him. They simply believed Him because they loved Him. This has always been the case with those who have believed. It has ALWAYS been a matter of faith. No one could ever PROVE this miracle. There are no proofs. The substance of the bread and wine change without any change in any observable or measurable quality. So no one can prove that this ISN’T true.

Further, what Catholics believe about the Eucharist is what they ALWAYS believed. This is what the early Church believed.

See: catholic.com/library/Real_Presence.asp

Feel free to write me if you have further questions about this. Just click on my name above.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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