Question about the thief on the cross (Eucharist related)

A Protestant friend of mine and I are discussing the subject of the Real Presence in the Eucharist and he actually asked a decent question. He wants to know if the good thief received the Eucharist and, if not, how did he get to paradise without receiving the body and blood of the Lord?

When Jesus descended into the underworld, He went to redeem those noble souls who were waiting in the Limbo of the Fathers (a.k.a. Abraham’s Bosom (cf. Luke 16:22-23)).

Those souls did not need to receive the sacraments of grace in the same way that we do; instead, the “harrowing of hell” or harvesting of souls provided all of the grace necessary for them to be led by Jesus into heaven without receiving baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, etc.

More here from Taylor Marshall:

There is a very important statement in the Catechism that we should always keep in mind:
God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. The italics are the Catechism’s — which, to me, stresses the importance of the statement.
The first phrase in the sentence mentions only the sacrament of Baptism, but the second part references “sacraments” in the plural. In other words, God can choose to bestow His saving grace/s in ways other than the sacraments.

Regarding the necessity of receiving the Body & Blood of Our Lord in the Eucharist:
The Church does not teach that it is necessary to receive the Body & Blood of Our Lord in the sacrament of the Eucharist in order to enter heaven. (Eg. baptized children who die before receiving First Communion.)

“Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.”
This sounds as tho this is an absolute necessity.

“Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kindgom of heaven.”
This sounds as tho this is an absolute necessity.

And there are more “unlesses”.

These refer to the normal following of the will of Jesus for those who can and who know.

The same idea is repeated with the requirement of “believing in Jesus”, he will enter heaven. Which gives the impression that this is the only thing required to get to heaven…“believing in Jesus”.

Yet St. Paul says that adultery, murder, drunkenness, and … will exclude a person from entering heaven. So if we accept St. Paul’s teaching, then believing in Jesus is not enough.

Which then leads us to the conclusion that the whole salvific message must be read and not just one passage to get the correct understanding of the chistian way.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

My apologies.

I should have noted that when Jesus promised the Good Thief, “Today you will be with me in Paradise”, the place He was referring to was (at least initially) Abraham’s Bosom - a natural paradise also known as the Limbo of the Fathers.

There, the thief would have heard the full story of salvation along with all the others who had died before Jesus. Presumably, that group would have proceeded to the supernatural paradise of Heaven where they would begin to enjoy the Beatific vision, but the timing of that transition is uncertain.

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