SPLIT: The Eucharist in Scripture and Catholic teaching.

There are many other things we must do besides believe. Here is one, which became a stumbling block for many and they left him.

John 6
53 Jesus replied to them: In all truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

54 Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day.

55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.

56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person.

57 As the living Father sent me and I draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will also draw life from me.

I understand Jesus’ flesh and blood to be his eternal life. We must receive it into our hearts and continually draw it from him as he draws life from the Father.

Is that the way you understand it?

1 Corinthians 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. 24 And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. 25 In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. 26 For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come.

The above is what happens each time a Catholic Mass is celebrated.

We do that, too.

Do you believe in transubstantiation? ie. the bread becomes the Body of Christ and the wine becomes the Blood of Christ?

Somebody needs to explain that to me. It has always puzzled me. (Of course, we are off topic.)


1406 Jesus said: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; . . . he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and . . . abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:51, 54, 56).

1407 The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church.

1408 The Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord’s body and blood. These elements constitute one single act of worship.

1409 The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, that is, of the work of salvation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, a work made present by the liturgical action.

1410 It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. And it is the same Christ, really present under the species of bread and wine, who is the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

1411 Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.

1412 The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: “This is my body which will be given up for you. . . . This is the cup of my blood. . . .”

**1413 By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651). **

1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

1415 Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.

1416 Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant’s union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.

1417 The Church warmly recommends that the faithful receive Holy Communion when they participate in the celebration of the Eucharist; she obliges them to do so at least once a year.

1418 Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord” (Paul VI, MF 66).

1419 Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with his Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.

I think that’s all wonderful.
So when it says, “Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner,” it refers to Christ’s Spirit being present? Or is his person (his nailed-scarred body) actually present?

We believe that wherever two or three are gathered together in Jesus’ name, he is in our midst [in Spirit] (Matthew 18:20). How much more certainly would that be true during communion (Eucharist).

I hasten to add that if the participants in the Eucharist are abusing the Lord’s Supper like the Corinthians of 1 Cor. 11:17 & following were, they will bring judgment instead of blessing onto themselves—“that is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep [in death]” (1 Cor. 11:30, NIV). You apparently mentioned something similar to that when you said, “Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace.”

Jesus Christ – all of Him – is present in the Eucharist, according to our (Catholic) belief.

In His resurrected and glorified state, He can no longer be harmed or killed. Specifically, His blood will never again be separated from His flesh, nor can His body as a whole ever again be separated from His human soul (which would be death). And, of course, since His conception as a human, there is no separating His human soul from His pre-existing divine Person.

Thus, we believe that both the consecrated “bread” and the consecrated “wine” – though retaining all the sensory qualities of ordinary bread and wine down to the subatomic level – become the entire Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

Transubstantiation is a physical change in the sense that it necessarily includes Jesus’ glorified Body. It is not as crudely physical as some imagine, though. We literally receive all of Jesus by consuming the consecrated elements, but we are not literally gnawing on His arm or something. Remember, his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity can no longer be separated or damaged. So we receive Jesus in a form that allows for physical eating and drinking, but we don’t chew Him up or digest Him. All the chewing and digesting happens on the same level of sensory appearances as the look, smell, and taste of bread and wine.


He is not just spiritually present but His Body and Blood are actually present on the altar in the form of bread and wine. After consecration, although they still appear to be bread and wine, what we call the ‘accidents’, they are really and truly the Body and Blood of Christ, physically present, no longer bread and wine. The moment of consecration, the eternal sacrifice of Calvary is physically present on the altar, Jesus, nailed to the cross, and we are gathered at the foot.

Only a priest can do this. He has received the power through the laying on of hands when he was ordained. When he says the words of consecration, he is acting ‘In Persona Christi Capitis’, ‘In the person of Christ the Head’

1548 In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:23

It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi).24
Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.25

God said, “Let there be light” and there was light. God said, “This is my Body” and it was His Body, no matter that it still looks like bread.

There have been many Eucharistic Miracles. Lanciano is probably the most well known. A priest, while consecrating the Eucharist, doubted that it really was His Body and Blood, and the bread turned into human heart muscle and the wine turned into blood.

The most recent, an extensive scientific research done in 1970, used the most modern scientific tools available. The results of the tests are as follows:

The flesh is real flesh. The blood is real blood.
The flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart  (myocardium)
The flesh and blood belong to the human species.
The flesh and blood have the same blood type (AB).
In the blood, there were found proteins in the same normal proportions as are found in the sero-proteic make up of fresh, normal blood.
In the blood, there were also found these minerals: Chlorides, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium. The preservation of the flesh and of the blood, which were left in their natural state for twelve centuries (without any chemical preservatives) and exposed to the action of atmospheric and biological agents, remains an extraordinary phenomenon.

Another unusual characteristic of the blood is that when liquified, it has retained the chemical properties of freshly shed blood. When we cut ourselves and stain our clothes, the chemical properties of the blood are gone within 20 minutes to a half hour. If blood is not refrigerated within an hour maximum, the composition rapidly breaks down. If blood were taken from a dead body, it would lose its qualities quickly through decay. This blood is over 1250 years old and still contains all its properties, chemicals and protein of freshly shed blood. And yet in the testing, it was determined that no preservatives of any kind were found in the blood.

After Communion has been given, any remaining Blood is consumed. The Blood is never reserved. Any remaining Hosts are transferred to the Tabernacle.

When you enter a Catholic church, you will normally see a small red light next to the Tabernacle. This indicates that the Host, Jesus, is residing there, Christ Himself is physically present in the Tabernacle. This is why we genuflect to the Tabernacle when we enter the Church.

Amen Alleluia!!

We eat His Flesh and drink His Blood daily at Mass as a celebration of the New Covenant with His people. do you understand that?

His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity are present.

1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” “And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.”

1373 “Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us,” is present in many ways to his Church:197 in his word, in his Church’s prayer, "where two or three are gathered in my name,"199 in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned,199 in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But “he is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species.”

1385 To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself."218 Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.

1386 Before so great a sacrament, the faithful can only echo humbly and with ardent faith the words of the Centurion: “Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea” (“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed.”).219 And in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom the faithful pray in the same spirit:
O Son of God, bring me into communion today with your mystical supper. I shall not tell your enemies the secret, nor kiss you with Judas’ kiss. But like the good thief I cry, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Wow. That’s all very heavy.
Let’s see if I understand— although the bread and wine continue to taste like bread and wine, after the priest consecrates the bread and wine, their chemical makeup actually changes to match exactly the body and blood of Christ as they were when Jesus was crucified 2,000 years ago. Is that correct?

Also, the person of Jesus, that is, his resurrected nail-scarred body, is also present in the church building.
Is that right?

The chemical makeup does not change. That is part of the “accidents”. Don’t think of substance in the context of chemical sustance. In their essence, the elements cease to be bread and wine and are changed into the body and blood of Christ.

"‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.’ "
John 6:51

“I am the bread of life”
John 6:48

“I am the bread of life”
John 6:35

"We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration * and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. (First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).

-Justin Martyr

"And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist] ... For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.”(First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]). 

-Justin Martyr

“Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real Food and my blood real drink”

John 6:54

“I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord’s table. . . . That bread that you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ” (Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]).

“What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ. This has been said very briefly, which may perhaps be sufficient for faith; yet faith does not desire instruction” (Sermons 272 [A.D. 411]).


“Take and eat; this is my body.”
“Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
Matthew 26:26-28

“Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, ‘This is my body’ [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands” (Explanations of the Psalms 33:1:10 [A.D. 405]).

“Nobody eats this flesh without previously adoring it” (Explanation of the Psalms 99 [A.D. 411]).

- Augustine

“When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my body,’ but, ‘This is my body.’ In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my blood,’ but, ‘This is my blood’ …We ought . . . not regard [the elements] merely as bread and cup, but as the body and blood of the Lord, into which they were transformed by the descent of the Holy Spirit” (Catechetical Homilies 5:1 [A.D. 405]).
**- Theodore of Mopsuestia

“Perhaps you may be saying, ‘I see something else; how can you assure me that I am receiving the body of Christ?’ It but remains for us to prove it. And how many are the examples we might use! . . . Christ is in that sacrament, because it is the body of Christ” (The Mysteries 9:50, 58 [A.D. 390]).

-Ambrose of Milan

“If Christ Jesus, our Lord and God, is himself the high priest of God the Father; and if he offered himself as a sacrifice to the Father; and if he commanded that this be done in commemoration of himself, then certainly the priest, who imitates that which Christ did, truly functions in place of Christ” (Letters 63:14 [A.D. 253]).

-Cyprian of Carthage

“Take care, then [my brethren], to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of his blood; one altar, as there is one bishop, with the presbytery and my fellow servants, the deacons” (Letter to the Philadelphians 3:3–4:1 [A.D. 107]).

- Ignatius of Antioch*

Just curious–why would you choose to question whether this manifestation of Christ’s body is present, rather than, say all the other ways Jesus was present on earth? For example, why didn’t you say,
*]“Or is his person (as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes) actually present?”
*]“Or is his person (as a supernatural self who could walk on water) actually present?”
*]“Or is his person (in his glorified, resurrected body) actually present?”


There is quite a difference between Jesus being “in your midst [in Spirit]” at your worship services, than being TRULY present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity at the Divine Liturgy.

Take this analogy: you are traveling for business and a colleague asks you, “Don’t you miss your family when you’re away?” and you respond, “Oh, yes I surely do, but we are very close. And even though they’re not with me here physically, they are here with me in spirit wherever I go!”

This is a true enough statement and something in which you should rejoice.

However, that is quite different from actually being present with them–in the flesh–in the same room. That is the Catholic difference. We have Jesus actually present. Not just there “in Spirit”.

Not the chemical make-up, but the substance is changed. After consecration the Eucharist retains the accidents(chemical make-up) of bread and wine, but the substance is now the Body and Blood of Christ. There have been a few occasions when the accidents have also changed, as in the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, but this is very rare.


At this stage, we must be content with only the simplest statement of the meaning of, and distinction between substance and accidents, without which we should make nothing at all of transubstantiation. We shall concentrate upon bread, reminding ourselves once again that what is said applies in principle to wine as well.

We look at the bread the priest uses in the Sacrament. It is white, round, soft. The whiteness is not the bread, it is simply a quality that the bread has; the same is true of the roundness and the softness. There is something there that has these and other properties, qualities, attributes- the philosophers call all of them accidents. Whiteness and roundness we see; softness brings in the sense of touch. We might smell bread, and the smell of new bread is wonderful, but once again the smell is not the bread, but simply a property. The something which has the whiteness, the softness, the roundness, has the smell; and if we try another sense, the sense of taste, the same something has that special effect upon our palate.

In other words, whatever the senses perceive-even with the aid of those instruments men are forever inventing to increase the reach of the senses- is always of this same sort, a quality, a property, an attribute; no sense perceives the something which has all these qualities, which is the thing itself. This something is what the philosophers call substance; the rest are accidents which it possesses. Our senses perceive accidents; only the mind knows the substance. This is true of bread, it is true of every created thing. Left to itself, the mind assumes that the substance is that which, in all its past experience, has been found to have that particular group of accidents. But in these two instances, the bread and wine of the Eucharist, the mind is not left to itself. By the revelation of Christ it knows that the substance has been changed, in the one case into the substance of his body, in the other into the substance of his blood.

The Eucharist: The Lord’s Supper

Non believers often respond that even at the Last Supper, the apostles did not sense that they had flesh in their hands and blood in their cup. But Jesus is God. The creative literalness of the words: “This is my body; this is my blood” must be believed. God cannot lie. And God can turn bread into flesh and wine into blood without the appearances of bread and wine changing.

Medieval philosophers and theologians called this expression of Divine Truth and Creative Power “transubstantiation”. Yes, God can change the substance of any created matter while the appearances remain unchanged. And this demands faith.

Have you ever pondered why Jesus’ first resting place was a feeding trough?

Catechism of the Catholic Church

1374 The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend."201** In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.**"202 "This presence is called ‘real’ - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."203

If you understand Jesus’s flesh and blood to be his eternal life, how do you eat his eternal life?

John 6:54
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day.

Jesus is not saying his body and blood that we must consume IS eternal life. He is saying he who eats his body and blood HAS eternal life.

I think this is a very good post. Protestants love to interpret John Chapter 6 as pure symbolism. There are many little details that contradict this interpretation. It is never good to use a verse out of context, but that is not the case here. Here it is a verse which is aiding interpretation for the entire chapter. It is a very strong argument.

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