the body of Christ


#1

"Then he broke a piece of bread gave thanks to GOD broke it, and gave it to them, saying 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.'
Luke 22:19-20

Protestants believe its just a symbol, since he said, ‘Do this in memory of me.’

Im annoyed because now im doubting that its really Christ’s body. I feel it is a grave sin. Forgive me Jesus.


#2

If you so easily doubt the tenets of your faith just because of one simple statement by a Protestant, you need to study your faith more. Just going to these forums when you get flustered isn’t going to cut it.

Just on this topic alone there are so many good articles to bring you up to speed, you need never fear an anti-Catholic again.

Start here:

catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0103sbs.asp


#3

[quote=DEESYPAL]"Then he broke a piece of bread gave thanks to GOD broke it, and gave it to them, saying 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.'
Luke 22:19-20

Protestants believe its just a symbol, since he said, ‘Do this in memory of me.’

Im annoyed because now im doubting that its really Christ’s body. I feel it is a grave sin. Forgive me Jesus.
[/quote]

Dear Deesy,

It’s great to be Catholic. A little bit of deeper understanding of this verse should serve to reinforce our belief in the Real Presence, not destroy it.

The Greek word translated as “memory” is “anamnesis”, which has a deeper meaning. Anamnesis means to recall, not only in a mental way, but to bring the event being remembered into the present. This was the way the Jews understood the Passover: they did not just “remember” it, but actually understood themselves to be present during those events. Whenever anamnesis is used in the New Testament (and the Greek of the Old), it is always in a sacrificial context (the non-sacrificial Greek word is mnemos, hence “mnemonic”).

Therefore, in the context of anamnesis, we see the foreshadowing of the Passover and these points come up:

  1. The use of anamnesis by Jesus (Heb. zikkaron) in a sacrificial context makes it clear that this is his Passover celebration, and that he brings his death into that moment in time;
  2. As with the Passover celebration, there is a sacrificial Lamb. In Jesus’ Passover; and
  3. The Jews had to eat the Passover Lamb. In fact, in the original Passover, they had to eat the lamb, not merely smear its blood on the doorposts, otherwise their first-born sons would die too. In the same way, we too need to eat our Passover Lamb. And since anamnesis renders the event present, who else can we eat but the flesh of our Lord himself?

Oh no. This verse, if anything confirms all the more that Jesus is indeed present in the Holy Eucharist, otherwise, his use of zikkaron or anamnesis would make no sense.


#4

[quote=porthos11][snip]. . . .
Oh no. This verse, if anything confirms all the more that Jesus is indeed present in the Holy Eucharist, otherwise, his use of zikkaron or anamnesis would make no sense.
[/quote]

Very nice! Is there any good dictionary that provides a Catholic definition/interpretation of Greek NT terms? Or was your interpretation of ‘anamnesis’ arrived at on the basis of various commentaries?


#5

See if this helps, this is from the Gospel of John, Chapter 6: 48-58

48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; 50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." 52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 **For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. ****56 ****Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. **57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”


#6

[quote=TennMark38016]See if this helps, this is from the Gospel of John, Chapter 6: 48-58

48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; 50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." 52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. **56 ****Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. **57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
[/quote]

Shhh! Don’t bring up *those *verses! You’ll make it hard for someone who reads the Bible “literally” to deny the real presence! Man…don’t you have any respect?


#7

[quote=romano]Very nice! Is there any good dictionary that provides a Catholic definition/interpretation of Greek NT terms? Or was your interpretation of ‘anamnesis’ arrived at on the basis of various commentaries?
[/quote]

No dictionary at the moment. You might want to try to check out JND Kelley’s “Early Christian Doctrines” (referenced by CA). Also check out this online source from the USCCB:

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/research/cjl/Documents/NCCB%20God’s%20Mercy.htm

This term is important because it appears in the Bible only in a sacrificial context, while in other cases, mnemnos is used. It also requires an understanding of Jewish and Greek thought.


#8

:clapping:

[quote=BlueMit11]Shhh! Don’t bring up *those *verses! You’ll make it hard for someone who reads the Bible “literally” to deny the real presence! Man…don’t you have any respect?
[/quote]

:rotfl: Love the response!!! And agree.


#9

I also find it helpful to compare the old testament Passover to the establishment of the new covenant at the Last Supper.

At the original Passover an unblemished lamb, with no bones broken, was to be sacrificed and its blood sprinkled on the doorposts to save their firstborn from death. After the lamb was sacrificed, it was to be eaten, and all must eat of the lamb. If you didn’t like lamb, you couldn’t make a lamb cookie; you must eat the lamb.

When Jesus established the new covenant, he became the sacrificial lamb, as one who was unblemished (without sin) and who had no bones broken upon the cross as the two thieves had done. When His heart was pierced with a lance to make sure he was dead, Jesus sprinkled His blood to save us all from eternal death. Then, to make the covenant complete, the Lamb must be eaten.

This is Holy Communion, the True Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! Happy are we who are called to His supper!


#10

[quote=DEESYPAL]"Then he broke a piece of bread gave thanks to GOD broke it, and gave it to them, saying 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.'
Luke 22:19-20
[/quote]

Your friend suggests:

"Then he broke a piece of bread gave thanks to GOD broke it, and gave it to them, saying ‘This symbolizes my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.’

I’d stick with the original version.

Catholics believe Christ turned wine into His blood.
Protestants (most of them) believe Christ turned wine into wine.

We all agree that Moses turned water (the Nile) into blood.

If Christ turned wine into wine, then Moses pulled off the greater miracle.

Peace in Christ…Salmon


#11

[quote=DEESYPAL]Im annoyed because now im doubting that its really Christ’s body. I feel it is a grave sin. Forgive me Jesus.
[/quote]

Awhile back, I read a book called Eucharistic Miracles by Joan Carroll Cruz.

One of the stories in the book was about a priest who had the same doubt and how the Eucharist became real flesh and blood in his own hands. The book has many other stories about the Eucharist actually turning to flesh and blood.

Even though I have not had the same doubts, the book did help to strengthen my belief in the Real Presence.

My advise to you is to talk to a priest who you trust and respect about your doubt. He will be able to help you with this.

PF


#12

Here is something else to consider about the symbolic argument. A slightly different perspective from the usual rebuttals.

The argument of symbolism hits on two different points. The first refers to the bread at the last supper, with the claim being that the bread is only symbolically Jesus’ body. The second refers the word “eat” in John 6, when Jesus said one must eat His body and drink His blood. The claim here is that Jesus did not mean “eat” or “drink” literally.

The only possible way the symbolism argument can work is if these two points are considered separately. If considered together, the logic fails. It fails because John 6 points to the last supper, and the last supper refers back to Jesus’ teaching of the bread of life in John 6.

On the meaning of “eat”:
[list]
*]“I am the bread of life…” Jn 6:35 “This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may *eat *of it and not die: I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” Jn 6:50-51
[/list]
[list]
*]“Truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” Jn 6:53
[/list]
[list]
*]"…he who eats this bread will live forever." Jn 6:58
[/list]The symbolic “eat” means to accept Jesus, and His words and teachings into your heart, and to live according to God’s will. The problem with this symbolic “eat” comes at the last supper. I can hardly believe that our Lord intended for his apostles to take the bread (here, I will momentarily concede the bread to be only bread) and symbolically eat it. Or, symbolically drink the wine. One can imagine the apostles looking quizzically at each other, saying, “Whaaa?”

At the last supper Jesus took the bread and said “eat”. I think we can assume He meant “eat” - literally. (Generally, that is what a supper is, you eat. “Take this ‘bread’ and EAT it”…EAT *). [size=2]So, if Jesus meant “eat” literally at the last supper, and the meaning of the bread at the last supper refers back to the meaning of the bread in John 6, then “eat” in John 6 must be taken literally as well.
*
So, since EAT MEANS EAT in John 6, the question comes down to: eat what? Bread? As at the last supper? John 6 doesn’t support it. Jesus did not say “anyone who (literally) eats bread will live forever”, or, “unless you (literally) eat bread and (literally) drink wine, you have no life in you.” He said you must eat His body and drink His blood, (again) literally.

“But,” you say, “he could have meant “body” symbolically in both John 6 and at the last supper.” Again, the logic fails. Jesus is the bread of life. You will live forever if you eat (again, literally – see the last supper) the bread of life. If you believe the bread is only Jesus’ body symbolically, then you believe that you will live forever by simply eating… well, bread.

Confused enough? Think of what it was like trying to write this…hooooo boy…

[/size]


#13

[quote=DEESYPAL]"Then he broke a piece of bread gave thanks to GOD broke it, and gave it to them, saying 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.'
Luke 22:19-20

Protestants believe its just a symbol, since he said, ‘Do this in memory of me.’

Im annoyed because now im doubting that its really Christ’s body. I feel it is a grave sin. Forgive me Jesus.
[/quote]

I went through a period of doubt also. It was based on my own, and others, private interpretation of scripture. I felt like I had to understand everything in order to believe. Are not the ones who have not “seen” and yet still believe the ones who are blessed?

I simply began asking for the grace to do what was pleasing to God. He wants us to come to him with faith like little children.

You are now in a position to receive this grace, your doubting shows that you’ve reached a level of maturity in your faith and you are now being tested.

Do you love Jesus? Then let him give you that which gives life, his body and blood. Ask the Father in Jesus’ name for that gift of faith. Keep reading what your brothers and sisters here are offering to you.

Once you come through this trial you will be given a grace that will enable you to provide a powerful testimony of faith.


#14

[quote=DEESYPAL]"Then he broke a piece of bread gave thanks to GOD broke it, and gave it to them, saying 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.'
Luke 22:19-20

Protestants believe its just a symbol, since he said, ‘Do this in memory of me.’

Im annoyed because now im doubting that its really Christ’s body. I feel it is a grave sin. Forgive me Jesus.
[/quote]

Treat your doubt as you would a temptation. Remember that if Christ, through whom all things were created, had intended His words to be merely symbolic, He certainly could have found a better way to convey that than to say, “This is My body.” As Frs. Rumble and Carty put it, “When Christ says, “This is My body,” we have to accuse Him of falsehood or else admit that it is His body not according to the senses, but according to the underlying substance which is imperceptible to the senses.”


#15

Remember when they were going to Lazarus’ house and Jesus said “Lazarus is sleeping”? The apostles were like “Oh… i guess this means he’s getting better.”

Jesus corrected them: “LAZARUS IS DEAD!!!”

They got confused as to what He said – he came out and corrected them. When he promised His body and blood his listeners understood him perfectly. Not only did he NOT correct them, but he repeated himself… four times.
The majority of the disciples ended up leaving him saying “This is a hard saying and who can hear it”? The phrase “to eat the flesh and drink the blood” when used among the Jews, as among the Arabs, when used figuratively, meant to slander a person by calumny to ruin his good name.
Jesus meant it literally. Even Martin Luther said "I cannot escape; the test is too forcible.“
And why would the Evidence Bible’s writers feel the need to write he meant it SYMBOLICALLY… not once, not twice, but three times??? “Oh… uh… he meant it SYMBOLICALLY… its a spiritual thing… the spirit gives life, the flesh profits nothing.” In other words, reducing Jesus’ plain words to a vague, nebulous statement that could mean almost anything – except what he meant them to say. :smiley:
"The spirit gives life, the flesh profits nothing” Paul talks about this to the Corinthians and to the Romans. If we follow the demands of the flesh we find ourselves trapped in anger, sexual sin – the seven deadlies. If we follow the Holy Spirit and believe in Christ’s words even though we cannot SEE him – we shall live. :thumbsup:


#16

Why doesn’t John refer specifically to the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper? The centrality of the doctrine in Catholic Church makes it seem odd that he would not be consistent with the synoptic Gospels.


#17

#18

But since he was an eye witness to the Last Supper, why didn’t he confirm the snyoptic Gospels’ accounts of the institution of the Eucharist? This is, after all, the Blessed Sacrament he seems to be passing over.


#19

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