The Body of Christ


#1

Well, I must really be missing something here, but I don’t understand the Catholic take on communion. Protestants view it as a symbol, and that seems to make more sense to me when I look at the verses about the last supper.

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

Well how can it literally be Jesus’s body when he was sitting right there? It seems it HAD to have been just a symbol from the beginning. If I am wrong can someone please explain this to me?


#2

[quote=Christian4life]Well, I must really be missing something here, but I don’t understand the Catholic take on communion. Protestants view it as a symbol, and that seems to make more sense to me when I look at the verses about the last supper.

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

Well how can it literally be Jesus’s body when he was sitting right there? It seems it HAD to have been just a symbol from the beginning. If I am wrong can someone please explain this to me?
[/quote]

And why can’t Jesus be in two places at once? If saints like Padre Pio could bilocate, why not Jesus? Also read John 6.


#3

[quote=Genesis315]If saints like Padre Pio could bilocate, why not Jesus? Also
[/quote]

psst…I don’t think Christian4life is Catholic, so he probably doesn’t believe that St. Padre Pio bilocated.

BUT, you are still right. Jesus can be in more than one place at the same time. Remember, He is GOD!


#4

[quote=Genesis315]And why can’t Jesus be in two places at once? If saints like Padre Pio could bilocate, why not Jesus? Also read John 6.
[/quote]

Exactly! Although, I agree, using St. Pio as an exmaple would probably not hold weight to a Protestant. I do agree with looking at John 6. I’ve never heard a reasonable answer from a Protestant disputing that Christ meant his comments as figurative, rather than literal. Why would he have let the masses leave in disgust, if he was speaking figuratively? Why not just call them back and say ‘no, no, you misunderstood what I said!’


#5

Jesus left us the most precious gift - his body, blood and divinity. He said that we must eat his flesh and drink his blood in order to have life. I’m at work now, but I’ll send you some scripture references later on.

Blessings,
Shannin


#6

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

Notice the word in bold!

Does the resurrection seem unbelievable to you? Does Jesus’ countless miraculous healings and raising Lazarus from the dead seem unbelievable to you? Does a virgin birth seem unbelievable to you? Does walking on water seem unbelievable to you?..

:wink:


#7

[quote=atsheeran]psst…I don’t think Christian4life is Catholic, so he probably doesn’t believe that St. Padre Pio bilocated.

BUT, you are still right. Jesus can be in more than one place at the same time. Remember, He is GOD!
[/quote]

Nope, you’re right. I’m not a Catholic. I’m a Christian of some sort though, that’s all. I’m also not a “he”.

Who was in two places at once? Why would he want to be in two places at once?:hmmm:


#8

Well, many people have had the gift of bilocation, including St. Francis, but in the most recent times St. Pio had this gift. Here’s a link about St. Pio. . . catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=311

My grandmother had a book about him which I read when I was small; I mean, really small. I always felt a “connection” to St. Pio. He died exactly one month before my father did.

St. Pio, pray for us.

As for why he might have been in two places at once, the short answer is not that it was the will of St. Pio, but the will of God, that enabled St. Pio to bilocate.


#9

John 6- 32Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

48I am the bread of life. 49Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.

Well, I don’t know. It still seems symbolic to me.


#10

[quote=Mickey]And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

Notice the word in bold!

Does the resurrection seem unbelievable to you? Does Jesus’ countless miraculous healings and raising Lazarus from the dead seem unbelievable to you? Does a virgin birth seem unbelievable to you? Does walking on water seem unbelievable to you?..

:wink:
[/quote]

No, I believe in all those things because they obviously were not symbolic.

However, when Jesus says he IS the bread that came down from heaven, he has to be talking symbolically, because he obviously isn’t literally a piece of bread. Just like when he was talking about sinner’s gauging out their own eyes and such.


#11

[quote=Christian4life]**For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. **

Well, I don’t know. It still seems symbolic to me.
[/quote]

How to you come to that conclusion?

:confused:


#12

You might find this link helpful:

newadvent.org/cathen/05573a.htm


#13

[quote=Christian4life]No, I believe in all those things because they obviously were not symbolic.

However, when Jesus says he IS the bread that came down from heaven, he has to be talking symbolically, because he obviously isn’t literally a piece of bread. Just like when he was talking about sinner’s gauging out their own eyes and such.
[/quote]

This is from Catholic Answers. It is an exellent essay. A must read!

catholic.com/library/Christ_in_the_Eucharist.asp


#14

I believe he meant a real *spiritual *presence but not a real physical presence. I don’t understand how it could be anything but symbolic if he was standing right there, and he isn’t literally a piece of bread.

I read both articles but I still don’t know how you can say he is literally in the bread. Like, his spiritual presence could be there, and I’m not saying that communion isn’t important as believers, I think the Protestant churches don’t put near enough emphasis on it, but I do not see how you could be eating his actual body cause that’s like cannabolism and it doesn’t make any sense.

I hope I don’t come across wrong, I really am trying to understand this. When he says “unless you eat of my flesh and drink of my blood you have no life in you” I’m not even sure what that means.


#15

[quote=Christian4life]John 6- 32Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

48I am the bread of life. 49Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.

Well, I don’t know. It still seems symbolic to me.
[/quote]

Let me ask you this: what does it symbolize? I have heard it symbolized belief or faith. But if this were the case,why would desciples have left him after saying this? They already believed and had faith. What was so shocking? If they wrongly took him literally, why would Jesus let them go? Why wouldn’t he correct them and tell them it was symbolic?

Also check out 1 Cor. 10:16 and especially 1 Cor. 11:27-29. How could one approach bread and wine unworthily? Why would you have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord for just eating bread and wine?


#16

[quote=Christian4life]Well, I must really be missing something here, but I don’t understand the Catholic take on communion. Protestants view it as a symbol, and that seems to make more sense to me when I look at the verses about the last supper.

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

Well how can it literally be Jesus’s body when he was sitting right there? It seems it HAD to have been just a symbol from the beginning. If I am wrong can someone please explain this to me?
[/quote]

The Catholic take on the Eucharist goes back to the Gospel accounts, the Epistles, the early Church Fathers, and the 2000 year continual teaching that Christ is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist.

Taking any one scriptural passage and trying to prove or disprove something makes for poor theology. The Scriptures do not contradict themselves, and any passage about a theological issue needs to be looked at not only in itself, but also in relation to all other passages related to it.

The Gospel writers do not say that Christ said “this is a symbol of My Body” or “a rememberance of My Body”. If you read John Chapter 6, you find first a miracle of feeding the 5000, and shortly after that you find the discourse on the Eucharist. Throughout that discourse, you find people having real difficulty with what Christ is saying. Not only does Christ not say to them “oh, you misunderstand me, I didn’t mean that literally”, but you find Him becoming more and more graphic in His description. The Greek word used for “eat” really translates into a much more graphic description of eating; it comes closer to the word “gnaw” or “gnaw on”. Note that many of His disciples leave Him, and he makes no effort to get them back; in fact, He turns to the Apostles and asks them if they are going to leave too. Note also that the next comment about the flesh and the Spirit make no sense if you take the word “flesh” to refer to the Eucharist; it would turn the whole passage upside down. It only makes sense in the context of the previous discourse if it refers to flesh as used elsewhere to mean our weakened state (e.g. the world, the flesh and the devil).

The term generally accepted in the Western (Roman) rite is “transubstantiation”. However, several centuries earlier to that, the Eastern rites used the word “homoousias”, which means same substance, as opposed to the word “homoiousias”, which means similar or like substance.

Note also that Paul tells us that anyone who eats the Eucharist while unworthy (in the state of sin) brings condemnation on himself; a charge that makes little sense if the Eucharist is just a symbol and nothing more.


#17

[quote=Mickey]This is from Catholic Answers. It is an exellent essay. A must read!

catholic.com/library/Christ_in_the_Eucharist.asp
[/quote]

Yes, that is a great link, thanks for posting it, Mickey! I hope everyone reads it, as then I won’t have to retype all that stuff from the Clement of Alexandria/John 6 thread :smiley:


#18

[quote=Genesis315]Let me ask you this: what does it symbolize? I have heard it symbolized belief or faith. But if this were the case,why would desciples have left him after saying this? They already believed and had faith. What was so shocking? If they wrongly took him literally, why would Jesus let them go? Why wouldn’t he correct them and tell them it was symbolic?

Also check out 1 Cor. 10:16 and especially 1 Cor. 11:27-29. How could one approach bread and wine unworthily? Why would you have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord for just eating bread and wine?
[/quote]

Hmm. Those ARE good questions. I will ask my die-hard Protestant husband that tonight. I’m afraid he will have some very good response and I will have to get back to you. I am trying to become Catholic but it is really really hard because I have so much learning to do and so many questions. And I feel like I have to convince him as well as myself, or else he tries to talk me out of it all the time, even though I’ve told him I feel this is the direction God is leading me right now, even if the purpose may be just to study more.


#19

[quote=Christian4life]Hmm. Those ARE good questions. I will ask my die-hard Protestant husband that tonight. I’m afraid he will have some very good response and I will have to get back to you. I am trying to become Catholic but it is really really hard because I have so much learning to do and so many questions. And I feel like I have to convince him as well as myself, or else he tries to talk me out of it all the time, even though I’ve told him I feel this is the direction God is leading me right now, even if the purpose may be just to study more.
[/quote]

God Bless you C4L,

Don’t feel bad. Lifelong Catholics continue to study and learn their faith. It is a faith so rich and deep, that there is always something more to learn. Make sure to temper your research with much prayer. Try not to argue or fight with your husband. That would be fruitless. Just tell him that resistence is futile. (just kidding). :smiley:


#20

[quote=Christian4life]Hmm. Those ARE good questions. I will ask my die-hard Protestant husband that tonight. I’m afraid he will have some very good response and I will have to get back to you. I am trying to become Catholic but it is really really hard because I have so much learning to do and so many questions. And I feel like I have to convince him as well as myself, or else he tries to talk me out of it all the time, even though I’ve told him I feel this is the direction God is leading me right now, even if the purpose may be just to study more.
[/quote]

Right on!! You’ve taken the first steps into a fulfilling, and truly wonderful realization. Don’t feel bad about not understanding it. That’s why its a mystery. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the nature of God. Three natures, one being, having existed for all time and will continue to exist for all time; transcendent of time and space, knows all…Ow, my head hurts


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