The Eucharist...is it literal?


#1

Question:

If we take Christ seriously when he says “This is my body, this is my blood” why, if Christ was fully human, did he hold up bread and wine? Shouldn’t he have held up his arm dripping with blood?

My girlfriend posed that question to me. She said that she thinks it is symbolic and not literal. I’m not sure I completely understand either. Any help?


#2

Check out all the various threads here in the forum about the Real Presence. I believe a similar question was posted a couple of weeks ago. If I find it I’ll post the link to it next.


#3

Yes Zach!

Please read on the Eucharist in Scripture, and how the Early Christians all believed in the Real Presence in the Eucharist!


#4

Thanks!


#5

Check out the Catechism too.


#6

Why can some people believe, without any apparent effort, that the God of heaven and earth, the I AM WHO AM, can become a poor, dirty man in a poor, dirty land, and allow His creatures to torture and murder Him, but they can’t believe that He can exist under the appearances of bread and wine? It is really quite illogical if you think about it.

To believe in the Incarnation but not the Real Presence is like believing that a man can become an ant but not a flea. To either believe them both or to disbelieve them both is a consistent position, but to believe one and not the other is simply inconsistent, IMHO.

This inability to “get” the Real Presence, to figure it out, is exactly what Christ was speaking about when He said “the flesh does not avail”. We cannot really understand these things, but we can accept them when they are revealed to us by God.


#7

[quote=VociMike]Why can some people believe, without any apparent effort, that the God of heaven and earth, the I AM WHO AM, can become a poor, dirty man in a poor, dirty land, and allow His creatures to torture and murder Him, but they can’t believe that He can exist under the appearances of bread and wine? It is really quite illogical if you think about it.

To believe in the Incarnation but not the Real Presence is like believing that a man can become an ant but not a flea.
To either believe them both or to disbelieve them both is a consistent position, but to believe one and not the other is simply inconsistent, IMHO.
[/quote]

Good point!


#8

[quote=VociMike]Why can some people believe, without any apparent effort, that the God of heaven and earth, the I AM WHO AM, can become a poor, dirty man in a poor, dirty land, and allow His creatures to torture and murder Him, but they can’t believe that He can exist under the appearances of bread and wine? It is really quite illogical if you think about it.

To believe in the Incarnation but not the Real Presence is like believing that a man can become an ant but not a flea. To either believe them both or to disbelieve them both is a consistent position, but to believe one and not the other is simply inconsistent, IMHO.

This inability to “get” the Real Presence, to figure it out, is exactly what Christ was speaking about when He said “the flesh does not avail”. We cannot really understand these things, but we can accept them when they are revealed to us by God.
[/quote]

To believe in the Real Presence would mean to believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church…I think that is the greater stumbling block for those who do not believe. It would mean they would submit to an earthly authority instead of Jesus and Scripture. It takes a humble soul to do so, imo.


#9

The Real Presence is a truth we cannot explain fully with our limited human reason. Something is not impossible simply because we cannot understand it! There is no good reason, in fact it is illogical, to limit God’s acts only to things we understand.

–when I think of these three sentences, it’s very easy to believe in the Real Presence.


#10

Christ went through all the trouble of turning water into wine at the wedding, multiplying the loaves and fish for the multitude to prove that he can convert something from something else…all this in preparing the apostoles to believe what he will eventually unfold in the Last Supper. If it were not literal, then the previous Passovers of the Jews would have to be a symbolic too in eating of the passover lamb would be completely senseless.

in XT.


#11

[quote=zachattack05]Question:

If we take Christ seriously when he says “This is my body, this is my blood” why, if Christ was fully human, did he hold up bread and wine? Shouldn’t he have held up his arm dripping with blood?

My girlfriend posed that question to me. She said that she thinks it is symbolic and not literal. I’m not sure I completely understand either. Any help?
[/quote]

I find it rather hard to believe that people at a table would take food and wine from only one person.

If you and I went to a meal with 12 others, surely we would stretch and help ourselves to the wine and food, why would someone say, "Take this all of you and eat it, etc;

Why didn’t the apostles get their own food and drink from their own cup ?

Mark 14:22 22 And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye. This is my body.23 And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many. 25 Amen I say to you, that I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new in the kingdom of God.

John 15:5 5 I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.

This from Mark I want to draw your attention to, it seems from this, although many can say it’s a play on words, that the apostles and Jesus were **already eating ** before Jesus said those words, I don’t know, but it does seem so.

dsanford.com/miraclehost/hostvideo.wmv

I agree with Aquinas xvi that Cana can be linked to what happened at the Last Supper.


#12

When paul talked about this in 1 Cor. 11, was he not talking about it in a spiritual sense and by doing it, remembering the sacrifice of Christ??? He said if one was taking the bread and cup IN THE WRONG WAY THEN it was crucifying the Lord all over again. Isn’t this what the church is doing??


#13

[quote=Phil467]When paul talked about this in 1 Cor. 11, was he not talking about it in a spiritual sense and by doing it, remembering the sacrifice of Christ??? He said if one was taking the bread and cup IN THE WRONG WAY THEN it was crucifying the Lord all over again. Isn’t this what the church is doing??
[/quote]

Because Protestants reject even the earliest of the Church Fathers, it is hardly surprising that they have almost no understanding of our Jewish roots. The Eucharist, like the Passover, is a zikkaron event. This means that the past is literally made present. This is what is meant by the Eucharist being a memorial. Clearly the Church isn’t recrucifying Christ, rather we are brought to the foot of the cross at the defining moment in salvation history.

Ask yourself what Paul meant by drinking the cup of the Lord unworthily. Here is verse 28 “A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup.” Let’s think about this. We are not supposed to eat the eucharist unworthily. Once we have examined ourselves and determined that we have a clear conscience (not in the state of mortal sin) all of a sudden we are able to eat it. Clearly it is being in sin that makes one unworthy to eat the body and blood of the lord. Tell me, if the eucharist is symbolic, how is it that those who consume it in a state of sin “eat and drink judgment on themselves”? This also conflicts the idea that our sins don’t matter after “accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior”. Yes, our sins are able to be forgiven should we ask, but those who choose not to seek forgiveness will be lost.


#14

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