The Eucharist: Last Supper and Good Friday


#1

A Fundamentalist said on his radio program that the Eucharist is not a representation of Calvary. Instead, he claims, Catholics really believe that Calvary is a representation of the Last Supper. He pointed out that if Christ offered up himself at the Last Supper for the forgiveness of our sins, then there would have been no need for him to die on Good Friday. He was trying to make the point that the Eucharist can’t possibly be Jesus’ Body and Blood.

My answer is that Christ wanted to give us the gift of his Body and Blood before he died. And, although one’s sins could have been forgiven at the Last Supper through the offering up of Jesus’ Body and Blood, he could not enter heaven because Jesus had not yet died and resurrected.

Is this the correct response? If not, please help!


#2

Well, the argument doesn’t even make sense, so I’m not sure how to respond. However, since fundamentalists love to quote scripture, just respond with Matthew, 26:26-29; Mark,14:22-24; Luke,22:19-20;1Corinthians, 11:23-26. If that’s not enough, Acts,2:42 and Acts 20:7 make reference to the Eucharist.

Peace.


#3

The Fundamentalist said that Catholics believe that the Sacrifice of the Mass is a representation of Calvary, which is correct. However, he said that since Jesus offered the first Sacrifice of the Mass on Holy Thursday (before Good Friday), there would have been no need for him to die on Good Friday.

What affect did Jesus’ Holy Thursday sacrifice have compared to his sacrifice on Good Friday?

I gave him the usual verses that reference the Eucharist, but he says these should be taken figuratively. Pretty convenient, huh?


#4

[quote=Pinatz]The Fundamentalist said that Catholics believe that the Sacrifice of the Mass is a representation of Calvary, which is correct. However, he said that since Jesus offered the first Sacrifice of the Mass on Holy Thursday (before Good Friday), there would have been no need for him to die on Good Friday.

What affect did Jesus’ Holy Thursday sacrifice have compared to his sacrifice on Good Friday?

I gave him the usual verses that reference the Eucharist, but he says these should be taken figuratively. Pretty convenient, huh?
[/quote]

Check out Scott Hahn’s The Fourth Cup. He shows how the Passover event begins with the Last Supper and ends on the Cross. It is all one event. You cannot separate the Last Supper from Calvary. Hahn carefully draws the picture in terms anybody can understand.


#5

[quote=Pinatz]The Fundamentalist said that Catholics believe that the Sacrifice of the Mass is a representation of Calvary, which is correct. However, he said that since Jesus offered the first Sacrifice of the Mass on Holy Thursday (before Good Friday), there would have been no need for him to die on Good Friday.

What affect did Jesus’ Holy Thursday sacrifice have compared to his sacrifice on Good Friday?

I gave him the usual verses that reference the Eucharist, but he says these should be taken figuratively. Pretty convenient, huh?
[/quote]

But what does this mean, a “representation of Calvary”? A reenactment of Christ’s crucifixion and death on the cross? The Mass is certainly not that. The premise is ill-informed and oversimplified. This person needs to do some research. The book suggested by mercygate sounds like an excellent resource.

And, by the way, the suggestion that verses which support Catholic doctrine should be taken figuratively is ridiculous on its face and the lamest retort of all.


#6

Part of the problem here is that there is a seperation of the Last Supper Events from The Event on Calvary. In truth they are parts of one and the same event. It is a common problem akin to using proof texts. One has to consider the whole. A pedistrian example might be Visiting Washington D.C. One progresses from one building or monument to the next, but each stop is not the visit, it is part of a whole.


#7

Yes, the Last Supper, and Jesus Sacrifice on Calvary are part of the same event. In addition, I believe that the Sacrafice of Calvary is made present to all of us throughout time and space by means of the Eucharist. One can think of the sacrifice of calvary as reaching forward in time to be present at each Mass, and backward in time to be present at the Last Supper. To God, these events are all one. It is one and the same sacrifice, at the last supper, at Calvary, at each Eucharist.


#8

Yes, the Last Supper, and Jesus Sacrifice on Calvary are part of the same event. In addition, I believe that the Sacrafice of Calvary is made present to all of us throughout time and space by means of the Eucharist. One can think of the sacrifice of calvary as reaching forward in time to be present at each Mass, and backward in time to be present at the Last Supper. To God, these events are all one. It is one and the same sacrifice, at the last supper, at Calvary, at each Eucharist.

Good explanation, JimG. Thanks.

Is it correct to say that on Holy Thursday the fruits of the Sacrifice could have been applied to someone (dead or alive) for the forgiveness of his sins but that he would not have been able to enter heaven yet because Jesus had not yet risen?


#9

[quote=Pinatz]A Fundamentalist said on his radio program that the Eucharist is not a representation of Calvary. Instead, he claims, Catholics really believe that Calvary is a representation of the Last Supper. He pointed out that if Christ offered up himself at the Last Supper for the forgiveness of our sins, then there would have been no need for him to die on Good Friday. He was trying to make the point that the Eucharist can’t possibly be Jesus’ Body and Blood.

My answer is that Christ wanted to give us the gift of his Body and Blood before he died. And, although one’s sins could have been forgiven at the Last Supper through the offering up of Jesus’ Body and Blood, he could not enter heaven because Jesus had not yet died and resurrected.

Is this the correct response? If not, please help!
[/quote]

All 3 synoptic gospels set forth the simple answer to the issue…the bread and wine offered at the Last Supper WERE NOT bread and wine offered as an alternative to the cross.

Instead, whether you fundamentalist speaker likes it or not, Christ Who was God expressly declared that the bread and wine offered at the Last Supper ACTUALLY COMPRISED THE FLESH AND BLOOD WHICH WOULD BE OFFERED ON THE CROSS. Here are the actual words, from the classic King James Version…

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.
27] And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28] For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26:26-28.

22] And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
23] And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
24] And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Mark 14:22-24.

19] And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20] Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. Luke 22:19-20.

It is clear enough: JESUS WHO IS GOD, IN THE BOOK INSPIRED BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, SAYS THAT THE LAST SUPPER BREAD AND WINE ARE THE SAME STUFF WHICH WOULD BE SHED. If Jesus hadn’t suffered and died, the sacrament would not be valid.


#10

Hello Pinatz,

Time is the measure of change between mass, energy and empty space in the physical world our Spiritual God created. Our Spiritual God is not confined by physical time in anyway. Our Spiritual God is Omni-present to the whole of physical time which He created.

The Spiritual power of the concecration of the Eucharist is not confined to physical time. The Spiritual power of the consecration of the Eucharist flows out from Christ’s death on the cross to all Eucharistic celibrations in the whole of physical time. Both the Last Supper Eucharistic celibration which we in the physical world see as past and those Eucharist celibrations we see as in the future are Spiritually tied to Christ’s death. Because Christ died on the cross, the consecration of the Eucharist came to be at the Last Supper before His death on the cross.

The problem with the fundimentalists theory is that he is confining God and Spiritual things to physical time. God and Spiritual things are not confined by physical time in any way. The fundimentalist greatly underestimates our Omni-Powerful Spiritual God.


#11

Isn’t the Christ we receive in the Eucharist the resurrected, glorified Christ?

As John Paul II wrote in the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, “This pledge of the future resurrection comes from the fact that the flesh of the Son of Man, given as food, is his body in its glorious state after the resurrection.” In another paragraph he wrote, "The Eucharistic Sacrifice makes present not only the mystery of the Saviour’s passion and death, but also the mystery of the resurrection which crowned his sacrifice. It is as the living and risen One that Christ can become in the Eucharist the “bread of life” (Jn 6:35, 48), the “living bread” (Jn 6:51). "

At the Last Supper, even before the crucifixion, the disciples ate the flesh of Jesus (this is my flesh…), the resurrected, glorious Jesus. How this can be we cannot know, only apprehend by faith.

They couldn’t have very well have done what they did if Jesus hadn’t left the upper room, been betrayed, suffered, died, buried, resurrected.

Calvary doesn’t represent the last supper. The last supper represents Calvary AND the resurrection. The offering at the last supper WAS the offering at Calvary, totally dependant on that single offering. From the encyclical again:

“The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are* one single sacrifice*”.14 Saint John Chrysostom put it well: “We always offer the same Lamb, not one today and another tomorrow, but always the same one. For this reason the sacrifice is always only one… Even now we offer that victim who was once offered and who will never be consumed”.

Don’t ask me what comes later in the encyclical, we’re only 1/3 of the way through it in RCIA!


#12

What about this question?

Is it correct to say that on Holy Thursday the fruits of the Sacrifice could have been applied to someone (dead or alive) for the forgiveness of his sins but that he would not have been able to enter heaven yet because Jesus had not yet risen?

If the fruits of the Holy Thursday sacrifice could have been applied fully to the dead person, could he have entered heaven before Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday?


#13

[quote=Pinatz]Good explanation, JimG. Thanks.

Is it correct to say that on Holy Thursday the fruits of the Sacrifice could have been applied to someone (dead or alive) for the forgiveness of his sins but that he would not have been able to enter heaven yet because Jesus had not yet risen?
[/quote]

Yes, I think that’s right. I believe that heaven was closed to mankind until Jesus rose into heaven on Ascension Thursday.

But it is not really accurate to apply concepts of human time to the events of salvation. The apostles received the holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday which was an anticipation of the sacrificial event which took place on Good Friday. Since none of them died before Good Friday the question is somewhat moot. But I suppose that if any of them did, they would have entered heaven along with Jesus when he ascended into heaven.

For that matter, the fruits of salvation were applied to Adam and Eve, Moses, and all the good people of the old testament in the same way. That is what the creed means by “he descended into hell.” (to liberate those awaiting salvation.)


#14

I think heaven was opened at Easter or a little before, not at the ascension. For Jesus already entered heaven after he died. He descended to hell, liberated the souls from the Limbo of the Fathers, and then went to heaven (spiritually) with the saints of old testament times, before Resurrecting in a glorified body. His ascension into heaven was his bodily ascension, but it was not the first time he had been.

In his Summa Theologica, Aquinas says that they went to heaven after Christ left hell. So somewhat before his Resurection even:

"Consequently, when Christ descended into hell, by the power of His Passion He delivered the saints from the penalty whereby they were excluded from the life of glory, so as to be unable to see God in His Essence, wherein man’s beatitude lies, as stated in the I-II, 3, 8]. But the holy Fathers were detained in hell for the reason, that, owing to our first parent’s sin, the approach to the life of glory was not opened. And so when Christ descended into hell He delivered the holy Fathers from thence. And this is what is written Zach. 9:11: “Thou also by the blood of Thy testament hast sent forth Thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water.” And (Col. 2:15) it is written that “despoiling the principalities and powers,” i.e. “of hell, by taking out Isaac and Jacob, and the other just souls,” “He led them,” i.e. “He brought them far from this kingdom of darkness into heaven,” as the gloss explains. "

D"irectly Christ died His soul went down into hell, and bestowed the fruits of His Passion on the saints detained there; although they did not go out as long as Christ remained in hell, because His presence was part of the fulness of their glory. "

At the Last Supper, even before the crucifixion, the disciples ate the flesh of Jesus (this is my flesh…), the resurrected, glorious Jesus. How this can be we cannot know, only apprehend by faith.

Not necessarily. Aquinas was of the opinion that they recieved his visible body invisibly and his passible body impassibly…by nature of the sacrament.

He also believed that if it had been consecrated on Good Friday, his body and blood would have been dead and seperate in the sacramental species:

From his Summa Theologica:

“Christ’s body is substantially the same in this sacrament, as in its proper species, but not after the same fashion; because in its proper species it comes in contact with surrounding bodies by its own dimensions: but it does not do so as it is in this sacrament, as stated above (3). And therefore, all that belongs to Christ, as He is in Himself, can be attributed to Him both in His proper species, and as He exists in the sacrament; such as to live, to die, to grieve, to be animate or inanimate, and the like; while all that belongs to Him in relation to outward bodies, can be attributed to Him as He exists in His proper species, but not as He is in this sacrament; such as to be mocked, to be spat upon, to be crucified, to be scourged, and the rest.”

“As was said above (76, 2), in virtue of the consecration, the body of Christ is under the species of bread, while His blood is under the species of wine. But now that His blood is not really separated from His body; by real concomitance, both His blood is present with the body under the species of the bread, and His body together with the blood under the species of the wine. But at the time when Christ suffered, when His blood was really separated from His body, if this sacrament had been consecrated, then the body only would have been present under the species of the bread, and the blood only under the species of the wine.

“Christ’s soul is in this sacrament by real concomitance; because it is not without the body: but it is not there in virtue of the consecration. And therefore, if this sacrament had been consecrated then, or reserved, when His soul was really separated from His body, Christ’s soul would not have been under this sacrament, not from any defect in the form of the words, but owing to the different dispositions of the thing contained.”

The Bread PRIMARILY becomes his body…and is only his blood, soul, and divinity because they are now substantially united.

The Wine PRIMARILY becomes his blood…and is only his body, soul, and divinity because they are now substantially united.

But on the days before his resurrection, his presence in the eucharistic species would have been the same as his visible self, except impassible and invisible…but this is by the nature of Transubstantiation…not by nature of his body


#15

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