The Incarnation and the Real Presence

I have a question about Christ’s humanity and his real presence in the Eucharist. Christ is both divine and human, but human beings cannot be in a thousand places at the same time. How does Roman Catholicism account for Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist while also honouring Christ’s humanity? I think a Catholic friend of mine said Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in Jesus of Nazareth, Part Two that it’s either at the Transfiguration or after the Resurrection that Christ’s human body takes on the ability of being able to be in multiple places at once? Does anyone know any other resources that explain/defend how Christ’s human nature can be in multiple places at once?


The question remains, but I think I’ve found the passage by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI I was thinking of - actually in the first volume of Jesus of Nazareth on page 270, when he states, “Just as he was transformed through the Cross into a new manner of bodiliness and of being-human pervaded by God’s own being, so too for us this food must become an opening out of our existence, a passing through the Cross, and an anticipation of the new life in God and with God…Only through the Cross and through the transformation that it effects does this flesh become accessible to us, drawing us up into the process of transformation.”

So is it through the Cross that Jesus’ body is able to be in multiple places at once?

Personally, I think it is wormholes - tunnels in the geometry of space–time that connect different parts of the universe. Whenever the elements of bread and wine are consecrated a wormhole is created that goes directly to Christ’s glorious presence in heaven. This seems to be in accord with what Pope Paul VI said in his 1968 Apostolic Letter, Credo of the People of God (Solemni hac liturgia):
26. The unique and indivisible existence of the Lord glorious in heaven is not multiplied, but is rendered present by the sacrament in the many places on earth where Mass is celebrated.

Well this reminds me of a gift that Padre Pio received, Bilocation.

From EWTN’s website:

"Bilocation and Odor of Sanctity

The phenomenon of bilocation is one of the most remarkable gifts attributed to Padre Pio. His appearances on various of the continents are attested by numerous eye witnesses, who either saw him or smelled the odors characteristically associated with his presence, described by some as roses and by others as tobacco. The phenomenon of odor (sometimes called the odor of sanctity) is itself well established in Padre Pio’s case. The odor was especially strong from the blood coming from his wounds. Investigation showed that he used absolutely no fragrances or anything that could produce these odors. The odors often occurred when people called upon his intercession in prayer and continue to this day.

Among the most remarkable of the documented cases of bilocation was the Padre’s appearance in the air over San Giovanni Rotondo during World War II. While southern Italy remained in Nazi hands American bombers were given the job of attacking the city of San Giovanni Rotondo. However, when they appeared over the city and prepared to unload their munitions a brown-robed friar appeared before their aircraft. All attempts to release the bombs failed. In this way Padre Pio kept his promise to the citizens that their town would be spared. Later on, when an American airbase was established at Foggia a few miles away, one of the pilots of this incident visited the friary and found to his surprise the little friar he had seen in the air that day over San Giovanni.

As to how Padre Pio with God’s help accomplished such feats, the closest he ever came to an explanation of bilocation was to say that it occurred “by an extension of his personality.”

I would just say, all things are possible with God.:thumbsup:

I believe that the event of Christ’s crucifixion transcends time and space at each and every Mass.
Think this: http://

I’ve heard certain Protestants proclaim Christ was sacrificed once and for all, and I agree with that, so when Protestants ask “why do you Catholics believe that Christ is resacrificed at you’re church”, I would answer with the above.
But I also think this answer applies to your question.
Hope this helps:thumbsup:

Sorry the picture I was trying to show isn’t coming up, here’s the link:

In a word, it is a mystery and a supernatural miracle. The miracle of the eucharist and transubstantiation cannot be explained by appealing to the natural laws of nature God has put in the nature of things and the created world. Our faith in the eucharist rests on the words of Jesus who is God, so our faith in the eucharist rests on the word of God. And if Jesus who is God said at the Last Supper ‘This is my Body’ and This is my blood’ then we believe what he said and that he can effect the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into his body and blood by his almighty power just as we believe God created us and the entire world out of nothing. The catholic faith in the eucharist does not rely on human reasoning but on divine revelation.

I don’t believe the Transfiguration or the resurrection of Jesus has anything to do with Jesus being able to transubstantiate the bread and wine into his body and blood. At the Last Supper which was before Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection, Jesus transubstantiated the bread and wine into his body and blood and gave it to the apostles to eat and drink. So Jesus was both physically present in his body to the eyes of the apostles as well as being physically and substantially present in the consecrated bread and wine he gave to the disciples to eat and drink. Jesus as God had the power to effect the miracle of the eucharist his whole life long. The transfiguration of Jesus is a manifestation of Jesus’ divinity showing through his humanity which he always possessed since his incarnation.

How Jesus without leaving heaven is also under the sacramental species of the bread and wine wherever the eucharist is celebrated, on every altar and in all the tabernacles throughout the world is beyond our knowledge and experience of the world. But, we do not believe it is beyond the power of God to effect this as the Council of Trent decreed:

For neither are these things mutually repugnant,-that our Saviour Himself always sitteth at the right hand of the Father in heaven, according to the natural mode of existing, and that, nevertheless, He be, in many other places, sacramentally present to us in his own substance, by a manner of existing, which, though we can scarcely express it in words, yet can we, by the understanding illuminated by faith, conceive, and we ought most firmly to believe, to be possible unto God ( Decree on the Eucharist, chapter 1).

As far as Jesus’ body and blood in the eucharist being in a place, St Thomas Aquinas teaches that technically speaking the body and blood of Jesus in the eucharist is not in a place: The place and the object placed must be equal, as is clear from the philosopher (Phys. iv - Aristotle). But the place where this sacrament is, is much less than the body of Christ. Therefore Christ’s body is not in this sacrament as in a place. (ST, Pt. III, Q. 76, art. 5). Following St Thomas, The Catechism of the Council of Trent also teaches that our Lord is not in the sacrament as in a place. Besides the Catechism of the Council of Trent, I believe there are only two instances in the Church’s official magisterial teaching from two popes addressing the issue of ‘place’ in reference to Christ in the eucharist. One is from Pope Paul VI in the encyclical MYSTERIUM FIDEI in which he says “once the substance or nature of the bread and wine has been changed into the body and blood of Christ, nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species—beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical “reality,” corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place.” The other instance if from a prior pope which I believe I read in one of my books on the eucharist but which I don’t have the time presently to look up. Now, the issue about ‘place’ in reference to Christ’s body in the eucharist I don’t think is dogma but probably belongs to the ordinary teaching of the magisterium. The Church has not said much about this officially but what I have related above.

As far as bi-location, I believe St Thomas Aquinas was not in favor of this explanation. I believe his opinion was that a body in its natural way or form of existing can be only in one place at a time. For example, as the Council of Trent decreed above, the body of Christ is in heaven in its natural extended existence, but the whole body and blood of Christ in the eucharist is under the species of the bread and wine as substance or after the manner of substance. If I’m not mistaken, Blessed Duns Scotus favored a bi-location explanation.

The key is that Jesus is present in body, soul and divinity in a sacramental way.

The sacramental way is distinct from our natural way AND from God’s natural way. The sacramental nature is the interface (the connection) between God’s nature and ours. SO it is a third kind of nature and is very unique to those occurrences where God directly interacts with us, where the two come in contact.

Some have said that if Jesus would actually appear in body at the Eucharist, this would actually be less remarkable than Jesus appearing sacramentaly.

The key to this question is to understand what the sacraments are and how that Jesus comes to us sacramentaly, which is a form unique to the interface between God and man that he has established for his and our mutual benefit.

In sacramental form, Jesus’ body is not limited the same way it is when he walks the earth as he showed his apostles.

Thanks for the responses, especially this.

Location, both in space and in time, are accidents or appearances. In the Eucharist, the accidents of the bread and wine remain, under which Jesus in his entirety is substantially present.

The ciborium may be filled with a hundred communion wafers, but it does not hold a hundred multiplications of Jesus. Jesus is one. No matter how many receive, we all receive the one Jesus, whole and entire. In receiving the one Jesus, we are not only in communion with Him but with one another.

Even when I was a Protestant, we talked about Jesus dwelling in the hearts of all Christians, an example of His being specially present in His entirety in multiple “places” while still sitting at the Father’s right hand. Likewise, we spoke of being “washed in His Blood” when one accepts salvation, even though I’m sure we would have insisted that His Blood was shed once in a specific time and place. So the Eucharist doesn’t seem that much of a stretch.

Okay, wait, so I have another question. If Pope Benedict XVI said as I quoted above, that that Jesus was “transformed through the Cross into a new manner of bodiliness and of being-human pervaded by God’s own being…Only through the Cross and through the transformation that it effects does this flesh become accessible to us.” (Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration, 270) then what about the offering of the first Eucharist at the Last Supper, since this proceeded Jesus’ transformation effected at the Cross.

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