What does it matter if/that the Eucharist is "truly" the body of Christ?

From what I’ve heard at Masses in the couple of years or so, priests at least in my area have been focusing a lot in their homilies on the importance of the Eucharist, and the fact that it is not merely symbolic but truly the body and blood of Jesus.

My question is why does the Church place so much emphasis on this belief? I understand that the concept of sacraments is crucial to Catholicism, but the way I see it the most important aspect of sacraments seems to be the grace they bestow. Why is it so important that we receive Jesus’ actual body?

Probably the most satisfying answer I received was from my father, who basically said that it is the most intimate form of communion…which I guess makes sense, but I still don’t get why it’s such an integral doctrine.

If anyone has any reading material to suggest on the topic that might help me understand the Catholic view on this better, they would be appreciated.

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Maybe because it’s been the central doctrine of the church for 2,000 years? Maybe because Jesus said that we must eat his body and drink his blood? Maybe because he didn’t make it optional. I’m sorry if I seem like I’m coming down harsh, but this is not simply a matter of preference, this is something that our Lord told us we must do

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Because if it isn’t then Catholics are worshipping an idol and seriously wrong in their understanding of one of the most important things that Jesus came to Earth to accomplish.

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John 6 should make it abundantly clear why it matters.

I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever, and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. … Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, have everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eatheth this bread, shall live for ever.

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Here’s some reading material:

The Catechism if the Catholic Church:

" 1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”
“The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”

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Look around at the world you live in. This beautiful planet, the sun, the stars, if you can imagine: all that is beyond. The trees, flowers, insects, animals, mountains, rivers, lakes, seas. The microscopic life and structure. The miracle of God’s creation.

Consider the miracle of miracles, that God makes it possible for a simple human being to be united with His eternal being, in a simple human activity such as eating. Isn’t that just totally awesome!?

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It matters because after each consecration, you are adoring Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, Who Is really, truly and substantially present under the appearance of Bread and Wine.

If it is NOT valid, then the bread remains bread and the wine remains wine.

We are bound by the First Commandment (I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.) AND the First Great Commandment (Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, with thy whole soul, with thy whole mind and with thy whole strength.) to adore the one True God and not His creation.

From the Pange Lingua:

Sight, taste, touch in Thee are each deceived,
The ear alone most safely is believed…

Also, when you receive worthily God Himself in Holy Communion, you become like Our Lady, who bore Him for 9 months in Her Immaculate and Ever-Virgin womb. She carried Him for 9 months; you only have Him for a few minutes.

Most of all, one should prepare to receive Him and make a good thanksgiving after Holy Communion. The best time to ask God for anything is when you have Him within you.

Read The Blessed Eucharist by Fr. Michael Muller, available from TAN Books 1-800-437-5876. Awesome!

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OK, I’ll bite.

First, yes, it is important.

Why is it important? Because it’s true.

When Jesus said “This is my body” the bread became his body, because what Jesus says is true. When he said “This is my blood”, likewise.

I think your priests are focusing so much on that because 69% of Catholics think that the bread and wine are symbols. They are wrong, but that is what they believe.

Could it be a symbol? I guess it could be if Jesus had said “This is symbolically my body”. But that’s not what he said.

Would it have the same graces? Well maybe, but that doesn’t matter. What matter’s is the truth, which your priests are preaching, and the truth is that Jesus is really and truly present in the bread and wine.

I don’t think the Church necessarily places “so much emphasis” on this belief. I’m sure at one point in history they didn’t talk much about it, but as the people in the pews began to fall out of that belief, the Church necessarily needs to elevate the importance of the teaching for a while to get people to understand it.

Peace,

S

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Because that’s why we are Catholic and NOT something else. Our Catholic Church through an ordained Priest given Grace by God consecrates bread and wine and they become Jesus’ Body Blood Soul Divinity. Because Jesus Himself did so at the last supper and told His apostles to do the same. It matters because we are receiving JESUS CHRSIT HIMSELF not a substitute.

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A few things:

First, if it isn’t Christ, we’re truly caught in idolatry. With a statue, we don’t reference the statue as God. With the Eucharist, we do.

Second, it is the one thing in the Mass we can’t get elsewhere. Songs? Go to a concert. Worship? You can do that in the shower. Community? Go to a bar. Teaching? Watch YouTube. Contemplate Christ? You can do that at home. Only in Mass do we physically encounter God. (Well, we also do in Adoration, but not as intimately.)

Third, there have been some who deny Christ’s physical body, and they reject the Eucharist as a result. The Eucharist is a statement that Christ came to us physically.

More can be expounded on regarding what it says of Christ’s nature, how it informs teaching and practice, etc. Those are just three of the major reasons it matters.

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Jesus said we have to eat his body and drink his blood in order to live forever. So first off, Jesus told us to do this.

He himself showed us how to go about this and created the apostolic succession so we would have priests able to perform the necessary consecration for Jesus to be physically present in the Holy Eucharist.

When we consume the Holy Eucharist, God is physically present in us.

Obviously a BIG deal.

I have also heard it explained that the Eucharist is a momentary physical connection to Heaven for us. A connection with Christ and all who are with him in Heaven…so you not only get a brief moment of communion with Jesus but also with every dead person you love and miss who is in Heaven, and all of your favorite saints.

The fact that God would do such a wonderful thing for us as to let us be physically one with him in our lowly earthly selves is pretty awesome. At least I think so.

And it’s the major reason why I am Catholic. I can’t get this by praying under a tree, or joining the Protestants who have a flashier service.

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^ This

also, because, if the Church is wrong about one of it’s core dogmas, than it can be wrong about anything. The Real Presence is central to Catholicism, period.

^ This is also true. You can actually Receive Divinity into yourself through the Eucharist. You can pray at home. You can read the Bible at home. But you can only experience the Holy Sacrifice at Mass and actually Receive the Lord and His Graces in such an intimate manner through Communion!

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Why are Catholics in this thread even suggesting the possibility that the Church is wrong about this? It isn’t. It’s not a matter of “prove the Church wrong on this point and the whole Church comes tumbling down” because it’s simply the truth.

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I myself would add to that the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as stressful and difficult as it can be sometimes—is still a Sacrament of Healing, and it works. It cleans your slate, and makes you as innocent as a child just Baptized every time you make a good confession. All it takes is you to get through the hard part, but when the Priest declares “and I absolve you…” you feel such relief in God’s Mercy and Love . It is amazing.

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The Eucharist is God Himself- why would we not spend so much time explaining this fact to others?

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Complete gift.
In the Eucharist Christ gives himself to us completely, not just spiritually. Not just in a gnostic way.
Body blood soul divinity.

Humility
Christ con-descends to us in such innocuous and helpless form.

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Well, to a faithful Catholic it pretty much goes without saying that it is the truth :innocent::innocent: and to anyone else that we attach importance to.it because it is true.

But still, a point well worth making :+1:

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Here’s some informative reading material pertaining to the Eucharist.

Brant Pitre’s book - Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist
Scott Hahn’s book - Consuming the Word

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To add to what the others have said: when one receives worthily and humbly, one grows spiritually. This is a great gift for our spiritual benefit.

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