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The Eucharist: The Lord's Supper
Catholic Biblical Apologetics ^ | July 23, 2004 | Paul Flanagan and Robert Schihl

Posted on 06/10/2007 4:48:46 AM PDT by markomalley

Roman Catholic Christians share with most Christians the faith that Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed, ate a final or last supper with his Apostles. This final meal was also the celebration of the Jewish Passover or Feast of the Unleavened Bread which commemorated the passing over of the Jews from the death in slavery to the Egyptians to life in the Promised Land.

Christians differ in the meaning this Last Supper has to them and the Church today. Catholic Christians together with other historical Christian Churches (e.g., Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Christians, Lutherans, Anglicans and some Episcopalians, etc.) believe the literal words of Jesus - that the bread and wine are truly his body and blood. Other later Christian Churches profess a mere symbolic meaning to the words of Jesus.

The faith of the Catholic Church is based on both a fundamental principle of hermeneutics and the constant faith of the Church from Apostolic times.

The Catholic Church teaches that the first principle of hermeneutics--the science of the translation and interpretation of the Bible--is the literal meaning of the text.

Spiritus Paraclitus Benedict XV, September 15, 1920
As Jerome insisted, all biblical interpretation rests upon the literal sense ...
Divino Afflante Spiritus, Pius XII, September 30, 1943
... discern and define that sense of the biblical words which is called literal ... so that the mind of the author may be made clear. ... the exegete must be principally concerned with the literal sense of the Scriptures.

The definition of the literal sense:
The sense which the human author directly intended and which his words convey.

The first writer of the New Testament was the apostle Paul. His Letter to the Corinthians was written as early as 56 AD, earlier than the first Gospel, Mark's, written about 64 AD. Paul was also not an eyewitness to what he wrote but testifies to his source.

1 Cor 11:23-29
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.

The next New Testament text in chronological order would have been Mark's Gospel. Written about 64 AD, in Rome, Mark, not an eyewitness, probably heard the account of the Last Supper he recorded from the Apostle Peter.

Mk 14:22-24
While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many."

The third account of the Last Supper could be Matthew's. Matthew, the tax collector Levi, was an eyewitness to the meal. He was one of the twelve Apostles. Matthew probably wrote his Gospel in the 70's.

Mt 26:26-28
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins."

Luke's account of the Last Supper, written from the standpoint of a Gentile convert and a non-eyewitness, probably heard the details of the Last Supper from Paul. Luke was a traveling companion of Paul. Luke also wrote in the 70's.

Lk 22:15-20
He (Jesus) said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it (again) until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you (that) from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me." And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you."

The beloved disciple, John, the last of the New Testament writers, wrote his Gospel in the 90's. John was an eyewitness to the events of the Last Supper (Jn 6:30-68).

Jn 6:53-56
Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."

Hence Catholic Christian belief in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist rests upon the literal meaning of the words of the Last Supper as recorded by the Evangelists and Paul.

The uniformity of expression across the first four authors affirms the literalness. Belief in the real presence demands faith--the basis of new life as called for by Christ throughout scripture. But faith in signs conferring what they signify is the basis also for the Incarnation--appearances belying true meaning. The true significance of the real presence is sealed in John's gospel. Five times in different expressions, Jesus confirmed the reality of what he means.

Jn 6:51
I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.
Jn 6:53
Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.
Jn 6:54
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.
Jn 6:55
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
Jn 6:56
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.

The best way a person can make a clear literal point is repetition of the same message in different ways. Jesus did this. Those around him clearly understood what he was saying--cannibalism and the drinking of blood--both forbidden by Mosaic Law.

Jn 6:60,66
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" ... As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

Had these disciples mistaken the meaning of Jesus' words, Jesus would surely have known and corrected them. He didn't. They had clearly understood his meaning--Jesus' flesh was to be really eaten; his blood to be really drunk.

Non believers often respond that even at the Last Supper, the apostles did not sense that they had flesh in their hands and blood in their cup. But Jesus is God. The creative literalness of the words: "This is my body; this is my blood" must be believed. God cannot lie. And God can turn bread into flesh and wine into blood without the appearances of bread and wine changing.

Medieval philosophers and theologians called this expression of Divine Truth and Creative Power "transubstantiation". Yes, God can change the substance of any created matter while the appearances remain unchanged. And this demands faith.

Paul confirms elsewhere in his letters the reality of the real presence.

1 Cor 10:16
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

The persuasion of the Church from Apostolic times about the objective reality of these words of Christ is clear from many documents.

Irenaeus (Asia Minor, 140 - 202), Tertullian (Rome, 160 - 220), Cyprian (Carthage, 200 - 258) are just a few of the earliest who attest to the objective reality of the words of Christ.

In the Church in Alexandria, Athanasius (293 - 373) and Cyril (376 - 444) equally attest to the literal meaning of the words of Christ at the Last Supper.

In the Church in Palestine, Cyril (Jerusalem, 315 - 387) and Epiphanius (Salamis, 367 - 403) also affirm in their teaching the same reality.

Unanimity is found across the universal church until the 11th century. Berengar (Tours, France, 1000 - 1088) was one of the first to deny the real presence by arguing that Christ is not physically present, but only symbolically.

The Council of Rome (a local council), 1079, taught against Berengar that the Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Christ.

By the 16th century, some Reformers (excluding Luther) also taught that Christ's presence in the Eucharist was only figurative or metaphorical. Since there were other opinions being taught as truth (figurative presence and metaphorical presence) a teaching authority (see Chapter 5) had to be appealed to discern error from the truth. The way of the Church was to follow the model of Acts 15.

The Council of Trent (1545 - 1563) defined the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and the Eucharist as both the continuing sacrifice of Christ and a real sacrament. The institution of the Eucharist as sacrament was contained in the words "Do this in remembrance of me."

The Mass: Synagogue Service and Last Supper

Roman Catholic Christians celebrate the Eucharist in the liturgical act called the Mass. The word Mass comes from the Latin missa ("sent"). It was taken from the formula for dismissing the congregation: Ite missa est ("Go, the Eucharist has been sent forth") referring to the ancient custom of sending consecrated bread from the bishop's Mass to the sick and to the other churches.

The Mass contains two parts: the liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The Liturgy of the Word is a copy of the Jewish synagogue service of the first century: readings from Scripture followed by responses from the congregation often from the Book of Psalms. The Liturgy of the Eucharist is a reenactment of the Last Supper. A celebrant does what Christ did: take bread and wine and say the same words Christ said and then share the now consecrated bread and wine with the congregation.

Roman Catholics believe that the bread and wine become the real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and remain such until the elements are entirely consumed. The Body and Blood not consumed at one Eucharist are reserved for the next celebration of the Eucharist and venerated as the Body and Blood of Jesus.

Remembrance: One Sacrifice--Calvary--Continued

Roman Catholic Christians take the word of God seriously and seek to remember Christ in the Last Supper "as often as" possible. And in doing this proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

1 Cor 11:24-26
"This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
Lk 22:19
"This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me."

Catholic Christians also believe that there is only one sacrifice, Jesus', but following the command "as often as" to proclaim the death of the Lord, the sacrifice of Christ is made physically present to every Christian in all places in every age. The Eucharist makes the atemporal aphysical actions of Christ's redeeming action truly present to us always and everywhere. This is incarnational.

Following the word of God, Catholics also know that Christ is not and cannot be resacrificed. This has never been the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Heb 10:12
But this one (Jesus) offered one sacrifice for sins ...
Heb 7:27
He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did that once for all when he offered himself.
Heb 9:25-28
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly ... But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice. ... Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many ...

The constant faith of the Church from the Apostolic Fathers attests to the fact that the Mass was the one Sacrifice of Calvary made present to the faithful.

Cyprian (Carthage, 200-258), Letters, No 63:9 (To Caecilian)
In which portion we find that the cup which the Lord offered was mixed, and that that was wine He called His Blood. Whence it appears that the blood of Christ is not offered if there be no wine in the cup, nor the Lord's sacrifice celebrated with a legitimate consecration unless our oblation and sacrifice respond to His passion.

The 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church makes this statement explicitly.

Catechism Section 1085
In the Liturgy of the Church, it is principally his own Paschal mystery that Christ signifies and makes present. During his earthly life Jesus announced his Paschal mystery by his teachings and anticipated it by his actions. When his Hour comes, he lives out the unique event of history which does not pass away: Jesus dies, is buried, rises from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of the Father "once for all." His Paschal mystery is a real event that occurred in our history, but it is unique: all other historical events happen once, and then they pass away, swallowed up in the past. The Paschal mystery of Christ, by contrast, cannot remain only in the past, because by his death he destroyed death, and all that Christ is -- all that he did and suffered for all people -- participates in the divine eternity, and so transcends all times while being made present in them all. The event of the Cross and Resurrection abides and draws everything toward life.
Catechism Section 1104
Christian liturgy not only recalls the events that saved us but actualizes them, makes them present. The Paschal mystery of Christ is celebrated, not repeated. It is the celebrations that are repeated, and in each celebration there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that makes the unique mystery present.


The Roman Catholic Church through history approached her faith life with the clarification of language. That is, she translated the essentials of revealed faith into the vocabulary of living language.

Transubstantiation reflects Roman Catholic faith in the literalness of the words of the Bible.

Jesus (omnipotent God) said: "This is my body; this is my blood." And again Jesus said: "I am the bread of life;" "My flesh is true food; my blood is true drink;" "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood ...;" etc.

Roman Catholics take Jesus at His word: the bread is his body; the wine is his blood.

From the Apostles at the Last Supper until today, the bread and wine of Eucharist looks and feels and tastes like bread and wine in the eating and drinking.

Similar to all of God's Word, faith is essential. Faith in what? In the words of Jesus even though the bread does not look, feel, taste like flesh; even though the wine does not look, feel, taste like blood.

Medieval philosophers and theologians sought simply to label this simple biblical faith: Jesus said that bread is his body and wine is his blood even though it did not appear to change into visible flesh and blood.

Transubstantiation means the substance part of the bread and wine elements changes; but the accidental parts--sight, taste, smell, touch--do not. Catholics believe that since Jesus said it and He is God, he can do it. They believe! "Transubstantiation" merely labels it.

In everyday life, it is not at all uncommon to believe in things man cannot perceive by the senses: wind, electricity, love, peace, etc. All the more when Jesus says it.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: bible; catholic; eucharist; realpresence; transubstantiation
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To: Salvation

Wow, I’m listening to Fr. Groeschel , he is brilliant today.

21 posted on 06/10/2007 8:18:25 AM PDT by tiki
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To: markomalley

What about that beam in your eye, dear friend?

22 posted on 06/10/2007 8:48:54 AM PDT by pjr12345 (But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? James 2:20)
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To: ears_to_hear

God Bless you and thank you for your testomony. It is great to see a member of a Protestant church speak about the presence of Jesus in His body and blood. This is a break from all the anti-Catholic bashing that sadly does occur in a number of threads.

23 posted on 06/10/2007 8:53:05 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation.)
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To: AliVeritas; markomalley; tiki

Sequence of St. Thomas courtesy of the New Liturgical Movement blog:

“In case you didn’t get to hear it chanted on Thursday, or today if the Feast was transferred, at least you can read it here in an English translation; the sequence for Corpus Christi, Lauda Sion Salvatorem (written by St. Thomas Aquinas):

Sion, lift thy voice and sing:
Praise thy Savior and thy King;
Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true:
Dare thy most to praise Him well;
For He doth all praise excel;
None can ever reach His due.

Special theme of praise is thine,
That true living Bread divine,
That life-giving flesh adored,
Which the brethren twelve received,
As most faithfully believed,
At the Supper of the Lord.

Let the chant be loud and high;
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt to-day in every breast;
On this festival divine
Which recounts the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.

At this table of the King,
Our new Paschal offering
Brings to end the olden rite;
Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead;
Here, instead of darkness, light.

His own act, at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
In His memory divine;
Wherefore now, with adoration,
We the Host of our salvation
Consecrate from bread and wine.

Hear what holy Church maintaineth,
That the bread its substance changeth
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.
Doth it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of sight transcending,
Leaps to things not understood.

Here in outward signs are hidden
Priceless things, to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things, are all we see:-
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine;
Yet is Christ, in either sign,
All entire confessed to be.

They too who of Him partake
Sever not, nor rend, nor break,
But entire their Lord receive.
Whether one or thousands eat,
All receive the selfsame meat,
Nor the less for others leave.

Both the wicked and the good
Eat of this celestial Food;
But with ends how opposite!
Here ‘tis life; and there ‘tis death;
The same, yet issuing to each
In a difference infinite.

Nor a single doubt retain,
When they break the Host in twain,
But that in each part remains
What was in the whole before;
Since the simple sign alone
Suffers change in state or form,
The Signified remaining One
And the Same forevermore

Lo! upon the Altar lies,
Hidden deep from human eyes,
Angels’ Bread from Paradise
Made the food of mortal man:
Children’s meat to dogs denied;
In old types foresignified;
In the manna from the skies,
In Isaac, and the Paschal Lamb.

Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep!
Thy true flock in safety keep.
Living Bread! Thy life supply;
Strengthen us, or else we die;
Fill us with celestial grace:
Thou, who feedest us below!
Source of all we have or know!
Grant that with Thy Saints above,
Sitting at the Feast of Love,
We may see Thee face to face. Amen”

24 posted on 06/10/2007 9:04:31 AM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: tiki

Please share for those of us who have to tune it in on our computers!

25 posted on 06/10/2007 9:18:11 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: pjr12345

“If on the “peter was the first pope” doctrine rests the authority of the RCC, then the false doctrine of the “eucharist” is where their power resides. By controlling the sacrifice of the Lord through their man-made priesthood, they purport to dispense Christ’s atoning sacrifice according to their own whim.”

It is not only RC doctrine but it is also Bible-based that Jesus would build His church on the rock of Peter. Also the same Bible you speak of also is where we see the origins of the priesthood, in Genesis 14:18-20, of King Melchizedek, who also becomes a priest of God, bringing bread and wine to Abram. So it is the same Holy Bible that is the basis to why there is a priesthood in the RC Church. Plus the priest in the RC Church offers up the sacriface of Mount Calvary made when He gaved up His very for the forgiveness of our sins.

I do hope and pray this better explains what the Holy Bible says when it comes to the priesthood and its Bible origins.

26 posted on 06/10/2007 9:21:30 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation.)
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To: markomalley
Well done, thank you.

Of interest, before our being born into this life, we are nourished by our mother’s flesh and blood. Jesus nourished us in this life before we are born into the next. Neither, of course, is cannibalism. It is what He says, you either believe Jesus or you don't.

27 posted on 06/10/2007 9:23:00 AM PDT by ex-snook ("But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: markomalley

Scott Hahn picks up on the number of times that Christ is called the Lamb in the Book of Revelation. His book, “The Lamb’s Supper” is quite beautiful in explaining the import. Here is an interview he did with EWTN going into more detail on this:

The Eucharist as The Lamb’s Supper
from a talk by Scott Hahn

One of the most important ways that the Old Covenant foreshadows the New is in its use of the image of the sacrificial lamb. Let’s see how this relates to the Eucharist in Scripture.

First, take a look at Revelation 5. In Revelation 5, there is a scroll with seven seals that nobody can break open and everybody is really upset. In fact John almost begins to cry. In 5, verse 2, “A strong angel proclaimed with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ And no one in heaven and on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it.” What is the scroll? The word is biblion. Most likely it’s a reference to a covenant document, the New Covenant document that nobody is worthy to break open. “And I wept much, but no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it,” because this scroll would consummate and fulfill the promises of the Old Testament.

“Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep not. Lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, he has conquered so that he can open the scroll and seven seals.’” You could almost feel the hallelujah rising up from within your soul. The Lion of the tribe of Judah! You turn. You look and John turns to look and what does he see in verse 6, “ And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw,” what? Aslan, the lion? No. David crowned with glory? No. You’d think so, a lion and a king are the words used to describe it. “I turned and I saw a lamb standing, looking as though it had been slain.”

Jesus Christ is the son of David and the king of the new and heavenly Jerusalem. He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah and He is the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world, as it said elsewhere in Revelation. But here in heaven on the throne of glory, after His crucifixion, Hs resurrection, His ascension, His enthronement, He still looks like a lamb. He still looks as though He had been slain. Why not clean up the body? Why not wipe away the wounds? Why continue resembling a lamb? Because He’s continuing the Passover offerings, the sacrifice. Not by dying, not by bleeding and not by suffering but by continuing to offer up Himself as the firstborn and as the unblemished lamb, as the perpetual, timeless, everlasting sacrifice of praise to the Father.

And what do the people do? They rejoice and they break out into a song. And what is the song, “Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals for thou was slain.” Past tense, “And by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” And what has he done? He’s become a priest to be sure, but for what purpose? “He has made them a kingdom and priest to our God.” He has made those whom he has saved priests. And what do priests do? They offer sacrifice.

Has Christ’s sacrifice ended all sacrifices? No. Christ’s sacrifice has ended all ineffective, bloody animal sacrifices that never did anything anyway. Now for the first time in history we can really begin to offer sacrifice to God. Romans 12 says, “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” And it wouldn’t be holy and acceptable except that it’s united to Christ’s perpetual sacrifice. He’s not bleeding. He’s not dying. He’s not suffering, but he is offering a sacrifice as a lamb does, as a priest king does continually, forever.

And that’s what it’s all about. John wouldn’t see a lamb looking as though it had been slain if the whole kit and caboodle was completed and done. Yes, it’s completed and done, but it’s still going on, and it’s going to go on forever in the future. Why? Because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, as Hebrews tells us.

Now, is this strange? Is this teaching novel? Well, let’s take a look at 1st Corinthians and see how natural it seems to the apostle Paul. We have already looked at 1st Corinthians 5, “Christ, our Passover,” that’s in verse 7, “Christ, our Paschal Lamb has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” What’s he talking about? Is he talking about leaven being like sin. No. He’s saying let us celebrate the feast with unleavened bread. What feast? The Eucharist! The sacrifice continues because communion must be celebrated. We’ve got to eat the lamb, the resurrected, glorified, enthroned lamb that still looks as though he’d been slain because he’s still giving himself to us.

Turn over with me now to Corinthians, chapter 9, verse 13. He says, “Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings in the same way the Lord commanded. That those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.” Now we might be tempted to read Corinthians 9, 13 and 14 and say, “Well, back in the Old Testament they did temple service and altar service and sacrifice, but now in the New Testament they only proclaim the word.”

The problem with that is that Paul goes on to say, Corinthians 11, as we will see, how Christ’s death is proclaimed. Take a look with me at 1st Corinthians, 11:23-26. “For I received from the Lord what I shall deliver to you.” Interesting, he received it not from Peter and the apostles. When Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus or perhaps at some other time, what did Jesus deliver to Paul? Instructions for the Eucharist. “I received from the Lord what I also deliver to you. That the Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup after supper saying, ‘This cup is the New Covenant in my blood. Do this.” Commandment, imperative tense. “As often as you drink it in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

You proclaim the gospel. Let’s go back then to Corinthians 9, verse 14, “In the same way the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.” How does Paul proclaim the gospel? Just by preaching? Or by celebrating the Eucharist? “As often as you do this, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” That’s the gospel. Paul is talking in verses 13 and 14 about how he should be supported as an apostle and he does so in conjunction with temple service at an altar where there is sacrificial offerings which he as an apostle has the right to receive from. What’s he talking about? A New Covenant temple? A New Covenant altar? A New Covenant sacrifice where he proclaims the gospel by celebrating the Eucharist.

Now let’s go on to Corinthians 10 and get things straight really quickly here because Corinthians 10, gives us a proper warning. In the first ten verses of Corinthians 10, Paul says that back in the Old Testament with Moses, verse 3, “They all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink.” The water from the rock and the manna in the wilderness and both, Paul says in a sense, were signs of Christ’s presence among them. Nevertheless, verse 5, “with most of them God was not pleased for they were overthrown in the wilderness.”

In the next three verses he describes the Golden Calf incident where thousands of them died. In other words just because you receive supernatural food and drink doesn’t mean you’ve got it made in the shade. You have to set things right with God and keep things right with the Lord. Verse 11, “Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction upon whom the end of the ages has come.” We now have a greater and much more supernatural food and drink. So we can relax? No. We’ve got to be even more circumspect in searching out our hearts and making sure we are right with God.

He goes on in verse 16, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a coenia, a communion, a participation in the blood of Christ?” Not a symbol. But a share, a communion. The bread which we break , is it not a coenia, a communion in the body of Christ. “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body for we all partake of the one bread.” He doesn’t mean to say that there’s one enormous loaf that we all take a piece from. There are many loaves of bread. There are many breads in that earthly sense, but there’s only one bread in the heavenly sense, and that’s Christ. Because we receive from one bread Christ, the Bread of Life, we who are many become one body, namely, the Body of Christ. He’s suggesting that we become what we eat.

He goes on to contrast our sacrifice with other sacrifices and he says, verse 18, “Consider the people of Israel. Are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar?” What he is saying is back then when you eat the sacrifice, you have a communion in the altar of those animals. Now we have a communion on all of our altars in the New Covenant with Christ, the Lamb of God. Verse 21, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord with jealousy? Are we stronger than he?” For some reason God takes this with the utmost seriousness. Why?

Corinthians 11, he spells it out even clearer. We’ve already read verses 23 through 26. Now we can conclude with verse 27 where he says, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the Body and the Blood of the Lord.” Now that language is actually like civil judicial language. Somebody who’s practically guilty of murder or capital offense is guilty of the body and blood. Now if it’s only a symbol, he might be guilty in some lesser sense, but when you profane the Lord’s Supper, you actually become guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord. “Let a man examine himself, therefore, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning,” — the symbolism? No. “...the body, eats and drinks judgment upon himself.”

Now is he just speaking metaphorically? He couldn’t be because in the next verse he says, “That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died.” To receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is playing with fire of the worst sort. He goes on in chapter 12, verse 12, “For just as the body is one,” the Church, that is, “...and has many members and all the members of the body though many are one body, so it is with Christ for by one Spirit we were all baptized in the one body.” When we received the water of Baptism, we received the Spirit of God. “And all were made to drink of the one Spirit.” When we receive Eucharist, Communion, we receive the Spirit as well as the flesh and the blood and the body, soul, humanity and divinity of Christ.

This is significant, very significant. This, in fact, gives us the whole interpretive key to the Book of Revelation. Many non-Catholic as well as Catholic scholars have noticed that the whole structure of Revelation is a big Passover liturgy where Christ, the Priest King, the firstborn Son and the Lamb looking as though it’s been slain conducts and celebrates the heavenly liturgy. And the earthly liturgy is meant to be a reflection in that, a participation in that, and the early Church took it for granted. There is the Lamb looking as though it’s been slain and making all of the people in heaven priests so they can assist in the offering of the firstborn son of God to the Father and join themselves with it.

Abridged from Scott Hahn’s audio and video tape presentation,
“Eucharist: Holy Meal” as it appears in the “Catholic Adult Education on Video Program” with Scott and Kimberly Hahn.

Full text available in our library.
Both the individual audio and video cassettes and the entire 20 cassette
library, complete with study guides, are available from:
St. Joseph Communications
PO Box 720
West Covina, CA 91793

28 posted on 06/10/2007 9:34:28 AM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: ears_to_hear

I do hope you have time and see fit to come back to the thread. I enjoyed our discussion earlier this morning.

29 posted on 06/10/2007 9:38:03 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: Iscool

Look DEEPER at anamnesis.

Look at what it really means:

As Robert Sungenis noted in a written debate with some anti-Catholics a decade ago:

“In support of this perpetual sacrifice, the word translated “memorial” or “remembrance” used at the Last Supper (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor.11:24-25) is the Greek word “anamnesis.” It is also used in the Septuagint in connection with sacrifice (Lev.24:7). “Anamnesis” translates the Hebrew word “azkarah,” which is used seven times in the OT in reference to sacrifice (Lev.2:2,9,16; 5:12; 6:15; Num. 5:26). It is also significant that “anamnesis” is only used four times in the NT, the fourth time appearing in Hebrews 10:3 also in reference to a memorial sacrifice. Hence, Jesus’ use of “anamnesis” in Luke 22:19 specifies the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist. In effect, Jesus would be saying, “Whenever you do this, do it as a memorial sacrifice of me.” The use of “anamnesis” in Luke 22:19 is even more significant in denoting sacrifice since there was another Greek word Luke could have used for a non-sacrificial memorial (”mnemosunon,” cf., Mt.26: 13; Mk.14:9; Acts 10:4).


“As for your analysis of the word “anamnesis” used in Luke 22:19, here is what you wrote: “The word “anamnesis” means, “recollection: remembrance (again)”. It comes from “anamimnesko” which means “to recollect: - call to mind, remembrance”. Mark 1 1.21 uses this word: “And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him...”...This is obviously not a sacrifice.” Would you mind telling us from what Greek reference you got this information? The word “anamnesis” does not, as you say, “come from,” the word “anamimnesko.” It is a cognate of “anamnesis.” Both have a common root, “anamneo,” but they are different words used different ways. I have proved and stated previously that “anamnesis” is used EXCLUSIVELY in reference to a memorial sacrifice in the NT (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25; Heb. 10:3). The word “anamimnesko” is used EXCLUSIVELY in reference to “memory” or “remembrance” Mk. 11:21; 14:72; 1 Cor. 4:17; 2 Cor. 7:15; 2 Tim. 1:6, Heb. 10:32). It is never used with sacrifice. The Jews chose the word “anamnesis” when they were performing sacrifices (Lev. 2:2,9,16; 5:12; 6:15; 24:7; Num. 5:26; 10:10), never the word “anamimnesko.” They only used “anamimnesko” when referring to a non- sacrificial remembrance (Gen. 8:1; 41:9; Ex. 23:13; 2 Sam. 18:18, et al). In fact, Numbers 10:9-10 shows us the distinction of the two words very vividly. Numbers 10:9 says, “...Then you will be remembered [anamimnesko] by the Lord your God.” Numbers 10:10 says, “you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial [anamnesis] for you before the Lord.”It is obvious that the latter reference is purposely being changed to “anamnesis” to accomodate the sacrificial language since that is the way the word is exclusively used in the OT. In addition, the use of “anamnesis” in Numbers 10:10 is in reference to a “burnt offering” (which required the shedding of blood and the application of that blood, cf, Levitcus 1:1- 17; 4:1-26) and hence, this discredits your comment that, “each reference is concerning a meal offering not blood.” Thus, audience, we see that Catholic theology is vindicated again. Jesus uses a specific word in his Last Supper “anamnesis” in Luke 22:19) that was used EXCLUSIVELY for sacrifices in the Old Testament, including those of blood. Do I have to say more?”

Learn more about anamnesis.

30 posted on 06/10/2007 9:46:02 AM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: P-Marlowe
Indeed Christ's "presence" is real. And he is present always....Not once a week. Not only when someone conjures him up in some mystical ritual.

That is true through the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit.

However, Christ himself sits at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. When we participate in Holy Communion the Holy Spirit narrows the distance between us and Christ and we enjoy spiritual communion with Christ himself. There is real mystery on how the Holy Spirit narrows that distance.

31 posted on 06/10/2007 9:47:21 AM PDT by the_conscience
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To: pjr12345; ears_to_hear; P-Marlowe; 1000 silverlings; blue-duncan; Alex Murphy; HarleyD; N3WBI3; ...
Think about it, a select group of hand-picked priests control a key religious symbol by performing an incantation complete with a magic spell. The object of this incantation magically, but not apparently or even measurably, changes into another substance that holds sway over the eternal souls of all people.

Excellent summary!

As further proof of the alchemy, at a certain point in the elevation of the eucharist the bread and wine morphs into Jesus Christ's body and blood. Below that specific point, grocery store. Above that specific point, divinity.

All during His ministry, Christ spoke against this type of mysticism. Instead, He preached simple faith in Him as our sin-bearer, the propitiation of our sins.

"Be not afraid; only believe." -- Mark 5:36

I found this terrific review of a booklet written by Calvin I hadn't heard of before --

by John Calvin

"...I dare say that we have been gravely deceived if we think that the Roman Catholic Church as an institution has changed substantially since the 16th century. Recently I had the opportunity to observe a Roman Catholic mass on television and what I saw taking place there was the very same accursed idolatry spoken of in our Heidelberg Catechism. Moreover, as I read John Calvin's little booklet, it was as if I was reading a commentary and description of what I had observed. The false Roman Church of Calvin's day is the false Roman Church of our day.

Though written so many hundreds of years ago, this small work by the powerful Geneva Reformer contains much of value for us. Calvin wrote it to persuade a friend to leave the Roman Catholic fold. His friend had written to him and asked whether it was possible to remain a member of the false church while inwardly being of Reformed convictions. At that time, there was a large group of people in Reformation Europe, referred to as Nicodemites (after the Pharisee Nicodemus of John 3), who were in prestigious positions, and for whom conversion to the Reformed faith would mean disaster in terms of social consequences. Such people could lose their family, their incomes, and even possibly their lives. It was one of these Nicodemites who had written to Calvin wondering what he should do. The question is phrased this way in the Translator's Introduction: "Is it lawful for a person who has renounced Popery in his heart to conform outwardly to its rites, for the purpose of avoiding persecution, or for any other imaginable cause?"

In the 64 pages of this minute tome, Calvin gives his reasons why his correspondent should remove himself immediately from fellowship with the Roman Church. Calvin's arguments are completely founded on Scriptural grounds, as we would expect. He outlines why the Roman Catholic Church is a false church and why true Christians can have nothing to do with the blasphemies and idolatries found within. Even being in the presence of the mass can give the appearance to others of conformity to sin against the second commandment. Calvin describes Roman Catholic worship and the Mass and argues "that those only preserve the holy religion of God who profane it by no defilements of unhallowed superstitions, and that those violate, pollute, and lacerate it, who mix it up with impure and impious rites" (pp.17-18)...


QUESTION 80: What difference is there between the Lord's supper and the popish mass?

ANSWER: The Lord's Supper declares to us that our sins have been completely forgiven through the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ which he himself finished on the cross once for all.^1

It also declares to us that the Holy Spirit grafts us into Christ,^2 who with his very body is now in heaven at the right hand of the Father^3 where he wants us to worship him.^4

But the Mass teaches that the living and the dead do not have their sins forgiven through the suffering of Christ unless Christ is still offered for them daily by the priests.

It also teaches that Christ is bodily present in the form of bread and wine where Christ is therefore to be worshiped.

Thus the Mass is basically nothing but a denial of the one sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ and a condemnable idolatry. --

(^1 John 19:30; Heb. 7:27; 9:12, 25-26; 10:10-18

^2 1 Cor. 6:17; 10:16-17

^3 Acts 7:55-56; Heb. 1:3; 8:1

^4 Matt. 6:20-21; John 4:21-24; Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:1-3)

QUESTION 95: What is idolatry?

ANSWER: Idolatry is having or inventing something in which one trusts in place of or alongside of the only true God, who has revealed himself in his Word.^1 -- (^1 1 Chron. 16:26; Gal. 4:8-9; Eph. 5:5; Phil. 3:19)

32 posted on 06/10/2007 9:50:10 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: markomalley
The United Methodist Church has published "This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion", from which I got some of the following. Not all Protestants believe that Communion is merely a memorial meal, which I believe may have come from Zwingli? Whatever our particular beliefs, however, I think all Christians should partake of the Lord's Supper with a solemn, grateful, and joyful heart!

"The Christian church has struggled through the centuries to understand just how Christ is present in the Eucharist. Arguments and divisions have occurred over the matter. The Wesleyan tradition affirms the reality of Christ's presence, although it does not claim to be able to explain it fully. John and Charles Wesley's 166 Hymns on the Lord's Supper are our richest resource for study in order to appreciate the Wesleyan understanding of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. One of these hymns expresses well both the reality and the mystery: "O the Depth of Love Divine," stanzas 1 and 4 (The United Methodist Hymnal, 627):

O the depth of love divine, the unfathomable grace! Who shall say how bread and wine God into us conveys! How the bread his flesh imparts, how the wine transmits his blood, fills his faithful people's hearts with all the life of God! Sure and real is the grace, the manner be unknown; only meet us in thy ways and perfect us in one. Let us taste the heavenly powers, Lord, we ask for nothing more. Thine to bless, 'tis only ours to wonder and adore.

Article XVI of The Articles of Religion of The Methodist Church describes the sacraments as "certain signs of grace, and God's good will toward us, by which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm, our faith in him" (Book of Discipline, page 63). Article XVIII describes the Lord's Supper as "a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death; insomuch that, to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ" (Book of Discipline, page 64).

United Methodists, along with other Christian traditions, have tried to provide clear and faithful interpretations of Christ's presence in the Holy Meal. Our tradition asserts the real, personal, living presence of Jesus Christ. For United Methodists, the Lord's Supper is anchored in the life of the historical Jesus of Nazareth, but is not primarily a remembrance or memorial. We do not embrace the doctrine of transubstantiation, although we do believe that the elements are essential tangible means through which God works. We understand the divine presence in temporal and relational terms. In the Holy Meal of the church, the past, present, and future of the living Christ come together by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we may receive and embody Jesus Christ as God's saving gift for the whole world."

33 posted on 06/10/2007 9:55:33 AM PDT by Flo Nightengale (long-time lurker)
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To: markomalley; pjr12345
if you are a real Bible believer and not simply a troll

It is not Christian, nor is it according to the rule of FR, to label everyone who disagrees with you as a "troll."

It's been shown time and again that some RC posters cannot abide disagreement with the magisterium. If one's contentions cannot be supported by Scripture, those contentions need to be reevaluated. And that's not the fault of the Scriptures nor the person pointing out the error.

34 posted on 06/10/2007 9:56:58 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: ears_to_hear

Terrific post. I hope all the RCs take the time to read it and see where the perpetual offering of the mass blasphemes the word and will of God.

35 posted on 06/10/2007 10:01:11 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; pjr12345; ears_to_hear; P-Marlowe

The “Quiddush” said on the eve of Sabbath and of the Passover, runs:

The blessing of the wine: “Praise to Thee, Eternal, our God, King of the world, who hast created the fruit of the vine.”

The blessing of the bread: “Praise to Thee, Eternal, our God, King of the world, who bringest forth the bread out of the earth.”

The concluding doxology: “Praise to Thee. Eternal, our God, King of the world, who hast sanctified us through Thy commandments, who hast been well pleased with us and hast granted us this holy Sabbath in thy gracious love, to be an everlasting possession and a Memorial of thy work of creation. For it is the first of all holy festivals, a Memorial of the exodus from Egypt. Yea, thou hast chosen us and sanctified us from all peoples, and hast given us Thy holy Sabbath in love and grace. Praise to Thee, Eternal who dost sanctify the Sabbath.”

It’s a Memorial, nothing more and nothing less!

36 posted on 06/10/2007 10:10:06 AM PDT by blue-duncan
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

I enjoyed looking at your profile page.

37 posted on 06/10/2007 10:14:17 AM PDT by Mark17
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; ears_to_hear
If one's contentions cannot be supported by Scripture, those contentions need to be reevaluated. And that's not the fault of the Scriptures nor the person pointing out the error.

And you will please note that ears-to-hear and I were having a very nice conversation along those lines until the other poster decided to post troll-like spam on the thread.

If the other poster or you would like to have an adult conversation, either of you are more than welcome to do so. It's called having a discussion...something that adults do when they don't agree with one another.

But that's not what this other individual did. The other individual simply accused the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of teaching heresy or worse (and, by extension, Catholic believers). No evidences were given. Just an assertion. Fine. That is his/her right to do so (we live in a free country, right?). This poster simply wrapped him/herself in the scriptures (without citing applicable scriptures to support that belief).

Well, I gave that other poster "the Word." I quoted several scriptures that are appropriate for him/her to use in the situation where he/she found herself (dealing with a "heretic"). I then challenged this poster to act in accordance with those scriptures.

Isn't that what one is supposed to do? Teach each other scriptures? Reprove each other with scriptures? Correct each other's behaviors with scriptures?

If, after the posting given me by this other poster and my rejection of that posting, this poster did other than what the scriptures called for, that other poster is clearly not acting in accordance with scripture and is just trying to stir stuff up. In other words a troll.

To repeat, though, if you would like to have an honest, adult, discussion of the issue that is the subjet of the thread, I'm all ears (or all eyes, as it were).

38 posted on 06/10/2007 10:22:28 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

That’s gonna leave a mark.

39 posted on 06/10/2007 11:22:51 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; P-Marlowe; ears_to_hear

The priest has the power in his magic finger, to draw God down from heaven, whenever the priest chooses. Jesus is then at his beck and call—Oh the power of it! The priest can crucify Him over and over. Makes you wonder what is really going on

40 posted on 06/10/2007 11:39:37 AM PDT by 1000 silverlings ("May all the saints preserve us." Mrs. Pickles)
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