Did the Disciples Discern the Body in the Eucharist?


Tom: We have no record in the Gospels, as to whether the disciples believed that it was His body and blood or that it was merely bread and wine, and that they may have believed Jesus was speaking metaphorically as when He called himself a vine.

Bread From Heaven: Jesus was not speaking metaphorically as in when He says I am the vine, or I am the door. I have addressed this common Protestant work-around for the literal interpretation of John 6 in the following posts.

Communion-Symbol Only?

The Body of Christ is Symbolic!!!

Tom: It may well be that the disciples did “not discern the Body and Blood of Jesus”.

Bread From Heaven: I see how you might think even the disciples did “not discern the Body and Blood of Jesus”. We don’t know b/c we have not been left a record. But, even if they did not discern or were totally confused at the Last Supper, this was all VERY new and our gracious Lord would give them grace during this time of transition. Surely, after the resurrection they understood, a short three or four days later.

But, I think it is very likely that the Last Supper was a big “Ah Ha!” moment for them. A year earlier at near the time of the Passover, Jesus had multiplied the bread and fish and then told everyone that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life. Many others left Jesus but the disciples stayed but were surely puzzled by this seeming reference to what sounded like cannibalism.

So, when Jesus said of the bread, “Take and eat; this is my body.” and of the cup “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” They must have breathed a sigh of relief and thought, Oh! So, this is what Jesus meant last year about eating His flesh and drinking His blood.”

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“BACK TO THE PEOPLE!” “AGAINST VATICAN II!” “COMMUNION IN THE HAND!” “PARTICIPATION!” “LATIN!”


“BACK TO THE PEOPLE!” “AGAINST VATICAN II!” “COMMUNION IN THE HAND!” “PARTICIPATION!” “LATIN!”.

Baptism, Eucharist & Mortal Sin


Sonja: I confess not to completely understand the passage in

Peter,
I Peter 3:21 baptism now saves you

there are so many other instances where the Bible talks about belief/calling on the Lord only…John 3:16, Romans 10:9-13, .
Bread From Heaven: What is said in I Peter regarding baptism is very clear. What is unclear is why, Protestants, who profess to believe in Scripture and ONLY Scripture teach their members to reject what this scripture clearly says.

Faith and belief are also necessary for salvation. Baptism initiates us into the family of God exactly like circumcision did for the Jews (infant circumcision and infant baptism correspond to each other)

Col 2:11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Sonja:In Acts when he is talking to the jailor…how do you explain those away?

Bread From Heaven: Let’s look at the passage from ACTS.

Acts 16:29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

As you see they believed and were baptized. The Catholic Church teaches that if one believes but dies before being able to be baptized they are still saved through a Baptism of Desire. God can save us without baptism in His mercy and omniscience; but we were told by Jesus to be baptized.

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Being a disciple implies the Faith necessary for salvation. But, where does Jesus make baptism and obedience optional? Where does Jesus say salvation is by FAITH ALONE?

Many Protestant pastors and teachers tend to dichotomies: either this or that. ie. Either Faith or baptism saves us. But the Catholic Faith, with a 1500 year head start on Protestants in reading and understanding Scripture recognize dichotomies don’t do justice to Scripture. More often it is not either/or but both/and…faith and baptism and obedience as we see in the Matthew passage above. Other passages mention other requirements for salvation/eternal , “eating My Flesh and drinking My Blood”. Trying to force Scripture into an either/or dichotomy distorts the message beyond repair; or else many scriptures are totally ignored or interpreted away.

Sonja:Furthermore, does not baptize in the Greek meant to immerse? This is what I’ve been taught, but admittedly don’t know Greek myself, but it seems the only way you could accurately picture the death burial and resurrection like they pointed out in one of the letters

Bread From Heaven: And yes, baptismo means immerse. So, immersion is certainly a fuller sign of dying to self and rising to new life. But, if baptism initiates us into Christ and is necessary for salvation (Jn 3) then what of conversions on a sick/death-bed? What of infants close to death? Haul them miles and miles away to a body of water deep enough to fully immerse? They might die on the journey. For many reasons the Church compassionately and for practical reasons decided that a valid baptism could be accomplished without full immersion. A lake or river with moving, (living water) is preferred but at least the pouring of water on the head was required three times, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

CCC-1278 The essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

This is an except from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. But the whole entry is very beautiful. You can read it here Baptism.

Sonja: The Eucharist…the bread and wine have to be representative as there was never actually any physical bread that came down from heaven. The “bread” was Jesus Christ. If you could show me physical bread that came from heaven, I would probably concede to a literal interpretation here. Also, if you take these passages as literal they say whoever partakes of this bread will be saved. That is apart from all your other sacraments and belief only this one thing would need to be done. So the only logical way I can take it as meaning partaking spiritually in his body and blood via excepting his sacrifice for my sin…We do have unfermented wine and unleavened bread, but only “in remembrance” of what he has done.

Bread From Heaven: You are correct. Jesus IS the Physical Bread that came down from Heaven. A better Bread than the Miracle of the Manna that came down from Heaven. The physical Bread that we eat is JESUS’ body,blood,soul, and divinity in the Eucharist, after plain bread has been consecrated by our priests. It is no longer mere bread but JESUS, under the appearance of Bread. We partake of this Bread that comes down from Heaven by a miracle, of God, through the hands of a priest, at each of our masses.

Grape juice is just not wine. Grape Juice is grape juice and wine is wine. Wine comes from fermented grape juice. Grape juice does not come from unfermented wine but grapes. This is a very plausible sounding way for Protestants to try to get around the fact that, contrary to the fact that wine was one of the elements Jesus used at the Last Supper, they have arbitrarily decided to use grape juice instead. Protestants often do not use wine b/c of the tradition from a few years ago surrounding Prohibition and their recent tradition that drinking alcoholic beverages is sinful. This is another Protestant Tradition of men b/c it is nowhere supported in scripture. Getting drunk is a sin but drinking without getting drunk is not a sin.

Sonja:…mortal and venial sin…not sure what you think is a “sin unto death” but Revelation 21:8 lists liars as having their part in the second death. James 2:10 tells us if we “keep the whole law” and yet “offend in one point he is guilty of all.” The next verse explains why…the same God told you not to do it. There are some things however that do seem to be worse in the eyes of God when dealing with things on earth. I would agree there. Would love to hear any rebuttals (please make them educated and Bible based) that Catholics have.

Bread From Heaven: You are correct. There are several lists in the epistles that list very serious sin. I John mentions mortal sin/sin unto death.

I John 5:16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

The Catholic Church calls these sins that lead to death, Mortal Sins and the lesser sins that we, ourselves, can pray for forgiveness for, Venial Sin. We have merely given a shorter name to these sins than “sin-that-leads-to-death” and “sin-that-does-not-lead-to-death”.

Regarding

James 2:10 tells us if we “keep the whole law” and yet “offend in one point he is guilty of all.”

Of course, it is TRUE. Any sin, small or large, brings us condemnation. An offense against and Eternal God is itself of Eternal Magnitude. And only and Eternal Sacrifice could suffice to make reparation for our sin both mortal and venial. However, as you so aptly pointed out some sin is an abomination in the eyes of God just like they are in the eyes of men. Even before I became Catholic I thought it was crazy to think that God saw all sin EQUALLY especially when so many verses refuted this sophistry.

Even Demons Believe and Tremble – A Story about the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist


Even Demons Believe and Tremble – A Story about the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist
By: Msgr. Charles Pope From his website–>Archdiocese of Washington DC

St Marys Trid Mass smaller

It was almost 15 years ago. I was At Old St. Mary’s here in D.C. celebrating Mass in the Latin (Extraordinary Form). It was a solemn high Mass. I don’t suppose I thought it any different than most Sunday’s but something quite amazing was about to happen.

As you may know the ancient Latin Mass is celebrated “ad orientem” (towards the Liturgical East). Priest and people all face one direction. What this means practically for the celebrant is that the people are behind him. It was time for the consecration. The priest is directed to bow low, his forearms on the altar table the host between his fingers.

As directed I said the venerable words of Consecration in a low but distinct voice, Hoc est enim Corpus meum (For this is my Body). The bells rang as I genuflected.

But behind me a disturbance of some sort, a shaking or rustling in the front pews behind me to my right. And then a moaning or grumbling. What was that? It did not really sound human, more like the grumbling of a large animal such as a boar or a bear, along with a plaintive moan that did not seem human. I elevated the host and wondered, “What was that?” Then silence. I could not turn to look easily for that is awkward for the celebrant in the ancient Latin Mass. But still I thought, What was that?

But it was time for the consecration of the chalice. Again, bowing low and pronouncing clearly and distinctly but in a low voice: Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei, novi et æterni testamenti; mysterium fidei; qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem pecatorum. Haec quotiescumque feceritis in mei memoriam facietis (for this is the cup of my Blood, of the new and eternal covenant; the mystery of faith; which will for the many be shed unto the remission of sins. When so ever you do this, you do it in my memory).

Then, I heard another sound this time an undeniable moan and then a shriek as some one cried out: “Leave me alone Jesus! Why do you torture me!” Suddenly a scuffling as some one ran out with the groaning sound of having been injured. The back doors swung open, then closed. Then silence.

Realization – I could not turn to look for I was raising the Chalice high over my head. But I knew in an instant that some poor demon-tormented soul had encountered Christ in the Eucharistic, and could not endure his real presence displayed for all to see. And the words of Scripture occurred to me: Even Demons believe and tremble (James 2:19).

Repentance – But just as James used those words to rebuke the weak faith of his flock I too had to repent. Why was a demon-troubled man more aware of the true presence and astonished by it than me? He was moved in the negative sense to run. Why was I not more moved in a positive and comparable way? What of the other believers in the pews? I don’t doubt that any of us believed intellectually in the true presence. But there is something very different and far more wonderful in being moved to the depth of your soul! It is so easy for us to be sleepy in the presence of the Divine, forgetful of the miraculous and awesome Presence available to us.

But let the record show that one day, almost 15 years ago, it was made quite plain to me that I held in my hands the Lord of Glory, the King of heaven and earth, the just Judge, and Ruler of the kings of the earth. Is the Lord truly present in the Eucharist? You’d better believe it, even demons believe that!

Early Church Beliefs in the Eucharist


On THE FEAST OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS


Q. Did the Christians in the first three centuries believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist?

A. Yes. They certainly did!

110 AD–St. Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of the Apostle John wrote in :

“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ. Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His goodness, raised up again.” (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6,2)

“I desire the Bread of God, which is the Flesh of Jesus Christ…and for drink I desire His Blood, which is love incorruptible.” (Letter to the Romans 7,3)

150 AD–St Justin Martyr wrote to the Emperor of Rome around :

“We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true…For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, is both the Flesh and the Blood of that incarnated Jesus” (First Apology 66,20 )

180 ADSt. Irenaeus, was the bishop of Lyons, France and a student of St. Polycarp who sat at the feet of the Apostle John. St. Irenaeus wrote around :

“He (Jesus) has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be His own Blood, from which He causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, He has established as His own Body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.” (Against Heresies, 5,2,2 )

350 AD St Cyril of Jerusalem, in a teaching to those coming into the Church wrote in :

Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by the faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the Body and Blood of Christ.” (Catechetical Lectures:(Mystagogic 4) 22,6 )

Thus we see that the Christian Church, at the very beginning of its history taught and believed that the bread and wine of communion was transformed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ in fulfillment of Jesus’ discourse on the Bread From Heaven in John 6 and the plain sense of His words at the institution of Communion at the Last Supper. “This is My Body” This is My Blood”

This is the same Church that Jesus founded on Peter and the Apostles.

This is the same church that Jesus promised the Gates of Hell would never overcome.

This is the same Church that chose the books of the Bible out of all the other books floating around the ancient world, at the end of the fourth century.

This is the same Church that was called Catholic at least as early as 110 AD.

This is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Ancient, but ever young.

Martin Luther On the Real Presence


Q. What did Martin Luther believe about the Body and Blood of Christ in the bread and wine?

A. Martin Luther believed in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. He became indignant when groups, who had followed him out of the Catholic Church, rejected the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. He deplored the fact that every milkmaid and farmhand thought they could interpret scripture correctly. Here he is in his own words.

Who, but the devil, has granted such license of wresting the words of the holy Scripture? Who ever read in the Scriptures, that my body is the same as the sign of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? It is only then the devil, that imposes upon us by these fanatical men. Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present.

Surely, it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.”

Luther’s Collected Works, Wittenburg Edition, no. 7 p, 391

How does a Catholic get to heaven?


Q. How does a Catholic get to Heaven?

A. By Faith and the Grace of God. Catholics get to Heaven by the power and grace of God. The good works that we do are in obedience to Christ and in order to purify ourselves so that we can become holy as He is holy. But it is all of Grace. We cannot do anything worth while on our own.But specifically GOD communicates His Grace to save and strengthen us to journey towards Heaven, in the following primary ways:

By being born again in baptism:

  • John 3:5 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
  • 1 Peter 3:20-21 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you

By receiving communion in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ

  • John 6:50 “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
  • John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.
  • John 6:53-58-So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
  • He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will (CH)raise him up on the last day.
  • “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
  • “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
  • As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
  • “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

By living life so that at death you are friends with God. This means that you die without mortal sin on your soul and live life so as to avoid mortal sin. But if we sin we must confess mortal sin to a priest in the sacrament of confession with true repentence and avoid it in the future.

MORTAL SIN

  • I John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.

SACRAMENT CONFESSION

  • John20:22-23And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”