Eucharist = Body of Christ?

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I asked a question about receiving the Eucharist and received many great replies (thank you all), but it was brought up a couple times that because I believe in the *symbolism* of communion and not that the Eucharist is *actually* the body of Christ, I shouldn’t be worried about taking it.
I never really understood that part. I was brought up in an Assembly of God church and any Protestant church I’ve been to said something along the lines of accepting the symbol of the body and the symbol of the blood.
If it is actually the body of Christ, I have some questions:
1. If we did a test on the Eucharist, would it show up as human flesh with human DNA and not a cracker? If not, how is it really and truly the actual body of Christ and not just a symbol of Christ’s body if it doesn’t have the DNA of an actual body?
2. Does Jesus condone cannibalism, or did Jesus imply that He lived within all things when He broke bread and said, “This is my body.” If the latter, why would there need to be a prayer/invocation to transform the wafer into Christ’s body?
3. Jesus’ spirit is infinite and ever-present…but was His body? How come people can keep eating His body, which was physical and not spiritual/infinite (Christ’s body bled, needed food, and died like any other human body)?
I am honestly interested in this and am speaking from all seriousness here.
The Eucharist being the *actual* body of Christ was a bit hard for me to comprehend, so I assume that a Catholic can answer these for me in an effort to better understand this.
Serious answer only, please. Thanks in advance to all my Catholic friends.
Last Ent Wife: It looks like the link doesn’t address my specific questions, but also that it’s a bunch of people’s interpretations of the Bible. I understand that’s how the Catholic church does things (dogma >= actual Bible), but was hoping for specific answers. Thanks, though.
Ramon: “The Catholics call these things “Mysteries” with a capital M, and they are things you’re not really supposed to understand but accept.”
That is interesting. I looked them up and it seems that the Mysteries are “God-knowledge,” but at the same time, why would something so basic to the faith (a sacrament, no less) be something that no one can understand? It either is or isn’t human flesh and human blood, you know?
Everyone, I’d really appreciate direct answers to my questions. I have been sent to a couple links that have a lot to say but don’t exactly say it in a direct way. I’m just looking for answers from Catholics who have grown up in this and understand it, and I also know that the Pope’s ruling on it is influential to Catholicism. I don’t want to read these things and infer my own understanding…I am asking for your understanding.
Thanks.
Gismoll: “The bread and wine are substantially changed into the real body and blood of Christ after the consecration. However, the accidents of bread and wine still remain and nourish the body as bread and wine also. The appearance and form of bread and wine remain as those accidents.”
Probably the best answer so far. Would this be something of a spiritual placebo effect?

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Last Ent Wife

Have you read this?
http://www.scripturecatholic.com/the_eucharist.html
That link will give you all the historical church father’s and scripture references for the Eucharist.
There’s a reason why Christ said “this is a hard saying” when he was explaining the Eucharist. Catholics believe that the bread and wine become the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. No, if you tested them, they would not come back as flesh and blood. That is why it is a mystery.
Cannibalism? Not exactly. We are not told to eat the flesh of anyone but Christ. And historically speaking, the Romans called the early Church cannibals for exactly this reason.
Just as the Catechism states: 1336 The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them: “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division. “Will you also go away?”: the Lord’s question echoes through the ages, as a loving invitation to discover that only he has “the words of eternal life” and that to receive in faith the gift of his Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself. END QUOTE
I’d also recommend you read the book by Scott Hahn called “The Lamb’s Supper.” It breaks down and explains how the Mass is a picture of Heaven on Earth and that when we partake of the Eucharist, it’s not a “re-sacrifice” of Christ, but is happening at the same time Christ gave his life for us. (Remember, God is not subject to the laws of space and time, he is outside them).
Now as far as the Protestants go, they will tell you it’s only a symbol. And they are correct, in their churches, it IS only a symbol, because they do not have an ordained priest in the apostolic succession to actually make the bread and wine the body and blood of Christ. The Catholic church does (as well as Orthodox, Anglican, some Lutheran and Methodists who can trace their succession back to an apostle).
EDIT -spiritual placebo effect?
The Eucharist is a sacrament, meaning it imparts God’s grace. That’s not a placebo, that’s a real effect.

valpuq

how about we eat cake instead?

cheir

The Roman Church’s argument is far more subtle than that. It’s that the wafer becomes his actual body through the ‘eye of faith’.

Ramon Casha

The Catholics call these things “Mysteries” with a capital M, and they are things you’re not really supposed to understand but accept. One such thing is the idea that the bread and wine, despite not changing physically, have actually really become the flesh and blood of Jesus.

hmmmm

I believe that He really meant that He was in the bread and wine. In some churches there are hosts where the bread has turned into human “flesh” and still exist today. Miracles do occur. Supernatural saints ( saints are exceptional role models) have seen what occurs at the transubstantiation at mass. Read some of these accounts, visit these churches, they have been scientifically examined. But it boils down to faith.

Somebody

Catholics have twisted this into something that it’s not. It’s a symbolic gesture. Jesus himself said it “Do this in remembrance of me” it’s a way to remember Christ, not physically consuming his body and blood.
EDIT: Last Ent Wife is a liar and is decieved. The Catholic Priest is no more able to do those things than a Protestant Preacher. Just because you falsly call him father doesn’t make him special or part of any special succession. That’s a bunch a malarky. You can tell it is by reading a history of their church, you’ll see right where they strayed from the straight and narrow right into their own tradition and false doctrine. How dare they say such things against Protestant Preachers as if catholics are better in the eyes of God! Read the Bible.

RGrz

Let’s see what some Early Christians thought, keeping in mind that we can learn much about how Scripture should be interpreted by examining the writings of early Christians.
Ignatius of Antioch (a student of the Apostle John):
“Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . 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 that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes”
(Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:2—7:1 [110 A.D.]).
Justin Martyr (100—165 A.D.)
“We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. 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 nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” (First Apology 66 [151 A.D.]).

Marcus W

It is the true Body of Christ, if you only believe you will have half of an idea, but if you know that Gods word is truth and ALL he says is real than you will know that he becomes the body and blood.
Here is proof for you, Learn faith, the Eucharist can heal anything.
God bless your souls friend

gismoII

The bread and wine are substantially changed into the real body and blood of Christ after the consecration. However, the accidents of bread and wine still remain and nourish the body as bread and wine also. The appearance and form of bread and wine remain as those accidents. Chemically, it would be found to be bread and wine. Again, substantially, it is still the real body and blood of Christ and this is not symbolic. However bread and wine are the outward sign of that real presence which nourish us spiritually.

smegmakid8677

The early Christians believed in the real presence of Jesus. It is not something invented by the Catholics. The belief goes back before the Bible was compiled. In fact, a lot of Christians were executed by the Romans for “canibalism.” The Orthodox Christians also believe in the real presence. The Lutherans also although they do not refer to it as transubstantiation.
Here are links. Hope they help.
http://www.catholic.com/library/Real_Presence.asp
http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/eucha1a.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05573a.htm

♥allecat♥ †EWTNâ€

1. Well there has been an instance where a miracle occurred and the host actually changed. Here is the url of the miracle:
http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html
You see through the concencration of the host and wine, it is Jesus. The host and wine may have the accidental appearances of flour and water, and of fermented grapes, but it’s essence has changed from that of the ordinary to that of the mystical. It isn’t just a symbol, I know it’s hard to believe, but it is true.
2. This is one of my favorite parts of the Gospels…….. John 6:47-71
Hence:
47 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.
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.”
52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?”
53 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.
54 Whoever eats 19 my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.
55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
59 These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
60 20 Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
61 Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?
62 What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 21
63 It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh 22 is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.
65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”
66 As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.
67 Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69 We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?”
71 He was referring to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot; it was he who would betray him, one of the Twelve.
You see how He lost disciples because of what He said? They weren’t willing to believe him on this, then in Matthew 26:26-28,
26 14 15 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.”
27 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, 16 and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you,
28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.
He gave to us what species He would be appearing under.
3. His body is present at each and every Mass throughout the world. When the priest does as Jesus commanded the apostles to do, He is there. We are not re-sacrificing Jesus at each Mass, but rather we are going back to Calvary to the Crucifixion
Here is a website if you want to do some more research:
http://www.therealpresence.org/index.html
I hope this helps, if not, email me, I will try to make it a little clearer than mud
Blessings and hugs

angus archibald

I always looked at it as the spiritual body not human flesh.

DougLawrence

1. If we did a test on the Eucharist, would it show up as human flesh with human DNA and not a cracker? If not, how is it really and truly the actual body of Christ and not just a symbol of Christ’s body if it doesn’t have the DNA of an actual body?
The physical human body of Jesus Christ was transformed and glorified at the Resurrection. Nobody knows what molecular structure that glorified body has and/or whether it even has DNA. In this matter, Catholics have always been content to take God at his word. And since God originally spoke all things into being from nothing … that should be plenty good enough.
2. Does Jesus condone cannibalism, or did Jesus imply that He lived within all things when He broke bread and said, “This is my body.” If the latter, why would there need to be a prayer/invocation to transform the wafer into Christ’s body?
Since our consumption of the body, blood, soul, and divinity of the risen Christ necessarily involves making his real and substantial presence available in our earthly sphere of existence, a miracle is required, and every miracle is the exclusive province of the Holy Spirit.
Cannibalism is eating the dead, ordinary flesh of another human being.
Receiving Jesus in the Eucharist
involves consuming a unique substance which is no doubt the ressurected body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, but manifest in a unique and sacramental manner, the details of which remain known only to God.
Such a practice has nothing to do with cannibalism, since Jesus … the “victim” … is alive.
3. Jesus’ spirit is infinite and ever-present…but was His body? How come people can keep eating His body, which was physical and not spiritual/infinite (Christ’s body bled, needed food, and died like any other human body)?
Jesus’ body was indeed transformed into a glorified version of his divine humanity at the Resurrection … a body now compatible with both the earthly and the heavenly realms. Jesus had earlier publicly demonstrated his ability to supernaturally multiply a few ordinary loaves and fishes, feeding some 5000 persons, with plenty of leftovers. Why shouldn’t he be able to do the same with his own flesh and blood .. especially when he assures us it is possible … and he commands us to do so … in remembrance of him … until he comes again?
No symbolism. No placebo. This is God taken at his literal word, giving us the definitive sacrifice of the New Covenant … which will have to do, until the end of the age.
More on this here:
http://douglawrence.wordpress.com/the-holy-sacrifice-of-the-mass/

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