Seeking Divine Mercy

 

The validity of

The Eucharist

 

Jesus is the Lamb of God. The Eucharist is His Body and Blood of which we are to partake of in the New Covenant. The Eucharist must consist of unleavened bread as our Heavenly Father declared to be used as the bread of the Passover meal in the Old Covenant. This has been the law. It was unleavened bread that Jesus consecrated as His Body. Without unleavened bread, the Eucharist is invalid. Nothing may be used in its place. The consecration of the Eucharist into the Body and Blood of Christ is invalid in itself if not performed by an ordained Priest authorized by a Bishop through the laying of hands in the sacrament of Holy Orders. By the Power of the Holy Spirit, this has been the means of transfer of Christ’s authority as consummated since the establishment of the Apostolic Church.

 

 

Who will walk away…? Who will accept without questioning?

 

   Click photo for “Christe Redemptor” – Gregorian Anthology

If we consider God created all things, how difficult would it be for Jesus to make the bread and wine an extension of His very Body and Blood regardless of its appearance or structure? Jesus raised Lazarus from the Dead by His word and made the blind see by His word. He made the lame walk and the fig tree wither and die by His word. He expressed His Godly power as well as His humanity.  He is God yet took on the form of man. He was born of Woman yet was conceived supernaturally through God of a human, the blessed virgin. He extended His “being” into Bread and Wine made from that which He created in the beginning of earthly existence, again, from nothing, and of which man can only reproduce from its original source, that source created by God. He placed Himself in Mary and offered all man a means to accept Him in the most intimate way that we and He could become one in each other. It is the most sincerest and loving way to accept Him if worthily.  In so making the bread and wine into His Body and Blood He instills the graces of His very spirit while giving us the sense perceptible means to physically join in His existence if we so accept Him and love Him. By accepting the consecrated Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, are we not accepting and honoring that which Jesus proclaimed as His Body and Blood and offered to us to share in and become one in Him and Him in us? Can we accept His Word any less than the Apostles did, without question, and still claim to be truly Christian?

Faith must be the path that leads to Christ. Our Love of God and each other are the steps we take to reach Him. The stronger the love, the closer we are to reaching Him. If we refer to the Gospel, we will see the apostles practiced the sacrament of the Eucharist and nowhere in the Gospel or anywhere throughout the history of Christianity is it recorded that this Sacrament as offered by our Savior which is the very Heart of Christianity should have changed or stopped or why it would have stopped, which it never had. Only some “men” stopped believing in it and accepting it through lack of faith and the distance of time. It is the very center of True Christianity. It is the Bread of Life and who ever eats His Flesh and drinks His Blood will be raised on the last Day.

 

After proclaiming to His disciples they were to eat of His body and drink of His Blood, many became disturbed and fervently complained that such a proclamation was far too much. Many chose to walk away. Our Savior repeated this many times throughout the gospel never changing His proclamation. He never once even remotely suggested He meant anything other than specifically the words He spoke. He did not offer any correction or suggestion that He was referring only symbolically. He never attempted to stop those disciples from their abandoning Him and He did not say anything like; “wait, I mean, this is like my Body". In fact, His silence in allowing them to walk away without changing a word of His proclamation in addition to the fact He only broke His silence after they left to ask the remaining Apostles if they would also walk away, should show clearly that He was consistent and intentional in His meaning. He changed nothing of these proclamations at any time.

Many have taken the spoken Words of our Savior and gone as far as to add a word here or there to make it fit a meaning more comfortable to one’s own way of thinking, being nothing less than distorting His word as He warned some men would falsely do. Yes, we have been warned and it is Biblical. Although the Eucharistic acceptance of Jesus may be beyond our comprehension which is a common human response, no man possesses the right to change the Word of God so its meaning can better meet man’s understanding. Look at it this way; if it were man’s right to claim Jesus only intended to “mean” the bread and wine were “like” His Body and Blood, why did He not say this when they questioned His meaning and why did those followers not just take it the way they preferred it to mean at that time as many Protestants have done in recent times? Because they knew exactly what He was proclaiming.  Everyone who claims to be a true Christian must have Faith and Trust in the Word of God. This is His Word.

 

Catholicism does not add anything to Jesus’ proclamation that the Bread and Wine are His Body and Blood, but take the spoken word exactly as He declared it and exactly as the Apostles accepted it, direct and to the point. He declared, "This is my Body", and there is no need to add the word “actual” or otherwise as it presents it’s meaning through its declaration. To say "like" changes the meaning of the spoken sentence from saying it is, to implying it is something else but with some similarity or representation and that is not the proclamation Jesus spoke. This is very, very clear in the Gospel itself when Jesus could have clarified to those walking away “I mean this is like my Body”, but He, through silence and then His question to the apostles “will you also walk away”,  made that declaration firm in meaning.

If we claim to believe in Jesus and His salvation as the gospels attest we must accept at times our tests of Faith as we cannot know the mind of God. These are the only two choices Jesus gave us and there is no need for any other. If one has true faith in the salvation Christ provided for us through His Passion, Death and Resurrection, it is merely selective ignorance not to also accept the Eucharist, because man can no more understand resurrection from the dead than the Eucharist. Faith does not come with physical promises or Guarantees we can experience with our senses but specifically without them. Where such promises or Guarantees exist, faith is negated.

The later verses will show that this has been a sacrament of Christian faith and worship since first introduced by our Lord to the apostles and continued throughout Catholic Christian history. It is our individual decision to believe in Him and His teachings or walk away.

 

Jesus’ Body and Blood had been metabolically formed entirely of the body and blood of the Virgin Mary. In fact it was her human blood that carried the nutrients into Jesus. But by the Father He was entirely of Spirit; the Son, Godly in His Spirit entirely of the Father. As the Father sent His Spiritual Son to take on Mary’s human form and nature to fulfill the sacrifice of the Lamb for our salvation once, the Son (that Spiritual essence of the Father) also offered Himself to us (man kind) not metabolically in human form, but in a more natural form He Himself once created for our physical nourishment, (as we say, we see Him in all creation) only hence forth providing us Himself most personally, for lack of a better word, as nourishment for our soul which no earthly substance could previously provide. This is the consuming of the new Passover meal for our soulful salvation while still human in stead of our physical salvation; The Blood of the lamb no longer over the door, but flowing united within our blood. The Jews had to eat of the Passover lamb to attain their salvation and so must me. Jesus now being that Lamb.

 

Just as He in Godly Spirit took up the nature of a human being of which He previously possessed no part, He in His Godly essence chose to take up the form of the bread and wine, consecrated through the blood line of His body, His Church, restoring substantial life within it to become His Body and Blood for the ages to come. In so doing He provides us a true share of “heredity” through Himself in the one most intimate way we as human beings may choose to accept this heritage. And in so doing He offers renewed strength through this “spiritual nutrition” for those who would accept Him faithfully and so intimately, without doubt or question as the Apostles did. By consuming that which He declared to be His Body and Blood, the faithful within the body, His Church, accept Him by His testament in His Word without question, each become an intimate living organism of that one Body sharing as organs in the flowing life of that body of which He is the Head. Each one who partakes of the Body and Blood of Christ within the Body, that blood line, shares in true heritage of the Son of God as a living part of that one Body of Christ. This I offer to you in a feeble attempt to explain the humanly unexplainable and no words can express what is experientially beyond human understanding or comprehension.

 

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John CH6:   27 Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." 28 So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." 30 So they said to him, "What sign can we do, that we may see and believe in you? What can we do? 31 Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" 32 So Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34 So they said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." 35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. 36 But I told you that although you have seen (me), you do not believe. 37 Everything that the Father gives me will come to you, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, 38 because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. 39 And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it (on) the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him (on) the last day." 41 The Jews murmured about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven," 42 and they said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" 43 Jesus answered and said to them, "Stop murmuring among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets: 'They shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 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 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.”


Matthew CH26:  26 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, 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.”

 

Mark CH14:       22 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." 23 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. 25 Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."


Luke CH22:        14 When the hour came, he took his place at table with the apostles. 15 He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, 16 for, I tell you, I shall not eat it (again) until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God." 17 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 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." 19 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." 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.”

 

Luke CH24:        30 And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. 31 With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. 32 Then they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?" 33 So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them 34 who were saying, "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!" 

 

1 Corinthians CH10:    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? 17 Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. 18 Look at Israel according to the flesh; are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 of what am I saying? That meat sacrificed to idols is anything? Or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I mean that what they sacrifice, (they sacrifice) to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to become participants with demons. 21 We cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. We cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons. 22 Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger? Are we stronger than he?


1 Corinthians CH11:             22 Do we not have houses in which we can eat and drink? Or do we show contempt for the church of God and make those who have nothing feel ashamed? What can I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this matter I do not praise you. 23 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, 24 and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25 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." 26 For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. 27 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. 28 A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.”

 

Not only is the proclamation of our Lord in 1 Corinthians (as others) made clear, the Apostles emphasize they continued the Eucharistic celebration throughout their ministry and handed it on through their successors.  "...For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. "

 

Also made clear is the fact that a person must not receive the Body and Blood of Christ without proper repentance or while in a state of serious sin; “…the unworthy shall answer for His Body and Blood”. This is without doubt one of the crucial stipulations of our part of the Covenant Jesus made with us and the very act of receiving His Body and Blood is a sign of our acceptance and faith in Him. Without question, these verses serve as verification of the necessity for the sacrament of  Reconciliation. Through it, Jesus provides us the means to obtain forgiveness and cleanse ourselves of our sins. He offers forgiveness of our sins through the authority He assigned to the Apostles and their successors (His Church). The authority to “forgive or retain sin”. We must reconcile with our Lord before we intend at any time to receive His Body and Blood. No man has the authority to declare any sacrament invalid or alter the Word of God. But some have…

 

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The Eucharist After the Apostles

 

First Century

 

"I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire is blood, which is love incorruptible." St. Ignatius of Antioch ("Epistle to the Romans," c. 105 A.D.)


"Heretics abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ." St. Ignatius of Antioch ("Epistle to the Smyrneans," c. 105 A.D.)

"Not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but 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 Blood of that incarnated Jesus." St. Justin Martyr ("First Apology," c. 150 A.D.)

Continued at http://www.catscans.com/catholicsite/euchrst2.htm



St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, who was a disciple and contemporary with some of the apostles, and died a martyr, at Rome, speaking of certain heretics of those times, says: "They abstain from the Eucharist and from oblations, because they do not confess the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sins." See epis. genuin. ad Smyrnæos. --- He calls the Eucharist the medicine of immortality, the antidote against death, by which we always live in Christ. --- He also writes: "I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, and for drink, his blood." Again: "use one Eucharist; for the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ is one, and the cup is one in the unity of his blood. There is one altar, as there is one bishop with the college of the priesthood," &c.

 
Second Century.

St. Justin, the philosopher, in an apology for the Christians, which he addressed to the emperor and senate of Rome, about the year 150, says of the blessed Eucharist: "No one is allowed to partake of this food, but he that believes our doctrines are true, and who has been baptized in the laver of regeneration for remission of sins, and lives up to what Christ has taught. For we take not these as common bread, and common drink, but in the same manner as Jesus Christ, our Saviour, being incarnate by the word of God, hath both flesh and blood for our salvation; so we are taught that this food, by which our flesh and blood are nourished, over which thanks have been given by the prayers in his own words, is the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus." Apology ii. in fin. he calls it, Panem eucharistisatum ton arton eucharistethenta, the bread blessed by giving thanks, as he blessed and miraculously multiplied the loaves, eulogesen autous.

Third Century.

St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, who suffered martyrdom in 258, says: "the bread which our Lord delivered to his disciples, was changed not in appearance, but in nature, being made flesh by the Almighty power of the divine word."

Fourth Century.

St. Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, who was born in the commencement of the 4th century, and died in 386, explaining; When he (Jesus) has pronounced and said of the bread, this is my body, who will after this dare to doubt? And when he has assured, and said, this is my blood, who can ever hesitate, saying it is not his blood? He changed water into wine at Cana; and shall we not deem him worthy of our belief, when he changed wine into blood? Wherefore, let us receive them with an entire belief, as Christ's body and blood; for under the figure of bread, is given to thee his body, and under the figure of wine, his blood; that when thou hast received Christ's body and blood, thou be made one body and blood with him; for so we carry him about in us, his body and blood being distributed through our bodies." (St. Cyril, catech.)

 

 

St. Ambrose, one of the greatest doctors of the Latin Church, and bishop of Milan, who died in 396, proving that the change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, is really possible to God, and really takes place in the blessed Eucharist, uses these words: "Will not the words of Christ have power enough to change the species of the elements? Shall not the words of Christ, which could make out of nothing things which did not exist, be able to change that, which already exists, into what it was not? It is not a less exertion of power to give a new nature to things, than to change their natures. Let us propose examples from himself and assert the truth of this mystery from the incarnation. Was it according to the course of nature, that our Lord Jesus Christ should be born of the Virgin Mary? It is evident that it was contrary to the course of nature for a virgin to bring forth. Now this body, which we produce, was born of the virgin. Who dost thou seek for the order of nature in the body of Christ, when our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. (St. Ambrose, lib. de initiandis, chap. ix.)

 

Continued At; http://haydock1859.tripod.com/id44.html

 

 

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