Sacrd Host _Body of Christ

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Sacrd Host _Body of Christ

  1. 1. Questions Catholics are Asked: Why do you worship wafers?
  2. 2. The short answer: “We no not worship wafers. According to the Bible, the bread consecrated in a Catholic Mass is no longer simply bread, but Jesus himself. It is Jesus that we worship. This is the Sacrament of the Eucharist.” Why do we do this? “Because the Lord commanded us.”
  3. 3. The Eucharist is Biblical The entire sixth chapter of the Gospel of John is called the “Eucharistic Discourse.” In it Jesus explains that only those who eat his body and drink his blood will have eternal life. Here is an excerpt: “I am the living bread come down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever; and bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6:51
  4. 4. Wasn’t Jesus just using figurative language about faith? This was the reaction of some of Jesus’ listeners. The Jews disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood , you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. John 6: 52-55 and… When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult. Who can accept it?” …Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no
  5. 5. When did Jesus command us to celebrate the Eucharist? The Jewish Passover tradition required the sacrificing of a lamb. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke all describe, in similar language, how Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples the night before he died. Here is Luke’s version: Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave it to them saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
  6. 6. For the early church, the Eucharist was the sacrament that explained and celebrated Christ’s sacrificial death. Saint Paul writes to the Corinthians to admonish them to celebrate it worthily: 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? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. 1 Cor 10: 16-17
  7. 7. Paul is reminding them not only of the Lord’s presence in the consecrated bread, but more importantly, of the Lord’s presence in them as members of his body. If the purpose of the Eucharist is to unite us in Christ, then any disrespectful or divisive attitudes are anti-Eucharistic: 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. 1 Cor 11:27-29
  8. 8. Why would Jesus make himself present in the “the breaking of the bread” if he is already spiritually present to believers? Just as Jesus’ bodily presence on earth was a visible revelation of the (invisible) mystery of God, so the Eucharistic presence is a sacramental presence. It is a physically palpable way of tasting and celebrating Jesus’ real presence.
  9. 9. Are there examples of sacramental expressions in everyday life? Many. A “sacramental expression” is a visible action done a certain time to express a spiritual reality that is invisible and continuous. Just as… A hug or handshake is an expression of friendship Independence Day is an expression of patriotism A Birthday or Anniversary is an expression of love A family portrait is an expression of belonging
  10. 10. Jesus is God’s life given to us in human form: He emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness, and found human in appearance… 2 Phil 2:7 In the same way, Jesus is truly present in a visible human community: the Church
  11. 11. Jesus gave his Spirit to the Church so that she could continue his presence in a sacramental way. The Church makes Jesus present whenever she proclaims the Word, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, visits the sick and imprisoned and welcomes the stranger. …and makes Jesus present in the most dramatic way when she celebrates the Eucharist
  12. 12. For Catholics, to believe in the “real presence” in the Eucharist is simply to trust in Jesus’ own words. This was as difficult in Jesus’ time as it is in ours. Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you? …For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.” As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:61,65-68

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