Scripture, the Eucharist & Miracles

Christ was born in Bethlehem which translates to House of Bread. He was placed in a manger, which was a feeding trough...the symbolism is rich. But there's more to it than symbolism!


There's Scripture too....from
http://scripturecatholic.com/the_eucharist.html

John 6:51-52- then Jesus says that the bread He is referring to is His flesh. The Jews take Him literally and immediately question such a teaching. How can this man give us His flesh to eat?

John 6:53 - 58 - Jesus does not correct their literal interpretation. Instead, Jesus eliminates any metaphorical interpretations by swearing an oath and being even more literal about eating His flesh. In fact, Jesus says four times we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Catholics thus believe that Jesus makes present His body and blood in the sacrifice of the Mass. Protestants, if they are not going to become Catholic, can only argue that Jesus was somehow speaking symbolically.

John 6:23-53 - however, a symbolic interpretation is not plausible. Throughout these verses, the Greek text uses the word "phago" nine times. "Phago" literally means "to eat" or "physically consume." Like the Protestants of our day, the disciples take issue with Jesus' literal usage of "eat." So Jesus does what?

John 6:54, 56, 57, 58 - He uses an even more literal verb, translated as "trogo," which means to gnaw or chew or crunch. He increases the literalness and drives his message home. Jesus will literally give us His flesh and blood to eat. The word “trogo” is only used two other times in the New Testament (in Matt. 24:38 and John 13:18) and it always means to literally gnaw or chew meat. While “phago” might also have a spiritual application, "trogo" is never used metaphorically in Greek. So Protestants cannot find one verse in Scripture where "trogo" is used symbolically, and yet this must be their argument if they are going to deny the Catholic understanding of Jesus' words. Moreover, the Jews already knew Jesus was speaking literally even before Jesus used the word “trogo” when they said “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” (John 6:52).

John 6:55 - to clarify further, Jesus says "For My Flesh is food indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed." This phrase can only be understood as being responsive to those who do not believe that Jesus' flesh is food indeed, and His blood is drink indeed. Further, Jesus uses the word which is translated as "sarx." "Sarx" means flesh (not "soma" which means body). See, for example, John 1:13,14; 3:6; 8:15; 17:2; Matt. 16:17; 19:5; 24:22; 26:41; Mark 10:8; 13:20; 14:38; and Luke 3:6; 24:39 which provides other examples in Scripture where "sarx" means flesh. It is always literal.

John 6:55 - further, the phrases "real" food and "real" drink use the word "alethes." "Alethes" means "really" or "truly," and would only be used if there were doubts concerning the reality of Jesus' flesh and blood as being food and drink. Thus, Jesus is emphasizing the miracle of His body and blood being actual food and drink.

John 6:60 - as are many anti-Catholics today, Jesus' disciples are scandalized by these words. They even ask, "Who can 'listen' to it (much less understand it)?" To the unillumined mind, it seems grotesque.

John 6:61-63 - Jesus acknowledges their disgust. Jesus' use of the phrase "the spirit gives life" means the disciples need supernatural faith, not logic, to understand His words.

John 3:6 - Jesus often used the comparison of "spirit versus flesh" to teach about the necessity of possessing supernatural faith versus a natural understanding. In Mark 14:38 Jesus also uses the "spirit/flesh" comparison. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We must go beyond the natural to understand the supernatural. In 1 Cor. 2:14,3:3; Rom 8:5; and Gal. 5:17, Paul also uses the "spirit/flesh" comparison to teach that unspiritual people are not receiving the gift of faith. They are still "in the flesh."

John 6:63 - Protestants often argue that Jesus' use of the phrase "the spirit gives life" shows that Jesus was only speaking symbolically. However, Protestants must explain why there is not one place in Scripture where "spirit" means "symbolic." As we have seen, the use of "spirit" relates to supernatural faith. What words are spirit and life? The words that we must eat Jesus' flesh and drink His blood, or we have no life in us.

John 6:66-67 - many disciples leave Jesus, rejecting this literal interpretation that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. At this point, these disciples really thought Jesus had lost His mind. If they were wrong about the literal interpretation, why wouldn't Jesus, the Great Teacher, have corrected them? Why didn't Jesus say, "Hey, come back here, I was only speaking symbolically!"? Because they understood correctly.

Mark 4:34 - Jesus always explained to His disciples the real meanings of His teachings. He never would have let them go away with a false impression, most especially in regard to a question about eternal salvation.

John 6:37 - Jesus says He would not drive those away from Him. They understood Him correctly but would not believe.

John 3:5,11; Matt. 16:11-12 - here are some examples of Jesus correcting wrong impressions of His teaching. In the Eucharistic discourse, Jesus does not correct the scandalized disciples.

More on Scripture and the Eucharist - http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/scrip/a6.html

Why do Protestants not believe John 6 when it says that Jesus’ flesh is real food and that His blood is real drink?

In Matthew 26, Mark 14, and Luke 22, Jesus says of the bread, "This is my body." He says of the wine, "This is my blood." Not "this is symbolic of," or "this represents," He says "this IS." In John 6, He repeats Himself, like He does nowhere else in Scripture, to emphasize the fact that He expects us to eat His flesh and drink His blood and that His flesh is real food and that His blood is real drink.

Anyone who says He is speaking symbolically, and not literally, simply is refusing to look at all of the facts. Fact #1: The Jews took him literally, verse 52. Fact #2: His disciples took him literally, verse 60. Fact #3, the Apostles took him literally, verses 67-69. If everyone who heard him speak at the time took Him literally, then my question is: Why does anyone today, 2000 years after the fact, take him symbolically?

Also, in verse 51, Jesus says that the bread which He will give for the life of the world is His flesh. When did He give His flesh for the life of the world? On the cross. Was that symbolic? If you think Jesus is speaking symbolically here when He says that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood, then you must also conclude that Jesus' death on the cross was symbolic...it wasn't really Jesus hanging up there...it was symbolic flesh and symbolic blood.

Jesus is clearly talking about the flesh that He gave for the life of the world...He did that on the cross. Those who believe He is talking symbolically here in John 6, have a real problem when it comes to John 6:51. Did Jesus give His real flesh and blood for the life of the world, or was it only His symbolic flesh and blood?

And what of the first Christians, those closest to the years after Christ? What Did the First Christians Say?

Anti-Catholics also claim the early Church took this chapter symbolically. Is that so? 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, who had been a disciple of the apostle John and who wrote a letter to the Smyrnaeans about A.D. 110, said, referring to "those who hold heterodox opinions," that "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" (6:2, 7:1).

Forty years later, Justin Martyr, wrote, "Not as common bread or 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 66:1–20).

Origen, in a homily written about A.D. 244, attested to belief in the Real Presence. "I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received the Body of the Lord, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence" (Homilies on Exodus 13:3).

Cyril of Jerusalem, in a catechetical lecture presented in the mid-300s, said, "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 faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy
of the body and blood of Christ" (Catechetical Discourses: Mystagogic 4:22:9).

In a fifth-century homily, Theodore of Mopsuestia seemed to be speaking to today’s Evangelicals and Fundamentalists: "When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my body,’ but, ‘This is my body.’ In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my blood,’ but, ‘This is my blood,’ for he wanted us to look upon the [Eucharistic elements], after their reception of grace and the coming of the Holy Spirit, not according to their nature, but to receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord" (Catechetical Homilies 5:1).

There are Eucharistic Miracles, here scientists have proven that the bread and wine did turn into Flesh and Blood...

He said he would never leave us and He is with us, TRULY PRESENT in the Eucharist, the Bread of Life!

4 comments:

Mom2Seven said...

Excellent teaching post! I have bookmarked it. God bless!

Christine said...

I always learn so much here. Thank you!

Karla in MN said...

This is a WONDERFUL post. I get so frustrated with the protestants who fight this teaching! ( some are my own brothers and sisters who were raised in the catholic church) May I pass on your link? Or copy and past to an email? Warning...my sister in law, in the past, has written a post to a mom informing her of the error of her ways concerning raising her children with devotions to the saints! Her husband replied for her and firmly set her straight...it stopped the emails amicably...but did not change my SIL.

+JMJ+ said...

Sure Karla, remind her not to get mad at the messenger.

THese words come from the bible/Jesus and the earliest Christians. She'll have to argue with them. :)

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