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Barbara wrote:

Hi, guys —

What to say when they tell you,

If you are eating the Body and Blood of Jesus, you would be partaking in cannibalism, and Jesus would be against that according to the Jewish Law?

Barbara

  { Do Catholics partake in cannibalism when they partake in the Eucharist or Real Presence? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Barb —

I like Scott Hahn's reply. I'll do my best to repeat it correctly.

Protestants usually spiritualize John 6:51-70 by referring John 6, verse 64:

"It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh have no avail, the words I speak to your are spirit ."

Gotcha! they will say. Jesus was speaking using spiritual terms throughout John, Chapter 6.

But tell them to read this passage, in context.

The Catholic reply would be:

Amen brother preach it!!

Why?

Because we don't receive the flesh, by itself. That would be cannibalism. When we receive the Living Lord, Creator of the Universe; we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity or in other words: the Flesh and the Spirit!

Then they will say:

That would break [Levitical|Jewish] Law.

You say:

Amen brother preach it!!

Why?

Because what the Lord calls all mankind to do is to cut ourselves off from the Old family of Adam, and enter the adopted family of the New Adam, Jesus!!

This Divine call from Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben Dave goes out to our Jewish brethren as well. Catholics and Jews have so much in common with each other, that never gets talked about: our traditions, our rituals, our prayers for the faithful departed.

To any Jewish person reading this posting, all I can say is, you don't know what you are missing by not being a Catholic.

Yes, you have a lot, but there is more in the Church; Hebrew Catholics are a vocal testimony to this, even if you don't like the term: Hebrew Catholics. Open up your cultural setting, and talk to one today!

Hope this helps.

Your brother in prayer, your brother in Christ,

Mike Humphrey

John Griffin replied:

Hi, Barb —

I agree with my brother, Mike, except to say that God knows our human sensibilities and, given that, he elected to hide under the guise of Bread and Wine. After consecration, during transubstantiation, the ordinary bread and wine are changed into the actual Body and actual Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. Yes, it is truly Flesh indeed. However, the Lord, if I may just speak colloquially, knew our human limitations and understood that we would be repulsed at consuming "visible" flesh, so he elected to appear under bread and wine — the substance of which is the Body and Blood of our Lord.

  • Why did he choose this way?

Well, this is going to be one of the first questions I will ask when I get into Heaven, if by His Grace, I make it. He could have equally done something else. This is why we call the Eucharist a "Mystery of Faith".

If you think your Protestant friends would be interested in miracles of the Eucharist, I suggest that you get your hands on a tape by Bob and Penny Lord about Eucharistic Miracles. It may stir up some thought.

Frankly, if my Lord tells me that "This is my Body", then I take Him at His Word.

  • Can we really understand it differently?

Also, please consult the appropriate wording in this passage of John 6 to see that it clearly does not imply anything else but the condition "to be". For instance, it is not the verb to "suggest" or "appears", etc. A simple exploration of the words will suffice.

I hope that some of this helps.

Take care and God Bless.

John Griffin

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