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Tom Kidd wrote:

Hello, and thanks for your time.

  • Could you please give me several Bible verses that support the Real Flesh and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ when we receive Holy Communion?

My brother-in-law, who is not Catholic, wants to know more about this.

Thanks,

Tom Kidd

  { Can you provide verses backing the reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion? }

John replied:

Hi Tom,

I'm pretty sure you can find a detailed answer to this question on our web site.

But you might start by reading John Chapter 6.

The problem is Protestants use proof texts from the Scriptures, rather taking the Bible as a whole, looking for principles from which to develop a coherent theology.

The Eucharist has to be understood in the context of the Hebrew understanding of the sacrificial meal celebrated at Passover. Jews understood that when they celebrated the Passover, they were not just remembering, but making present and participating in the Passover experienced by their ancestors.

We too as Catholics, understand that the Eucharistic Sacrifice makes present the-once-and-forever sacrifice of Christ at Calvary. Just as the Jews had to eat the lamb sacrificed at Passover, so are Christians supposed to eat the Lamb of God. We must bear in mind that God lives in the eternal present and that He is not limited by time and space. The sacrifice of Calvary is always in the eternal now, [before|in front of] Him. In fact, the book of Revelation tells us that the Lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the earth. (Revelation 13:8)

This is a mystery to us who are limited by space and time, yet in a mystical way, through the Holy Spirit, when we celebrate the Eucharist, we are present at Calvary and we eat the Lamb of God which was slain and now appears to be bread and wine.

Hope this helps,

John

Mike replied:

Hi Tom,

This is from my list of Catholic Scripture verses that defend Catholic doctrines:

 

Sacrament of Eucharist

Catholic Note:

While most Protestants believe the Last Supper was significant and often agree that communion is important, they don't believe that Jesus literally meant, He wanted us to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. They argue that Jesus used many symbols to refer to Himself — He called Himself a door, a vine, etc. And since eating human flesh is cannibalism, they argue that Jesus could not have been speaking literally in John 6. The Eucharist, however, is a unique and miraculous reality in which we consume the entirety of the living Christ — although his natural condition is veiled by the sacrament.

The Church has consistently understood Christ's Words to be literally referring to His True Flesh and Blood, as is evident in the writings of the early Church saints like:

  • St. Ignatius of Antioch (50-107 A.D.)
  • St. Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D.)
  • St. Irenæus of Lyons (125-203 A.D.)
  • St. Ambrose (340-397 A.D.), and
  • St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386 A.D.)

Although all the faithful in the Church have always believed this teaching of transubstantiation, there was no need to formally define it until 1215, at the Fourth Lateran Council dogmatically which said: that while the outward appearances of bread and wine remain {the taste, touch, smell and looks}, their inward realities or substance has become the living Christ. Because Jesus is truly present — Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity — we adore the Eucharist with profound reverence.

The Church is the extension of Christ's incarnation, and that extension takes place through the sacraments. (Scott Hahn , Swear to God, Page 22)

Some verses used to support Protestant arguments.

Genesis 9:4
"Only flesh with its lifeblood still in it you shall not eat."
Deuteronomy 12:18
"You shall not partake of the blood, but must pour it out."
Acts 15:29
"Abstain from ... meats of strangled animals."
The resolution:

What Our Lord was calling the Jewish people to do is to die to the Old Adam and Old Testament laws and rituals and enter the New Covenant of his Body and Blood.

Also in:

to symbolically eat and drink ones body and blood back in Jesus' times means to assault. This would make our Lord promise life everlasting to the culprit for slandering and hating Him, which would reduce the whole passage to utter nonsense. Christ would be saying:

"He that reviles me has eternal life".
Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating, Page 241.
An example of Jesus talking symbolically about food. Eucharist is promised.
John 6:35-71
Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
1 Corinthians 2:14 to 1 Corinthians 3:4
St. Paul explains what Jesus means by the flesh.
The Eucharist foretold and prefigured.
Exodus 12:8, 46
Paschal lamb had to be eaten.
Exodus 16:15
"This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat." (manna)
Malachi 1:11
"everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name, and a pure offering."
John 6:32-60
During the Bread of Life discourse Jesus refers back to the manna of the Old Testament.
See Also
Psalms 78:24ff, Proverbs 9:2ff, Wisdom 16:20
The Eucharist Instituted by Christ.
Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:17-20
Eucharist is instituted by Jesus.
1 Corinthians 5:7
St. Paul pens the earliest written account of the institution of the Eucharist.
John 1:29
Jesus is called "the lamb of God".
The Eucharist celebrated by the Apostles.
Acts 2:42
"[they] devoted themselves to the ... breaking of the bread and to the prayers."
Acts 20:7
"the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread."
1 Corinthians 10:16-22
Eucharist is our participation in Christ's Body and Blood.
Christ is truly present in the Eucharist.
Matthew 26:26
"Take and eat, this is My Body."
Mark 14:22-24
"This is My Body ... This is My Blood of the Covenant."
Luke 22:19-20
"This is My Body, which will be given for you ... New Covenant in My Blood."
1 Corinthians 10:16
In the Eucharist, we participate in the Body and Blood of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:24
"This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
John 6:50-69 says:

This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 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. The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat? 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. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 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. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever. These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. Then many of his disciples who were listening said, This saying is hard; who can accept it? Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. [See note 1.] 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. 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. 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. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.

Note 1: - Verses 62-63 state:

    Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
What Our Lord says here is not intended a Maldonatus thought, to increase the scandal, but to rectify what was simply a cannibalistic interpretation of what he has just said. The Ascension will perhaps surprise the recalcitrants more, but it will eliminate the chief difficulty about eating the flesh of One who in celestial glory takes his place where he was from eternity.

Note 2
: - Notice that the close followers of Our Lord, the disciples left Him because this was a hard saying. Then Our Lord asks Peter if he will leave him too. Peter representing the 12 Apostles says:

    Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God. (John 6:69)
My personal note to my separated brethren:

Come join us, be not afraid and believe with us!

 
St. Ignatius (110 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.
(His Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6, 2)

St. Justin Martyr (150 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 are nourished, is both the flesh and blood of that Incarnated Jesus." (His First Apology 66, 20)

St. Irenæus of Lyons (195 A.D.)
He [ Jesus ] has declared the cup, a part of his creation, to be His own Blood from which causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of his creation, He has established as His own Body from which He gives increase to our bodies. (His Against Heresies 5, 2, 2)

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (350 A.D.)
"He himself, therefore, having declared and said of the Bread, 'This is My Body', who will dare any longer to doubt? And when he himself has affirmed and said, 'This is My Blood' who can ever hesitate and say it is not His Blood." (Catechetical Lectues: Mystagogic 4, 22, 1)

"Do not 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 sense suggest to you other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this manner by taste, but be fully assured by faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the Body and Blood of Christ."

(Catechetical Lectues: Mystagogic 4,22,6)
And more at:

BibleBeltCatholics.com

The Eucharist must be worthily received.

if the Eucharist were just a symbol there would be no need to partake of it worthily.

1 Corinthians 10:21
"Cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons."
1 Corinthians 11:23-29
"Whoever eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself."

(Receiving the Eucharist unworthily makes us guilty of his Body and Blood)
Hope this helps,

Mike Humphrey

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