Sunday, December 20, 2015

Question for Catholics - part 5 The Eucharist and John 6


For this section, Mr. Prasch asks about John 6 and the Eucharist and challenges that he has yet to have a priest be able to answer him and "perhaps you can?"  I hope Mr. Prasch did not mean that rhetorically and is actually looking for responses and will acknowledge them. 

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But I have yet another question.

In the Gospel of St. John 6 I've heard it quoted, quoted, quoted, and re-quoted as applying to the Eucharist. We read the following, I’m beginning in verse 47…


“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

Notice St. John, quoting Jesus, says that Jesus said if you believe in Jesus you have eternal life. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life, he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.” – the Gospel of St. John 3:36 in the Roman Catholic Bible. Jesus said, “If a man believes in Me though he die yet shall He live for he’s passed from death to life” – the Gospel of St. John 5:24 according to the Roman Catholic Bible. Belief is the key to eternal life.

A point I like to bring out in response to this argument, Prasch has brought up himself, but glosses over it.  "He who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him."  So, if the Son commands you, not once, not twice, not even five or six times, but NINE TIMES in a single context to eat His body and/or drink His blood - you should obey Him, if you want eternal life in you!  Do not try to rationalize your way out of this nine-fold command, just obey it!  What kind of belief do you have if you refuse to obey Him?  Let us continue with Prasch's question(s) and arguments.



Let us continue...

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

Unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood you cannot live.  I'm told this is the Eucharist and it is the key to eternal life. That's what I was taught in Catholic school. The context, however, going all the way back to verse 32 is the Exodus. No fewer than three places Jesus says in the same passage that the key – the key – to eternal life is belief.

Again, it is "no fewer than three places," it is actually nine places in this small section.  In John 6, nine times Jesus commands we partake of His body and/or blood stating His flesh is real food and His blood is real drink - not symbolism or parable.

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The Hebrew prophet Jeremiah said the following in 15:16…

Your words were found and I ate them…

The Word becomes flesh. You “eat” the Word by believing it. “He who believes has eternal life”. Jesus says in John 6, the flesh profits nothing. How could it possibly be the key to eternal life? You have three problems; that's what I discovered as a Catholic.

Prophetic vision statements of eating "words" are not the same thing as obeying Jesus' nine-fold command to eat/drink His flesh/blood.  So, how could this possibly be the key to eternal life?  Because Jesus said it is!  Jesus did not just issue the commands and then leave everyone to figure it out for themselves.  No, to those who had faith in Him, did not turn and walk away from Him, He provides the means of fulfilling this command in instituting the Eucharist.



Back in John 6, the Jews accepted Jesus' words as literal - and they walked away because they could not believe His words.  Jesus did not chase after them and say, "Hold on guys!  That was symbolic language, I was speaking in parables."  No, He did not, and when He spoke in parables, He explained the meaning of the parables to His Apostles - did He explain away the literal meaning here?  No!  He doubled down and said, "Will you also leave?"  No fluffy rationalizations, He meant what He said and the Jews and many of His own disciples "turned and walked with Him no more" (John 6:66-67).  

  The key IS belief, and part of believing would include obeying our Lord and Savior.  He commanded it, so don't try to use rationalizations to get out of accepting Him, Jesus Christ, at His word.  It's time to come home, Jacob.

God Bless
Nathan

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