Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

This Sunday we commemorate the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  And for this occasion I thought I’d bring out another solid argument on the Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist.

In today’s second reading we find Paul reciting what he was told about Jesus’ words at the Last Supper but what you don’t hear is the explanation on why this is not a mere symbolic remembrance.  At the end of today’s reading, the very next verse and following we find Paul stating: 

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.  Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.  That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” (1 Cor 11:27-30)

The clue that precludes a mere symbolic understanding of the Eucharist is St. Paul’s usage of “guilty of blood,” which is a figure of speech connoting murder (Nm 35:27; Ez 35:6).  One incurs the “guilt of blood” only if the victim is present in person.  If someone fires a gun at a picture of the President of the United States, that person is not guilty of the President’s blood.  But if someone actually shoots the President, then that person is guilty of the President’s blood.

St. Paul says that we are guilty of Jesus’ blood if we partake of the Eucharist unworthily.  Therefore, we cannot conclude that St. Paul understood the Eucharist to be a mere symbol.  He must mean the Eucharist is Jesus present in person, with his body, blood, soul, and divinity.

And lastly, There are several other ways Jesus could have more clearly indicated that His words of institution (This is my body, this is my blood) was symbolism if He had wished to do so.  Aramaic [Jesus’ native language] has around three-dozen words that can mean ‘represents.’  That’s why Paul warns us that we are to discern the body (if we partake in an unworthy manner, then we are guilty of the blood of Christ.  Now, how can we ‘discern’ the body if it’s merely a symbol?  We can’t!  We are to discern the body in the Eucharist because the Eucharist IS the body.

God Bless

Adapted from a Catholic Answers Newsletter

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The First and the Last

After some contemplation of last Sundays Mass Readings I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to talk about the Divinity of Jesus.  This feeling came to me when I read the Scripture readings and fell on the passage of John describing the voice that said to him: “Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me recompense I will give to each according to his deeds.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning ant the end.”


One sentence later we find out that Jesus is the one speaking here but I’ve already heard from those who do not believe Jesus to be God that the one speaking was God the Father and that Jesus began speaking later.  Context is pretty plain that it is indeed Jesus speaking about being the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last but since this verse isn’t convincing for some, I thought I’d bring out some other verses that are a little clearer on this.


First, we know with certainty that the Lord God is the first and the last because the Old Testament explains this explicitly.  Isaiah 44, verse 6 tells us: “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”


God also describes Himself as the Alpha and Omega in the first chapter of Revelation when He says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:8)  So, it’s established that God is the Alpha and the Omega.  And earlier in Isaiah we see that God describes Himself as the first and the last.  The New Testament being written in Greek, the idea of ‘the first and the last’ is expressed using the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and omega. 


So, does Jesus call himself the first and the last to describe himself as God?  In fact, He does.  In the Book of Revelation the Apostle John writes: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.


Do you see it?  God is the First and the Last and here the one calling Himself the ‘First and the Last’ also says in the same breath that he once was dead but now is alive for ever and ever.  The only one that can claim this title is God, and yet Jesus is also the only one who can say that he once was dead but is alive once again.  Therefore since Jesus describes Himself by a title that only God can have tells us that Jesus, right here in Scripture, declares Himself to be God.


God Bless