This is just me. That's all
Anonymous said: Jesus demanding that followers partake of actual, literal blood would go against Levitical law. The new covenant (that is redemption through Christ's death rather than adherence to law) does not take effect until after His death. The words he speaks in John 6 are spirit. There is a deeper meaning. His statement coincides with the feeding of the 5000 people. Let's also remember that Jesus said he was the vine and also light. This does not mean we was a plant or made up of photons.
This sounds familiar. Oh yeah! Its just like John 6:66 “After this many of His disciples drew back and no longer walked with Him,” after He explained over and over that “truly, truly”, His flesh is real food, His blood is real drink “indeed”, and that whosever eats His flesh, and drinks His blood, has eternal life (John 6:31- 58). Claiming that this was against the Law many left, but instead of chasing after them and saying “wait, wait it’s a parable, I meant ‘spiritually!’,” He turned to His 12 disciples and said, “Will you also go away?”
Jesus, born in a town in Hebrew that means “House of Bread” (in Arabic, “House of Meat”), laid in a manger (which animals ate from), and slaughtered in parallel like a passover lamb (which MUST be consumed), meant what He said. Jesus often spoke in parables which He would later explain (like the vine), but truly, truly, He has been present in the Eucharist since He established it over 2000 years ago. The idea that He meant it ” spiritually” is only 200-300 years old concept.
So I ask you now, will you also go away?
Small elaboration: It was against Levitical law—that was the whole point! The Law forbade the drinking of blood and even the eating of bloody meat because pagan rituals frequently utilized both, in acts of worship to created things, demons, and imagined gods. The Jews had to remain set apart, so that the true religion could not be confused with idolatry. The only ritual contact Jews had with blood was when the blood of the great sacrifice was ritually sprinkled over the people to wash away their sins. Christ said, “I come not to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill.” So when he came, as the True Lamb, the Divine Sacrifice, not only was his blood poured out for the people, but it was part of the Divine Meal that, as noted above, had to be eaten by the people. Introducing the Eucharist was the final, all-inclusive step that allowed for the perfect and final efficacious sacrifice. Only then was the abolishment of animal sacrifice and the introduction of Gentiles into the Covenant possible. Christ’s Divine Body is the new Law, the eternal Covenant; it is efficacious for salvation in a way the sacrificed and eaten flesh of earthly lambs is not. That is the meaning of “the Spirit gives life, the flesh is of no avail.”
Side point: When Jesus is misunderstood, he does clarify his meaning, as when Nicodemus thought that being “born again” meant literally coming out of the womb a second time; Jesus clarified that he was talking about baptism. When the Jews, repulsed, ask how they can possibly be given his flesh to eat, Jesus just says, “Truly, truly” (or “Amen, Amen”)—signifying that he is emphatic, he means what he says, this is the real, serious deal—“unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no [eternal] life in you.”
More in-depth explanations of the Eucharist here!
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But no matter what you believe about it, it’s still spiritual on some level.
The wine or the juice or whatever is still juice or wine or whatever. It may be blessed or somehow spiritually converted into His blood but it’s still wine or juice or whatever.
And I saw one person on this post say “want some aloe for that burn, anon?” And that to me just shows something really messed up.
I mean, if we’re Christians, then is arguing over how Communion should be really our calling?
Is “setting people right” what this is about?
And what if you have no priest or whatever to convert the elements? You just don’t take communion?
And I really hope you don’t believe that if one does not take communion (or take it the way you believe it should be done) then he is not saved.
(I actually would like some responses to this…)
Hello! I would like to address your points.
First, you said, “But no matter what you believe about it, it’s still spiritual on some level.” Here’s the thing: If we’re defining “spiritual” as “here is a real, actual, literal Spiritual reality” and not as “I have a good emotion about this religious event,” then that statement is not true. The importance of Catholic belief about the Eucharist is that we believe that Jesus Christ is really and truly present. Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. All of Him. His real, whole person, is really, truly present. Imagine for a moment that someone shows you two doors: behind one door, Jesus Christ is truly present, and you can go in and physically be in the same room with him. Behind the other door, Christians are eating bread and drinking juice in honor of Christ, but Christ isn’t actually there. Which door would you choose? If Catholics are right, if the Eucharist is Jesus Christ, then it matters a very great deal what we believe about it. If Catholics are right, the Eucharist is God Himself, God’s continued physical presence on earth, available 24/7 to His followers.
Next, you said: “The wine or the juice or whatever is still juice or wine or whatever. It may be blessed or somehow spiritually converted into His blood but it’s still wine or juice or whatever,” and also, “And what if you have no priest or whatever to convert the elements? You just don’t take communion?” These two things are intimately related in Catholicism, so I’ll address them together.
Here we get into deep theological waters. This is what we believe: that Jesus Christ ordained priests (the Twelve, his apostles) who had the authority to ordain their successors. (If you would like Scriptural sources for this belief, please let me know, I’m happy to oblige in another post.) True priests have been ordained in an unfailing succession all the way back to the Twelve. This is known as “apostolic succession.” Only a priest who was validly ordained by a successor of the Twelve has the capacity to confect (technical term) a sacrament. The major church bodies of valid priests are the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.
This priestly ordination is very different from the general priesthood which all the baptized share in. To be ordained means to have an ontological change in your soul—to be changed in the very ground of your being. It means having a special share in Christ’s priesthood. It means that when a priest acts as a priest, performs the functions particular to a priest—such as confecting the Eucharist or any other sacrament—that Christ’s power acts through him. In the case of the Eucharist, the priest, acting in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) is the means by which Christ does again what he did at the Last Supper: transubstantiating bread and wine into His Body and Blood. While the outward appearances of the the bread and wine, what philosophers call the “accidents”, that is their appearance, texture, taste, smell, remain that of bread and wine, the substance of the material has become the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To clarify: When a priest performs a true priestly action, he does not act by his own power, it is Christ acting through him. He “becomes” Christ in a very real sense, he’s not just “imitating” Christ. Thus the same Godly power that said “Let there be light,” and there was light, again and again, from the day of the Last Supper, has been acting through his priesthood to say, “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood” so that the faithful can continue to fulfill the new Law (Covenant) and be in full union with Christ, fully incorporated into his Mystical Body.
Which brings us to your last point: “And I really hope you don’t believe that if one does not take communion (or take it the way you believe it should be done) then he is not saved.”
If Catholics are right, then we have to take Jesus’ words very, very seriously: “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 you.” (John 6:53.) However, for a lot of reasons, it is not correct to say that all non-Catholics are necessarily going to hell. For more on that, see this post.
I hope this helps clarify Catholic belief more for you. If you want to continue this discussion, please send me a message! This post is getting a little bit long. :)
(NB: Catholic friends, if you notice an error here, please let me know so I can edit. It’s been a very long day and my brain is feeling rather fuzzy.)
Such a great explanation of Catholic Teaching on the Eucharist!
That was beautiful *cries* feeling the Eucharist love guys *Catholic feels*