Eucharist

Last Supper Eucharist

For Thomas Aquinas, the great metaphor for the Eucharist is sustenance, food for the journey. The Eucharist is daily food, sustenance for the journey, nourishment to get us through the day to day. How effective would we be if we never ate, or ate only on special occasions and in a festive environment? Not very. So, in the spiritual life, we must eat and drink or we will not have strength.

Is this just meant in some vague symbolic way? No, rather in a vividly analogical way. For just as the body needs physical nourishment, the spirit needs spiritual nourishment, and there is no getting around this law.

“Well, it’s no big deal if I stay away from Mass and refrain from receiving Communion.” Think again!

— Bishop Robert Barron (Daily Gospel Reflections, June 23, 2019)


“Bread and wine are the proper matter of this sacrament. And the reasonableness of this is seen, first, in the use of this sacrament, which is eating: for, as water is used in the sacrament of Baptism for the purpose of spiritual cleansing, since bodily cleansing is commonly done with water; so bread and wine, wherewith men are commonly fed, are employed in this sacrament for the use of spiritual eating.”

“Yet this change is not like natural changes, but is entirely supernatural, and effected by God’s power alone. . . . Hence this is not a formal, but a substantial conversion: nor is it a kind of natural movement: but, with a name of its own, it can be called transubstantiation.”

–Saint Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologiae, Part III)

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 (John. 6:51).

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sin. (Matthew. 26:26-28).

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?” … 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.  (John. 6:52,54-55).

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. (John. 6:60-63).

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. (1 Corinthians. 11:27-29).

Articles

  • Consuming the Body and Blood of God for Eternal Life
    Some of us need a reminder or need to be taught to wake up to the reality that Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, has given Himself Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. He is truly present in the Eucharist.
  • The Words of Eternal Life
    Like St. Peter, we can say to the Lord, "to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life". The Lord Jesus gives us instructions.
  • Satan Recognizes Christ’s Body. Do We?
    Reflecting on the devil’s hatred for the Body of Christ, we should pray for a deeper faith in it. If Satan hates this sacrament so much, God must work great good through it.
  • The Real Presence in the Eucharist
    Jesus was given the opportunity to present this in a metaphorical or symbolic way, instead He intensifies His language.
  • The Cross and the Mass
    Excerpts from Fr. Barbour's homily for Corpus Christi Sunday about the Eucharist being the most perfect symbol that contains the things it symbolizes.
  • The Most Straightforward Verse About the Eucharist in the Bible
    St. Paul uses unequivocal language in describing the nature of the Eucharist when he describes the sin of those who do not recognize Christ’s body in this sacrament and therefore receive him unworthily.