Thursday, November 24, 2011
Questions About the Eucharist
Going to Mass was interesting. I have lots of questions, but first is the one about when everyone went quiet. The atmosphere changed, too. I could hear the old man behind me praying in a whisper, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus….” And then everyone said, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”
What was that all about?
This is the part I was telling you about that was so important, it has many names: the Sacrifice of the Mass, Holy Sacrifice, Holy Mass, the Lord’s Supper, the Breaking of the Bread, the Eucharistic assembly, the Memorial of the Lord’s Passion, death, and Resurrection, the Holy and Divine Liturgy, the Sacred Mystery, Communion, Holy Communion. We have so many names and terms because it’s so ineffable. It’s what keeps me Catholic. It’s because you don’t get this, that I told you not to come up and receive it.
Look. I’ll quote the Bible for you, this is from John 6: 53-58. Sorry, I can’t quote from memory, we Catholics don’t memorize verses. “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; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food, and my blood is real 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 will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
There! Right from Jesus’ mouth. Who would dare tell Him that He didn’t mean what He said? Was He lying? Did He say pretend? Reenact? He specifically said, “Do this in memory of me.”
So even though those little round pieces of bread, and the wine, look the same as they did before the priest prayed over them, they’re not the same. Whether you believe this is not depends on the grace of God. If you desire to understand, then pray for understanding. Even Jesus lost disciples because they thought His teachings too hard. John 6: 61.
This is called Transubstantiation. I can’t explain it any more. I can give you books. We can google it, but I still say your best shot at understanding is praying for it.
You know, Transubstantiation is so important that I think that’s enough for you to chew on today. Next time, I’ll answer more than one question. I’ll meet you tomorrow: same place, same time. Your turn to pay.