Hi, guys —
I was raised Catholic but went to a public High School and quit going to Mass at that time. I have so many questions about Catholic doctrines but I can't get the answers. Today my question is on Transubstantiation.
I've heard priests answer this question before and still can't figure it out:
- How the bread and wine turns into the actual Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus.
That would mean that when Jesus instituted it at the Last Supper, He took the bread and wine, blessed it and said:
This is My Body which is broken and This is My Blood which is shed . . . etc.
And the bread and wine turned into the Body and Blood of Jesus, even though His Body had not been broken yet, nor His Blood been shed yet. That would mean they had two Jesus' present with them at the same time.
- The physical body of Jesus sitting there, and
- The actual physical Body of Jesus in the bread and wine.
- Or, it would mean that the bread and blood did not turn into the actual body and blood of Jesus.
After Jesus spoke about eating His Body and drinking His Blood in John 6:53-54, if you read on, you'll see He was not speaking literally; see John 6:63.
63 It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
- So which is it, actual, or spiritual?
According to Jesus it's spiritual.
Can you reconcile these Scripture passages in John with the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist? }
Thanks for the question.
You have brought up something that has been one the principal objections of Protestants.
The problem arises from a complete misunderstanding of the reality of the Eucharist. This is why in John 6 we see so many disciples abandoning Jesus. (John 6:66) Go and read that whole chapter.
- Wouldn't you feel that anyone who was telling you that, "you must eat his flesh and drink his blood" was a psychopath?
- How could you continue to follow Him?
What they failed to see is that Jesus is God; He is transcendent of all time and space, and when He entered into the Heavenly Sanctuary with the Offering of His Own Body and Blood, He made an Eternal Sacrifice that would then be accessible to every point in time.
When you think of time in a linear way, like the Jews of the Old Testament, priests would go up to the Temple and make a sacrifice, and then do it again, and again, and again. So picture a straight line with dots all along it like a graph. That was the Old Testament sacrificial system. Time moves in a singular straight path.
In the New Covenant, however, Jesus makes One Sacrifice, and rather than a straight line, picture a wheel with spokes, reaching out from the center to the circle. In the middle is the one time event, and everywhere along the wheel has equal access to that center via a spoke. Time is not linear.
That is the Eucharistic sacrifice Christ made. It reaches through time, forward and back, because from God's perspective, there is no linear time: He is Eternal; all points along the spectrum are equally accessible to Him.
So Jesus can sit there at the Last Supper and bring forth the Eucharist, which is really His Own Self, fully, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in His Resurrected Glory, because He does not obey laws of physics as mere mortals do. He is everywhere and trans-historical.
This revelation was too much for the Disciples to comprehend, so that they needed to act in trust, like Peter did, when most walked away (see the end of John 6). Peter didn't have a clue what Jesus was talking about, but he trusted; it didn't matter whether he got it. Somehow he knew that he probably wouldn't get it. When Your Boss says, eat my flesh, you are at a crossroads, cut bait or stick with Him. We all know how that turned out.
So, when you receive Jesus in the Eucharist, you are not getting a piece of a corpse, but access to the Living, Risen Christ, who defies all laws of nature.
Just keep meditating on all of John 6 until you see it. And then read 1 Corinthians 11:23-33.
There are many more Scriptures to reflect on but that should get you started.
I did read all of John 6. And all of John 5. In fact I've just read all four Gospels. What led up to Jesus' saying that about eating His flesh and drinking His blood was that He just fed the multitudes with the loaves and fishes. They want to make Him King but it wasn't His time and they wanted to do that for the wrong reason. So Jesus compared Himself to the manna which came down out of Heaven in the wilderness. He said that He is The Bread from Heaven.
He wasn't talking about the Eucharist, Jesus didn't institute the Communion until that night we call the Last Supper. He was comparing Himself to the manna, a type and shadow. He also said (like I mentioned) that in verse 63, that It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing, the words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life. So eating the flesh does nothing for you. They ate manna in the wilderness and died. It's His Words we are suppose to eat, not His Body and Blood, thinking it's in the Eucharist. He was talking in a spiritual way. Jesus said so Himself. My words are spirit and life. The words about eating His Body and drinking His Blood was spiritual, not physical.
I also don't read Jesus talking anything about linear lines or wheels and spokes. I can go into the presence of God just by calling on the name of Jesus. It also says that where ever two or three are gathered together in my name I am with them. (Matthew 18:19-20) It also says that if I have the Holy Ghost, then I have Jesus in me, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27) Jesus also said that if He doesn't go away the Holy Ghost can not come. (John 16:7)
- So if the Holy Ghost can't come while Jesus is present with them in Body, then how am I supposed to believe that Jesus was in His Human Body with the disciples on that night, yet His Body and Blood was in the bread and wine, before it was broken and shed?
I know God isn't in time or space, but while Jesus was in His Mortal Body, As God, He could walk on the water and preform miracles but as a Man, He obeyed the physical laws that God made in creation. Jesus had to eat, drink, sleep. etc. He was born the natural way and He died. Jesus' Body could not be in two places at the same time before He was glorified.
I could say so much more but I'll leave it at this and see if you respond or like others, cut me off because I questioned your answer.
There are logical and theological fallacies in your response,
For your analysis to work we would have to twist what Jesus said. Jesus said in verse 51,
51 . . . and the bread that I will give is my Flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
(My emphasis added.)
In order for your supposition to work Jesus should have said,
. . .and the bread that I will give is my Word
The greek word sarx can be translated as meat or flesh, but not word, and further study into the word will show that the word is a stark opposition to anything spiritual. There is no logical continuity of your interpretation with the text.
To interject your interpretation on the text with a foreign theological notion is eiseges, not exegesis. Jesus uses the oath formula, verily, verily several times within this context to demonstrate that He is emphatically stating the graphic nature, a scandal, with which they argued. They wrestled with it but could not escape the horrifying reality that He was asking what seemed the impossible because they were blind to the possibility that He was indeed, God.
Many of those who left him were disciples, who were undoubtedly accustomed to hearing Him speak in symbols and parables and allegorical language. If there was a plausible, simply spiritual, interpretation, they would have posited that in their arguing amongst themselves and acquiesced to the palatable interpretation. Obviously, there wasn't one. They left because they were scandalized, and He did not recall them, explain, or offer anything to the contrary to the inferred requirement. He let them go, because they rejected him and this hard saying.
When Jesus said, 63 . . it is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you they are spirit, and they are life.
- Do you think that he was contradicting all that he just said in the most graphic nature?
On the contrary, in context, He gives an image alluding to His state pre-incarnation, and post-Resurrection, the spiritual state of God, which is precisely where the Eucharist comes from. The physicality of the Eucharist is tied directly to the super-physical risen Lord, who transcends ordinary matter and physics. This is something they would never understand, which is why He challenges them with this image from his Heavenly glory.
You are correct in restating all that transpired regarding the manna and the Old Testament, but the point is that Jesus is Himself, the New Manna, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
- Did you not see that in the Old Passover the law required the eating of the Lamb as part of the ritual sacrifice?
They couldn't substitute lamb cookies or whatever. They needed the blood of the actual lamb sacrifice. It was a visceral, real connection to God's covenant. Jesus gave His Body (the Flesh) so that His Spirit might be given to us. We get that whole package in the Eucharist because we consume the Lamb, whose Life Blood is the Spirit who gives us life.
The two sacraments given to the Church for new life flowed forth from Jesus' very Side when they pierced him, blood and water. Baptism and Eucharist. These sacraments are not modern inventions that Catholics made up, they come from Jesus at the beginning. If you aren't getting the authentic Eucharistic Sacrament through Christ's Church, then you aren't getting the Real Jesus. You may make a spiritual communion with Christ, as many have had to do during these days of the Coronavirus, but Jesus gave us the real deal. Don't sell yourself short. He wouldn't want that for you. He actually said if you don't eat His Flesh, you don't have life within you and He wasn't saying accept my word in this context. He was graphic because He was talking about a Lamb's sacrifice of which He would become.
You bring up many other points which would require many different discussions. I.e., the Coming of the Holy Spirit. As Catholics, we believe that the whole Paschal mystery, (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter), are all parts of one sacred mystery. The giving up of Jesus' spirit on the Cross is connected to the New Covenant in His Body and Blood that He shares with the Apostles at the Lamb's Supper, which he broke with them in the Passover; His entrance into the Holy of Holies with His own Blood and it's acceptance, is all part of it. It is accessed through the Mass, which represents it (by opening a portal into the eternal presence of the Most High). You say when Jesus was walking on Earth He only obeyed the laws of physics, except for miracles, which is precisely what we say this is. The Eucharist is a miracle. His greatest miracle. You can't imagine getting to partake of the actual Lamb's sacrifice that Jesus gave because you have been lied to but the Early Church father's were clear on this.
If you want to see the consensus amongst the Early Church search the Patristic sources for yourself. If you want us to supply you with some quotes, you can find some already in our database, but undoubtedly you will think we skewed the results.
Do your own research and you will find it for yourself.
- You say Jesus couldn't be in two places when he was alive on earth, but if Jesus can be in two places post-resurrection (in his glorified state), why can't the Gloried Jesus make a trip to the Last Supper?
That Jesus is just as capable of that type of epiphany as anything we have seen in the Old Testament, and some scholars wonder if Melchizedek was actually Christ himself, and not simply a type of Christ (King of Salem: Jerusalem). This limitation you are imposing is based on a prejudice about this doctrine, but it has no foundation. Jesus is tapping into the very mystery of His own Sacrifice at the Last Supper, not just a symbol of it. That notion is false.
For some Church fathers check out:
There is a consistent belief in the Real Presence of Christ, in a literal sense, not merely a symbolic or purely spiritual way. This has to do with the very intent of the Eucharist, which is to make us more like The One we consume. We are to become divinized (2 Peter 1:3-4), to take part of the life of the one we consume and thereby become grafted to Him in a supernatural way.
We receive Christ as He is now and eternally and for that we give thanks.
Sorry it took so long to reply.
Actually, I didn't expect you to answer me. Others won't after I question their first answer. Your reply is kind of long so it might be hard to answer line by line., but like I said, there is more I could have said but didn't.
I know if you take the Scriptures in, as most people do: in bits and pieces, you end up with incorrect theology. The way I replied, I can understand how you would counter-reply by saying
. . .and the bread that I will give is my Word
but if you go back to Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created . . . then go to John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Then by verse 14 we read, And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.
So here we see that the Word is God from the beginning and that the Word was made flesh. Now watch this. Gabriel appears to Mary and tells her she is going to bring forth a son, she questions this, since she is a virgin, the angel replies in Luke 1:35:
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that 'holy thing' which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
I always thought it was odd that the angel would call the Son of God, Jesus, a holy thing until I read that the word thing goes back to the word logos which means word. So Jesus is the Word. So yes, I am correct in my view that in John 6:63 Jesus was talking in a spiritual way. He said His Words are spirit and they are life. He showed the disciples who stayed with Him that what he said was spiritual. He wasn't talking physically. He was talking about this sacrificial life of following Him. In another place, He said to pick up your Cross and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24) I also contend that in John 6 Jesus was referring to the Manna. He said so Himself.
- Where in John 6 does Jesus say eating His Body and drinking His Blood means receiving the Eucharist?
It never mentions the Eucharist in this chapter; only the manna. Someone recently asked me after a service in which we took communion, a question about the Passover. I said if you want to observe the Passover, we just did. The Passover was a shadow of the Crucifixion of Jesus. The communion or Eucharist is to remember the Lord's Suffering.
I also don't know what you are talking about in reference to all these mysteries. The Death, Burial, and Resurrection isn't a mystery. It was to the Jews then but it has been revealed to us. <How?>
Through His Word. Paul was constantly telling us, behold I show you a mystery, or I would not have you be ignorant. (1 Corinthians 15:51) All the hidden mysteries of the Old Testament have been opened up to us.
So again I ask if Jesus was speaking literally about eating His Body and drinking His Blood, then why did Paul's explanation of the Last Supper read,
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said,
"Take, eat; this is My body which is ]broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
1 Corinthians 11:23-24
So Paul received this from the Lord, so it has to be right.
- How could the literalist Jesus say (of His Body) on the night of the Last Supper, that it was broken for you, when His Body wasn't yet broken?
He didn't say, which will be broken and Paul finishes with verse 24: . . . do, in remembrance of me.
- Now if Paul believed in transubstantiation, then why didn't the Lord have Paul deliver it to them as, this is my Body which is broken for you, do this, to receive my Body, Soul, Spirit, and Divinity?
He didn't say that. But to believe what you say, that is what Paul should have said by the Lord.
No, all Paul said was do this in remembrance of me. To remember His suffering and death for us. The following verse is the same about the wine and blood. Do this in remembrance of me. He didn't say to receive my Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Paul here was clearly explaining the ordinance of communion. Paul also gave them instructions in the communion observance to do this as often as you will. He gave no exact amount of time to observe this. It was left up to the people.
I know in the Catholic Mass you do it every time. In Protestant services it varies. According to Scripture, there is no right or wrong amount of time to do this but it's to be observed In remembrance of Him. According to scripture, Paul gave no instruction about it being the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus and he said he spoke by the Lord.
- How is what you said, the Word of God, a stark opposition to anything spiritual?
Jesus said His Words are spirit and they are life so His Words are spiritual.
I also have a question about where the Eucharist was kept back in the days of the Apostles, since they didn't have a building to worship in, but met in houses. There was no place to keep the sacred Eucharist like you do today. They had no tabernacle, no gold chalice, no gold cross to carry, etc.
Sorry for the long reply. I want to thank you for your reply. You wouldn't believe how many questions I have about Roman Catholicism.
I don't know if I can get to every point of yours today, but I'll do what I can to address them.
I think we would both agree that John 1:1-14 has to do, not only with the ontological reality of the Godhead, namely, not only that Christ is eternally God, but that He also became incarnate (verse 14). This is a central significant point in our argument as well.
It was precisely because of the Incarnation that Christ was able to offer Himself on behalf of mankind. It was His Incarnated Flesh and Blood that He offered to the Father as a fitting sacrifice for fallen mankind; it became the basis of the Lamb's Supper of which we partake; and we do connect the Bread of Life discourses in John 6 with Passover because John has situated it in that context (but more about that later), and it has been:
- the consistent tradition of the Church
- the Fathers of the Church, and
- even modern theologians as well.
It is hardly controversial to connect John 6 with the Passover and Eucharist that Christ established in His New Covenant.
I don't see your point about the Annunciation holding much significance or weight however, because holy Thing is not in the Greek (granted I only had a semester of Ancient Greek study in college, so I am by no means an expert):
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ· Πνεῦμα ἅγιον ἐπελεύσεται ἐπὶ σέ, καὶ δύναμις Ὑψίστου ἐπισκιάσει σοι· διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον κληθήσεται, υἱὸς θεοῦ·.
I believe the (KJV) King James Version has done a poor translation of γεννώμενον ἅγιον, (gennao, which really is a variation of procreate, regenerate, bring forth, beget, conceive, etc.). The King James strips the personal nature of the offspring away, whereas the pronoun is more personal, like child of offspring, or even begotten-one. So there is no direct connection to logos per se, but rather a theological interpretation of sorts, . . .really an opinion. I'll grant you a similarity, but not entirely relevant to the main point in contention.
Truly Jesus is begotten of the Father, but also in an incarnate way, of Mary, as every child takes its nature from its parents. I think we would both agree that Jesus, as the only begotten of the Father transcends ordinary man, as he has wed Heaven to Earth in His Very Self, by virtue of the Hypostatic Union through the incarnation. Gabriel was making Mary aware that this was to be not only her Son, but God's Son.
Ultimately, where we seem to differ is on the significance of the role of His Flesh. We hold that Jesus needed His Flesh to offer in His Perfect Sacrifice, needed because it is evident that an all powerful God chose this way to redeem mankind. It is this sacrifice that we share in perpetually, receiving not dead flesh, but a Risen Savior. The word memorial or anamnesis, has a weightier sense than just to reflect back upon. It has a sense of doing again, or in memory of, as you pointed out in 1 Corinthians 11:23-24, and especially in verse 26:
26 for as often as you eat this bread and drink the chalice, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
1 Corinthians 11:26
We Catholics believe the whole paschal mystery (and it is called mystery because, despite the revelation of the Gospel, no man can ever fully comprehend it, as God's thoughts are above ours, and into these things even Angels stand in awe) is made present and is of one piece: a liturgy that comprises His Death, Resurrection and Glorification. It is This Eternal Sacrifice of Christ, presenting Himself to the Father with His Own Flesh and Blood, accepted by the Father and glorified, that becomes our paschal sacrifice. We do it again inasmuch as we represent that one and same sacrifice that Christ made, by making it present again. That is what we call Mystery. It defies our understanding, though we can explain it to a degree. The literal adherence to the incarnate nature of Christ in the Eucharist is because He Himself is still incarnate, albeit glorified. There is no point in which Christ will become unincarnate. So to receive Him is to receive Him as He is. Yes, He is Spirit, but he is more than that, and by receiving Him as He is we will become like Him.
Likewise, the objection about the time-space problem is not met by logic or impossibility. No philosopher can even define space or time, for it seems to be completely relative, so we have the difficulty of defining our terms for the specifics of this. Let it suffice to say that though the Scriptures do not show a multi-location of persons in the Old Testament, or in the New Testament prior to the institution of the Eucharist, it does not follow to say that it is impossible, or even improbable for that matter. God can do anything, where we differ is whether He did it or not. We find the overwhelming evidence in favor that He did.
Lastly, you are right that the Early Church did not have Gold vessels, churches, or the other accoutrements that developed throughout Church history. Some of those things obviously grew out of history and people's love and devotion for the Eucharist. Just as the doctrines around the personhood, divinity, and saving work of Jesus Christ were honed and defined over the course of centuries, so it was with the Eucharist. Words like:
were not used in the Early Church, but came into use as doctrines were clarified and defended against heresies. Development does not de facto imply inappropriateness or error, especially if such things enhance devotion.
If you really want to see a better inside look at Catholic thinking on this try Dr. Scott Hahn's book The Lamb's Supper, or The Fourth Cup. He is a Protestant convert to the Catholic Faith and a world-renown Theologian. It may pull some of the different threads together in a more organized way for you.
Have to go for now!
It's OK if you didn't respond to every point.
What I want to clarify one thing on the point of Holy Thing, it's in the (KJV), which is what I use, but I do go on-line and compare it to other Bible translations. For the Old Testament I'll read the (KJV) and then read the (LXX) Septuagint Bible which has helped me understand certain things about the writings of the Old Testament.
Back to the point about the Holy Thing. It wasn't a big point. When I read it, I just thought it was weird that the angel called the Son of God, Jesus, a holy thing and I looked up the word thing and found out that it meant, Something Spoken, Word and I connected it to what John wrote of Jesus in his book, that the Word was made Flesh. I break down the gospels like this:
- Matthew wrote about the teachings of Jesus
- Mark's emphasis was on the miracles of Jesus.
- Luke wrote of the humanity of Jesus,
- while John wrote of the divinity of Jesus.
Let's just forget about the space time wheel spoke thing. It really didn't make any sense to me.
It would take me a long time to explain why I see in the Bible the need for God to make Himself a Body. Yes, it was to offer it up as the only real acceptable sacrifice for our sins. It goes in line with why Eve had to be made from the rib (side) of Adam, instead of being made from the dust of the Earth like Adam was; and why the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin.
There is one thing you didn't explain.
- I would like to know why in 1 Corinthians 11: 24-25, Paul, who was explaining the ordinance of receiving communion, or the Eucharist, was explaining to a group of people who were abusing this practice?
- Why it wasn't told to them, This do, to receive Jesus: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
- Why did Paul only say, to do this in remembrance of me?
It seems to me that Paul would have explained it in that way so the Corinthians (and the rest of us today) would understand it better. It doesn't make any sense that Paul would go through the trouble to teach this in his letter, and then be so short sighted to not mention the importance of receiving, (what you claim) is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Jesus.
When I was young in the Catholic school, I was only taught that we received the Body and Blood of Christ. I never heard about the Eucharist also being the Soul and Divinity until recently. Even if I were willing to concede receiving the Body and Blood, you are still hard pressed to show me biblically where it says the Soul, and Divinity.
- I do want to thank you for your response, and if you answer this, then I want to ask if I can go on to one of the many other problems I have understanding the Roman Catholic doctrines?
I realize that sometimes my answers are not as clear as I'd like them to be. It's because I'm typing them off the top of my head and I think faster than I can type so I miss, forget, or leave a certain point out.
Please forgive me for that.
The formulation of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity was made with respect to the Hypostatic Union: when you receive some of Christ, you receive all of Christ. Forever Christ is inextricably linked with His Body, which we see in John 6:57, 57 so who eats me will live because of me.
This formulation of the four-fold dynamic aspect of reception of the Eucharist would probably not have been part of the lexicon in Paul's day, so he wouldn't have used it. He wouldn't have used Holy Trinity, Incarnation, or other such terms as well. Again, development does not imply wrongness.
What Paul does explain in verses 27-32 of 1 Corinthians 11 is that partaking of the Cup (unworthily) is profaning the Body and Blood of Christ. I actually wrote a paper on this in one of my biblical studies courses when I did my Masters in Theology, and there is much to be said about this teaching of Paul, but I don't have 20 pages here to do it.
- Who in the Gospel accounts is directly responsible for the Body and Blood of Jesus?
You could say the Romans, the Jews, but you could also say Judas, who betrayed Jesus with a kiss no less. Judas, though pretending to be a loving friend, was a betrayer. He betrayed Jesus while appearing to be cordial in front of everyone. So it is with unworthy reception of the Eucharist.
If you are a betrayer of Christ behind the scenes, you have serious unrepentant sin in your life, i.e. adultery, fornication, judgement and division, prejudice, avarice, etc, and then you go to receive Him, you are in effect betraying Him while appearing to be a friend. It is like playing for the devil's team while wearing a Jesus shirt. Not cool. Paul goes on to tell them that many are sick and dying because of this. That is a clear sign that they are guilty of sacrilege, a crime of profanation against the sacred, which in this case is the Lord Himself.
So in the end, even though Paul doesn't use the four-fold formula as expressed in the Council of Trent as a de fide doctrine, he issues as grave a warning for those with ears to hear.
I read what you said about the Hypostatic Union, and I get what you said, not that I necessarily believe what you said. To me Jesus speaking in John 6 had to be in a spiritual sense with the terms He used.
It's not a contradiction of what He said but a clarification of what He said to those that stayed with Him and no matter what Jesus said in the previous verses and at the end of His narrative, He made it clear that He was speaking spiritually, not literally.
Also one more comment about something you said concerning how Jesus, at the Last Supper, could be both in His Human, Physical Body and also be in the Eucharist at the same time.
I said He could not be in two places at once while He was in His Human Body. If I understood you correctly, you stated that Jesus transcended time and His future Glorified Body was able to come to the present, making it possible for Jesus to be in two places at once. I still say He could not, because His future Glorified Body does not have blood in it.
The Scriptures say in 1 Corinthians 15:50, 50 Now I say this brethren, that flesh and blood can not inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Even though one can say it's incorruptible Flesh and Blood in the Glorified Body of Jesus, that wouldn't line up well with another portion of Scripture about Jesus's Glorified Body: Luke 24:39:
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bone as you see me have.
Jesus was in His Glorified Body here and He said He has flesh and bone. Not blood. If I spoke of myself I would say I'm flesh and blood but Jesus said bone. which to me is saying in His Glorified body, he has no blood. Thus the future Glorified Body and Blood could not have transcended time back to the present for Jesus to be in two places at once, because the Glorified Body doesn't have blood to bring back. He shed it all during His Passion, His Suffering, and Crucifixion, which He, of course, had not done at the time of the Last Supper. There was no giving Jesus new Glorified Blood because in His Glorified Body He doesn't need blood. In this physical life we need blood, for life is in the blood, but in the New Body we won't need blood to sustain life.
If I may, and you are willing to continue, I would like to go on to other topics of the Roman Catholic Church that are more disturbing, and even a bit scary to me.
I think it is worth saying that when we are taking Jesus literally in John 6 that does not mean we are excluding a spiritual component. We will continue to emphasize that Jesus is really talking about the integral person, His Whole Self. The Flesh and Blood have to with the sacrificial meal dynamic (i.e., Passover) but it is the reception of the Whole Person, which includes a spiritual dynamic as well; you could say that's even primary in some sense.
You make an interesting point about Jesus comment about flesh and bone but I don't think that it negates the Presence of Blood de facto. Bone could be mentioned because it invokes such a solid image of something tangible — a frame.
- Blood is integral to flesh, so while it may not be necessary (does he not have lungs — they are not necessary, are they?
- Is oxygen required to breathe? . . .it is still part of the human body.
We believe in the Resurrection of the Body, which as I understand it, means the whole body, which includes blood. How our resurrected bodies will be is a mystery, St. John tells us so much in 1 John 3:2; we can't possibly understand the inner workings of the glorified state.
I would be interested to study more on this and see what the Patristics have to say on this matter. It could be that He didn't say blood for any variety of reasons, and the reason you gave is a speculation, not based on Scripture. It seems to me to be problematic, for how could it be that in Revelation 7:13-14 we are told,
13 "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?" 14 I said to him, "sir you know. And he said to me, "these are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.
John tells us the blood of the lamb will make those who pass through the tribulation clean. Usually blood stains, but this cleanses, like bleach—spiritual bleach. Sounds like Heavenly blood to me, poured out on all believers who endure, are made sanctified, and not just those who lived at the time of Jesus who had access to His Earthly Blood. I know that I am receiving the very sanctifying blood of Christ, along with his spirit when I receive him in the Eucharist.
You don't know what you are missing.
One last thing. In addition to Bob's fine replies, you may find these articles helpful in giving you the Catholic perspective:
Also, in one of your replies to Bob, you said that there are still many other topics you find disturbing with Roman Catholicism.
From my view, and my colleagues may agree, an understanding and acceptance of our teaching on the Eucharist is key to unlocking all these other topics that confuse you.
Because of how you view your relationship with the Lord.
For example, Protestants erroneously view that Catholics work their own way to salvation but the Catholic view is that we are saved by His Grace from beginning to end . . . and we cooperate with the Lord through the Eucharist. He is working in us and through us, for the salvation of mankind based on the unique vocation, we have been called to.
As to unlocking all the other topics, 85-90 percent of these issues can be resolved by viewing the resolution as an and/both answer instead of an either/or answer.
The same goes for your conversation with Bob. We are spiritually and really physically nourished by the Eucharist every Sunday, or even daily, if we can get to daily Mass.
In addition to Bob's replies, Catholic Answers have some very fine articles and tracts that will give you a truly Catholic view so check out those articles I listed above.
I don't know where you are faith-wise but if you are gathering with Protestant congregations you will never hear the Catholic viewpoint.
As I said in an earlier reply:
- If I want to become a Baptist, do I go to a Methodist to learn what they believe?
- If I want to become a Mormon, do I go to a Muslim to learn what they believe?
- If I want to become a Hindu, do I go to a Catholic to learn what they believe?
For short, if you are truly interested in being a faithful Catholic and have been away from the Church for a while, Come back home and join an RCIA class. You can't expect to understand the Catholic faith by going to non-Catholic Christian denominations.
Finally, we have a whole section (5 pages of questions) on the Eucharist here:
As a side note: I find it interesting that if you combine the chapter and verse in John's Gospel on when most of Our Lord's disciples walked away from Him, it is: 666.
I hope this helps,