Hi, guys —
I have a few questions on the Eucharist and Incarnation:
When Jesus became man in the Incarnation He, the Second Person of the Trinity, took on Himself or received a Body and a Soul. He was no longer only a Spirit.
Nowadays, we never talk about the body and blood. We only speak of the body. Sure, we talk about the blood but I never hear a medical doctor speak of a certain person's body and blood.
- Why then does the Church talk about the human body as being composed of the body and blood?
In the Incarnation, Jesus received a Body and a Soul.
- Does this mean that the Soul of Jesus is present in the Eucharist?
- Is the substance of Jesus, the Soul or the Spirit?
We talk about transubstantiation but never define if the substance is the soul or spirit of Jesus. I understand that we, as humans, have a substance which is called a soul.
- What does the Church say about this?
- In the Incarnation:
- Did God leave Heaven to be present on Earth, or
- was He also present in Heaven as well?
- Nowadays, He is in many places on Earth physically but is He also in Heaven?
Can you reply to questions on the Incarnation linked to the Eucharist and the (Body/Soul) of Jesus? }
Thanks for the questions. I can see that you are pondering some pretty deep stuff. That's good; that is what makes us grow in faith and understanding.
- We talk about the Body and Blood of Jesus because they both have significance from a theological point of view. The body is like the bridegroom of the soul. The two are joined in such a way that they have a complementary relationship, which creates a sum greater than the two, individually. Consider how when hydrogen and oxygen bond they create water, which takes on a new property. Formerly, both substances were explosive and combustible gases, but as water, their nature is almost the opposite — an antidote to combustion. So our bodies become more than a container of our souls but an integral expression of that very life of the human person. The blood also has a unique theological meaning. It is the part of the body that brings life and sustenance to every cell throughout the body.
In the ancient Hebrew world, the blood was associated with the life of the being. When Christ shed His Blood, that very act become a Sacrifice of His Life, for the body cannot live without blood. You could take away many parts of the body and one can still live, but as soon as you take away the blood, life leaves. So the blood is associated with sacrifice, and hence, the Hebrews always associated the shedding of blood as necessary for an atoning sacrifice. Modern people and doctors don't draw this distinction because they are not concerned with spiritual implications of these substances and symbols, but any doctor would agree that blood is the necessary ingredient for life.
- The Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Every Aspect and Substance of His Humanity, which includes His Body, Blood and Soul are present there, as well as the fullness of his Divinity — which is what He is as God. He was, is, and always will be God, and through His Incarnation, has also assumed a human nature as well. We call this joining of the two natures the Hypostatic Union, which is now a permanent part of Jesus' being. He has taken on humanity in such a way as to marry Himself to us forever.
This is a mystery that can only be marveled at, but hardly fully understood. He isn't planning on dropping His Humanity at some point because His trip to Earth is over and He is done with it. He took it on permanently. That is simply mind-blowing! So all that He is, human and divine, is there in the Eucharist under the form of Bread and Wine; but while this form has not changed, the Substance has.
That is the meaning of trans (change) — substantiation (substance).
- When Jesus comes to us on Earth in any way, He does not stop being in Heaven. He is never anything less than the God who is omnipresent. Think about it in the reverse way:
Everything exists in Him. In other words, God is everywhere, infinitely, and the universe and all that is in it, including time and space are in Him. So while it appears as though Jesus is in many different places, He is really in one place.
Think of the Eucharist as a portal looking into another dimension, like a time machine that, if you could step through it, you could be at any place and any time you wanted, because it is present to it all.
That is why St. Paul calls it the one loaf of bread. (1 Corinthians 10:17) We don't have multiple different Eucharists, but rather we tap into the One that Is There, the Almighty Resurrected Christ, who stands beyond space and time. You cannot explain it in terms of our physical laws in our universe, but something that transcends time and space as we experience it. It is metaphysical — beyond the physics as we understand it.
Hope that helps,