9- PHÉP THÁNH THỂ.
22 Tháng Giêng 20227:54 SA(Xem: 11652)
Some people think the bread and wine in the Eucharist are just the symbols, the breaking of bread is in remembrance of Christ.
But the Church absolutely believes that the Bread and Wine in the Eucharist are the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ, as Saint Paul has determined: Co 11: 27-29: "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 exemine 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." Also before the celebration of the Eucharistic consecration, the priest prays: "Father, you are truly Holy, the source of all holiness, therefore we implore you to use the grace of your Holy Spirit to sanctify this offering, that it may become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord." And when giving the Host or the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ to the parishioners, the priest chants: "Body of Christ" or "Blood of Christ", then the person receiving Holy Communion or Precious Blood replies: "Amen" which means to acknowledge those are the real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Yet when we eat the bread and drink the wine, it tastes just like ordinary bread and wine, with no difference at all.
We know how great the benediction of FAITH is: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe". So the more insignificant and small that Bread and Wine look, the greater merit for the person who believes it to be the real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
But in front of the turbulence of the refutation, there are some opinions on this:
1-Acknowledge the scientific way.
Objects in the universe include hard substances, soft substances, liquids, gases, semi-substances, and super-substances. But there is one precious, sublime Substance that surpasses all of the above, which no one in the world knows or speaks of, only Jesus Christ has revealed in His Gospel, that is THE TRUTH, THE TRUTH does not dissolve, does not change, LIVE and endures forever, cover the entire universe. It is LIFE, it is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Flesh of God, the Eucharist of the Holy Trinity. And the soul of each of us is created by God from his own flesh: Genesis 1:27: "God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female created he them." And Genesis 2:7: "Then the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground (matter) and blew into his nostrils the breath of life (THE TRUTH, THE LIFE); and man became a living being."
So even if there is no sense to recognize the soul, no sophisticated machine has been able to probe the soul, but through the evidence from the Bible and physical phenomena every day, we know for sure that the soul is a strong, stable, and flexible being like the creatures in the spirit world because it was born from the Eucharist of God. And whenever still attached to the body, the soul needs to be nourished with the Flesh and Blood of Christ in order to be great, strong, good, holy, bright: "The good people will shine like the sun in their Father's kingdom." So every time we attend Mass and receive the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, our souls participate in a feast to be fed and nourished.
2-Jesus performed the transformation of bread and wine into His Flesh and Blood.
Finding all four Gospels, Jesus performed many miracles, but only three were Jesus giving thanks to God the Father: the miracle of multiplying the loaves (twice), Jesus miraculously raised Saint Lazarus from death after four days, and when Jesus instituted the Eucharist, three Gospels according to Saints Matthew, Saint Mark, Saint Luke, and Saint Paul's letters, all are detailed: Jesus gives thanks and praises to God the Father.
First, the miracle of multiplying the loaves, once for five thousand people, not counting women and children, and once for four thousand people, not counting women and children. The hard work was to instantly transform a mass of about three to four tons from super matter into the matter, in the form of baked breads and fishes that were cooked, ready to eat and had to create fishes and breads spontaneously, naturally in the act of breaking the breads and the fishes. Because of this complexity, Jesus had to call on the Father, and when the Father accepted, Jesus did give thanks to God the Father.
Second is the miracle that Jesus raised Saint Lazarus from death for four days, we see that Jesus performed miracles in healing the blind, the lame, the demon-possessed, the lepers, and even the dead are raised... There is no miracle that He gives thanks and praises to God the Father, but here Saint Lazarus died for four days, and almost every part of the body has disintegrated and decayed. The work was difficult, so Jesus had to rely on the Father, then he gave thanks when the Father accepted: "Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the people standing here, so that they may believe that it was you who sent me."(John 11,41-42).
When Jesus instituted the Eucharist, we see in all three Synoptics and in Paul's epistles that Jesus gave thanks before giving the Bread and Wine. It could not say by just breaking the bread and raising the ordinary cup of wine to give to the disciples that Jesus had to rely on the Father, and then give thanks to him, and also could not say the bread and wine were the symbols that must invoke the Father.
So we understand that this is an extremely great decision of Jesus' boundless mercy that He begged the Father to comply with His will. It was a very difficult work that Jesus had to beg the Father and give thanks when the Father accepted because from then until the end of the world, every time the priest of God performed the rite of offering bread and wine and read the words according to the way Jesus commanded them, the Bread and Wine immediately turned into the real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ to feed our souls, as well as admonishing, defending, protecting, comforting, and overflowing the blessings of the Holy Eucharist.
3- The Bread of Life Discourse. (John Chapter Six)
On the evening of the previous day, Jesus transformed breads and fishes to feed thousands of people, so most of the people sought to make him king in the order he could feed them without having to work, so the Lord said: John 6:27-29: "Do not work for the food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal." Then they asked him, "What must we do, if we are to carry out the works of God?" Jesus replied, "This is the work of God: to believe in the one whom he has sent."
Believing in Jesus Christ and practicing his instructions produces merit for eternal life, but people continued to rebuke the Lord, exhorting him:
John 6:30-32: They asked him further, "What sign can you give us that we can see and come to believe in you? What work will you do? Our ancestors ate manna in desert. As it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat'. Jesus replied, "Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. It is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who come down from heaven and gives life to the world.":
But people thought that Jesus would give them food so they wouldn't have to work: Jn 6, 34: "Sir," they begged him, "give us this bread always."
Then Jesus made it clearer: John 6:35: Jesus answered them: "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes on me shall never be thirsty."
And seeing the disappointment on their faces, he continued: John 6:36-40: "But I said to you that you have seen me and yet you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never turn away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but that I should raise it up on the last day. This indeed is the will of my Father: that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise them up on the last day."
"All that the Father has given me" means only those who are good and meritorious then Jesus enlighten their hearts and minds to believe in him.
So that uninspired crowd was indignant because the Lord said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven" when they knew Jesus was the son of Joseph, a carpenter, and the poor and humble Mary, so Jesus said: "No one can come to me, unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me, and I will raise up that person on the last day. It is written in the Prophets: "They will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to my Father and learned from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father."
Then Jesus proclaimed again: John 6:47-51: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, and yet they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat it and not die. 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.":
But people understood as feeding the body, so the crowd argued foolishly: John 6,52: "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
And Jesus proclaimed third time: John 6: 53-58: "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you do not have LIFE within you. Whoever feeds upon my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink. Whoever feed upon my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me and I dwell in him. Just as the living Father sent me, and I have life because of the Father, so whoever feeds upon me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and nervertheless died, the one who feeds upon this bread will live forever."
In the end, not only the crowd was surprised, but many of the disciples also murmured against the Lord: "This is a hard saying. Who can accept it?" Because they don't believe that Jesus came down from heaven, and they don't believe that Jesus can feed their bodies with his flesh and his blood. So the Lord said, John 6: 61-63: "Does this shock you? What then if you were to behold the Son of Man ascend to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh can achieve nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life."
From the very beginning, Jesus knew who were the unbelievers, yet He kept saying and also deliberately repeats it, and only revolves around those things, without further explaining, so that those who are not good, not meritorious enough to be inspired by Jesus to understand, get bored and leave. And those who are good, meritorious like the Twelve, are inspired by Jesus to understand, as Saint Peter said: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
The interpretations of Jesus in the "Discourse of the Bread of Life" are so obvious, but if there is not enough merit to be guided by God's light, people cannot understand, cannot believe. On the contrary, those who are blessed are enlightened to truly believe that the Bread and Wine in the Eucharist are the real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and are always longing to receive Jesus into their soul's house.
4-Jesus eagerly waited for the moment of the institution of the Eucharist.
Luke 22, 14-16: "When the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table along with the apostles. He said unto them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you that from this moment on I shall never eat it again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.":
The Kingdom of God is the Church, so "The fulfilled Passover in the Kingdom of God" is The Mass which Jesus attended and gave the Body and Blood to feed our souls.
5- NEW WINE in the Kingdom of God.
Mark 14, 24-25: He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many. Amen, I say to you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I shall drink it anew in the kingdom of God ."
"Praise" as well as "Give thanks" are Jesus thanked God the Father for allowing him to institute the Eucharist.
The "Kingdom of God" is the Church, in which Jesus always appears on the Lord's Supper Table at the Mass, so the NEW WINE is the HOLY BLOOD of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Therefore attending Mass, our souls participate in the HOLY TABLE with Jesus Christ.
6- Jesus consecrates the Eucharist at Emmaus.
Luke 24, 13-35: Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had occurred. While they were conversing and discussing the events, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them, but their eyes were prevented from recongizing him. He asked them, "What are you discussing with each other as you walk along?" They stood still, their faces filled with sadness. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who is not aware of all the things that have taken place there in these days?" When he asked, "What things?" They replied, "The things that happened to Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in word and deed before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to dead and had him crucified. We had been hoping that he would be the one who redeem Israel. And what is more, this is the third day since all of this took place. Some women from our group have now given us astounding news. They went to the tomb early this morning, but they failed to find his body. When they returned, they told us that they had seen a vision of angels who reported that he was alive. Some of our companions went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him."
Then he said unto them, "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the Prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" Then, beginning with Moses and going through all the Prophets, he interpreted for them in all the passages from the Scriptures that pertained to him.
As they approached the village to which they were going, he acted as though he would be going futher. However, they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." And so he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"
They set out immediately and returned to Jerusalem, where they found gathered together the Eleven and their companions who were saying, "The Lord has truly been raised, and he has appeared to Simon!"
Then the two described what had happened on their journey and how he had made himself known to them in the breaking of the bread.
This passage of Scripture adds convincing evidence that Jesus decided to institute the Eucharist, turning the bread and wine into His flesh and blood to dwell in our hearts and nourish our souls:
-First: If the Bread and Wine in the Holy Eucharist are only symbolic and in remembrance of Jesus in the ordinary sense then Jesus did not repeat the breaking of Bread because it had only been four days since He had done it, and He was present there.
-Second: Jesus intended to meet the two disciples with the purpose of teaching them the consecration of the Eucharist and receiving the Lord into their hearts through this Holy Sacrament because this apparition was the longest, and when the celebration of Communion of the Eucharist was completed, Jesus immediately left them.
-Third: Jesus repeats the same rite as he did at the Last Supper: "He took the bread, blessed it, and broke it and gave it to them.": Thus the Lord really taught us to celebrate this Holy Sacrament.
-Fourth: Jesus appeared to two disciples in the same way that Jesus taught us to come to the Lord at Mass: When we celebrate the liturgy, the Word of God teaches and nourishes our souls "Were not our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" And when we celebrate the Eucharistic consecration and receive the Lord into our hearts, we meet the Lord physically and the Body and Blood of Jesus are really the food that feeds our souls: " Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him."
7- Rite of Consecration of the Eucharist.
In the past, the Mass was in Latin, so few people understood the meaning, but since the Second Vatican Council, the Church allowed the use of vernacular, so everyone knows the rite of consecration of the Eucharist very clearly:
After the rite of sacrifice and the preface, the priest and the faithful pray:
Father, you are truly Holy, the source of all holiness, therefore we implore you to use the grace of your Holy Spirit to sanctify this offering, that it may become for us the BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST your Son, our Lord.
Then the priest took the bread and prayed:
When he voluntarily surrendered himself to suffering, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU." Then the priest bowed down to the Blessed Sacrament.
Next, the priest took the cup of wine and prayed:
In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice and, once more giving thanks, he gave it to his disciples, saying: "TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT, FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME." Then the priest bowed down to the Blood of the Lord.
Only that! Think of it as just reporting and repeating Jesus' word. So many people find it too ordinary, nothing is conventional, nothing is holy, nothing is mysterious. So they could not believe that fragile bread and an ordinary cup of wine could become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
But read Matthew 18:19-20: "Amen, I say unto you, further, if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be granted for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst."
So when we celebrate Mass, Jesus is present in the midst of the Lord's Supper, and when the priest reads: "Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you." And "Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins, do this in memory of me." Then we understand and absolutely believe that Jesus was saying those words and that was Jesus who blessed the bread and wine to turn the bread and wine into his flesh and blood and dwell in the Blessed Sacrament: That's THE REAL BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.
IT'S SO PROFOUND HOLY!
IT IS THE HIGHEST MYSTERY!
IT IS THE HOLIEST REALITY!
In short, such shreds of evidence are more than enough, those who are blessed to believe will enjoy the extremely precious gift of accepting the Lord of heaven and earth into their soul's house. That is a great blessing that the angels in heaven do not have.