Monday, June 27, 2011
Blog # 159 Jesus' Eucharistic Presence
Blog # 159 Jesus' Eucharistic Presence Valuable Biblical references here are: 1 Cor 11:23 - 26, Paul's testimony on the Last Supper event; the entire Sixth Chapter of John's Gospel; Chapter Five ends with Jesus faulting and disputing with those who refused to trust and believe in Him ; Mat 26: 26 - 28; Mark 14: 22 - 24; Luke 22: 19 - 20; Having considered in Blog 158 how one person can be present to another in several different modes we come to an effort to understand and respond to the Church's teaching that Jesus is really presentin the Sacrifice of the Mass and in Holy communion. Three questions I have found useful when applied to the 'Real Presence' of Jesus in the Eucharist are :What?, How?, and Why? What is God doing here? How is He doing it? And Why? What God has done in the Eucharist is laid out quite clearly in the Biblical references to the Last Supper given above and proclaimed down through the ages in the infallible teaching and constant practice of the Church. We believe and respond to a Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. How God transforms the nature of our bread and wine offered to Him through Jesus as a sign of our unconditional trust in Him and our total love for Him in the Sacrifice of the Mass is amystery to us. The transformation is unique and supernatural. It is accomplished through the infinite power of God the Creator which places it in a category by itself absolutely beyond our limited human comprehension. It is available to us by FAITH ALONE. I see a parallel with my experience of a cell phone. I have no idea as to how it works but I can trust that it does and I can use it. The answer to the question Why we have the Real Presence is simply because God desires to love us this way. To help us understand, appreciate, experience, and respond more perfectly to the presence of Jesus both in the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass and in Holy Communion it is important to be aware of its rich roots in history dating all the way back to Adam and Eve and God's promise to send a Savior to conquer and eliminate sin. Moses was seen in connection with that promise when he miraculously led God's people away from their slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. To help His people remember their passover from slavery to freedom and to keep the promise of Genesis alive for them they were given a command by God to celebrate that occasion annually in a programmed meal. On the occasion of the Last Supper Jesus and His Apostles were celebrating that Passover meal. Tomorrow the promise of Genesis would be fulfilled in His blood on the Cross of Calvary. Now on that first Holy Thursday the same unconditional total obedient love that would be given to the Father in the Sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross would be given the Apostles in a different unbloody mode! Over what otherwise would be bread: "This is my body which will be given up for you. And over what otherwise would be wine: "This is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. DO THIS in memory of me.