Jesus Our Eucharist

            I have heard the claim that, "You Catholics believe you re-sacrifice Jesus over and over again at Mass."

Not only is that impossible but it is not true. During the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass our Lord and God Jesus Christ is not re-sacrificed again and again as some clearly misunderstand. In a nut shell Jesus our Risen Lord makes present his once and for all sacrifice of Calvary in an un-bloody manner during Holy Mass. Before I go any further I want to share a few encouraging words. 

Jesus is God the Son and he is Eternal, not limited to our time and space as we know and experience it. Our past, present and future are forever present to God who knows no limitation. He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. Therefore He is able to make anything possible that is impossible. What we can not see with our eyes we see with the eyes of faith and faith is believing in that which we can not fully understand and God gives us the grace to believe and see (2 Corinthians 5:6). Apart from God we can do nothing but with God all is possible. God created us to know him, to love him, and to serve him in this world and to be happy with him forever in the next. If we deny God he will deny us, but if we turn our lives over to him and confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us and he will remember our sins no more (1 John 1:9). While we were still sinners he died on the cross for us to free us from our sins (1 Peter 2:14; Romans 5:8). God will not force his love on us, he gives us a free will to choose or reject him (John 1:12). If we choose God we will experience his unconditional love and mercy but if we reject him we will experience his justice and wrath. The choice is yours. No sin is to great for God to forgive, our sin is but a drop in the ocean of God's mercy. Do not let your past sin keep you from God's love, don't buy into the devils lie that your sin is to great for God to forgive. Our Lord always has his arms open to receive us, he will never turn his back on us, he desires to have a personal relationship with each and everyone of us but the choice is ours to make. 

God the Son Jesus Christ makes present to us his once and for all sacrifice on the cross (Hebrews 10:10) at Calvary at every Catholic Mass throughout the world so that we may share in the offering of his perfect sacrifice of the cross to God the Father through the power of God the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 7:17, 9:11-17; Luke 22:19-20). Remember the Most Holy Trinity, God is Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is true God and True Man as proclaimed in the Nicean Creed during the Mass. Jesus took on our flesh to show us the way and gave us this wonderful Eucharist whom he instituted at the Last Supper in the upper room with his Apostles. He has given us the way in which we also can offer ourselves and our prayers in union with Jesus' once and for all sacrifice to our heavenly Father for ourselves and others in the world who are in need of God's mercy (Colossians 1:24).

During the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Jesus becomes present in a most profound and special way and works through his minister, the priest (in persona Christi- in the person of Christ, 2 Corinthians 2:10; Revelation 1:5-6). So in reality it is Jesus himself as Priest and Victim offering the Mass through his priest and with all of us in unity with the Holy Spirit to God the Father. Our gifts along with bread and wine are brought up to the altar. The bread is not mere bread but it is all our prayers and intentions of the past week and present moment that we bring to God. We see our gifts of bread and wine (prayers and intentions) brought forth and given to the priest. By the power of the Holy Spirit during the words of consecration, "This Is My BODY, This Is My Blood", the bread and wine will be changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. Now present before us is the cross of Calvary and the once and for all sacrifice of our Risen Lord Jesus. 

We recall this when we here the priest pray, "Through Him With Him and In Him (Jesus), in the unity of the Holy Spirit all glory and honor is your Almighty Father forever and ever." We affirm this with our whole being saying Yes, so be it! AMEN!!! Our prayers and intentions have been united to the once and for all sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and are offered to God our Father! Now that Jesus' Passion and Death is made present his Resurrection to is made present and we recall this with the priest takes a piece of the body of Jesus and drops it into the chalice of his Blood. The priest elevates the Blessed Eucharist and Precious Blood and proclaims, "Behold this is Jesus our Risen Lord, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, Happy are those who are called to his supper."

The union of our prayers and the once and for sacrifice of Jesus can be recalled when we see the priest adding a drop of water to the wine. The wine totally consumes the water as Jesus' perfect Sacrifice consumes our prayers and intentions and later our very selves when we will receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist (communion). The water and wine also remind us of the blood and water which gushed forth from the side of Jesus when he was pierced with a lance. And finally it recalls as stated in the prayer of the priest while putting the drops of water into the wine, "Jesus shared in our humanity that we may share in his Divinity". 

God in his love and mercy through the Holy Spirit transforms the bread and the wine at the words of consecration into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ now hidden under the sacramental veil and appearance of bread and wine. Let your senses confuse you not, for what you are receiving is nothing less than the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord who wills to nourish us (John 6:51-68). Therefore we who receive Holy Communion are being nourished with Jesus' Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity truly and substantially present under both spices of the bread and wine. The bread and wine are not mere symbols of the Body and Blood of Jesus, they are Jesus are Risen Lord. The Mass throughout the world with this most Holy Eucharist are ONE and the same Mass united and not divided. We are also united in this one Holy Eucharist celebrated throughout the world (1 Corinthians 10:17).

No longer after the words of consecration are bread and wine present on the alter, only the real and true presence of our Risen Lord, present under the appearance of bread and wine. Jesus is present in a deeper and more profound way then anywhere else on earth in the Holy Eucharist and Sacred Blood. Here Jesus becomes more than spiritually present because he is truly and substantially present in our midst to unite us in communion with him. The Mass is therefore the greatest prayer of all since in it we experience the Risen Lord who nourishes us in a way unimaginable to men. Who can believe such a thing as hard to believe as this? Someone with a God given grace, faith and love for our Lord who gives us this wonderful gift at every Mass throughout the world. Whether you believe it or not the Eucharist is nothing less than the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus our Lord and God.

This is our one faith passed on down from Jesus to his Apostles and for nearly 2000 years through his One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church whom Jesus himself founded and built upon St. Peter the rock and first pope (Matthew 16:18-19). These are the teachings and testimonies of the Apostles and 1st, 2nd, 3rd century Christians. Here is one of thousands of quotes of the early Church Fathers: St. Ignatius bishop of Antioch in the year 110 in his letter to the Smyrnaneans wrote,

"Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. For love they have no care, nor for the widow, nor for the orphan, nor for the distressed, nor for those in prison or freed from prison, nor for the hungry and the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes" (taken from The Faith of the Early Fathers, vol. 1, William A. Jurgens page 25 paragraph 64, The Liturgical Press, 1970)

Who will argue with Jesus when He said, "Take this and eat of it, THIS IS MY BODY; Take this and drink of it, THIS IS MY BLOOD" (Matthew 26:26-28)? Who will dare put words in the mouth of our Lord and try to say that he really didn't mean this and that he was only speaking symbolically? When Jesus explained that he would give us his body and blood to eat and drink many people found it hard to believe and walked away from him, only his apostles stayed with him because of their faith and trust in Jesus.

In the Gospel of John chapter 6 verses 51-68 Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live." The people argued how can this be? Jesus said again, "I assure you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood is the true drink. All who drink my blood and eat my flesh remain in my and I remain in them." Who will deny this truth of the Holy Eucharist in which Jesus in his humility is present body, blood, soul, and divinity? Will we deny him and claim that we only receive mere bread and wine at the Mass instead of his true body and blood? Or will we believe Jesus with our God given faith like Simon Peter and say, "Yes Lord, I do believe, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68).

Additional scriptural references: 1 Corinthians 10:15-21, 11:17-34; Acts 2:42-46, 20:7-12; Luke 22:19; Hebrews 7:24-25, 9:24; Psalms 116:12; Malachi 1:11; Genesis 14:18.

For more understanding about the fullness of the Biblical and Historical Truth about the Holy Eucharist please visit the links below. Don't forget to book mark them for future reference to this subject as well as other subjects concerning the Catholic Christian Faith which is a free gift from Jesus himself to all people, hence the meaning of the word "catholic", universal for all peoples of the world.

Marco A. Fallon