Catholics and the Holy Eucharist

Catholics and the Holy Eucharist

A few days back, I responded to a comment made by a protestant fellow who complained about people who go to Church on Sunday, yet don’t seem to follow through during the rest of the week.

“How can they possibly ‘know’ God, if they don’t follow him, 7 days a week?”

Knowing full well what my friend actually meant, I couldn’t help responding that Catholics who regularly attend Mass and receive Holy Communion “know” God better than any protestant ever could, simply because they regularly receive the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ in the most intimate and personal manner possible … and it doesn’t get any better than that, this side of heaven.

Of course, I got an email from him that basically said, “You mean to tell me that a Catholic who regularly receives communion is likely to fare better than somebody like Billy Graham, who studies the Bible all the time and preaches all around the world?

( … And all this time I though protestants didn’t believe in salvation by works! … )

My reply went something like this:

The eucharist IS Jesus. Jesus IS the eucharist.

The eternal one who is enthroned at the right hand of the Father in heaven is the same one who is tabernacled in my flesh, and who indwells my immortal soul.

Anybody who attempts to live a fully Christian life without properly covering both of these human dimensions is going to have a real tough time of it.

Catholics know this, because Jesus in the eucharist is the source and the very center of our existence.

Meanwhile, you protestant guys are out there thumping Bibles to 50,000 different tunes, while relying on a symbolic form of purely spiritual communion.

The two are only very remotely comparable.

Until Jesus comes again in glory at the end of the age, the authentic holy eucharist (not mere crackers and grape juice) constitutes the closest and most intimate relationship with God that any living human can have.

That’s where the real power is.

That’s the true test of faith.

Jesus said so … and the double “amen” means he wasn’t kidding.

John 6:53  Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.
John 6:54  He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.
John 6:55  For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.
John 6:56  He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me: and I in him.
John 6:57  As the living Father hath sent me and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.

Link to a study of the Eucharist in the Catholic Catechism

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