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Tuesday, November 29, 2011


From the time of the apostles to 1500 years, throughout the centuries, Christians believed in the real presence of Jesus in consecrated Bread and Wine, without questioning. The Bible, Tradition, and Early Christian writers of the church, all supported this undeniable reality. Even the orthodox churches that have broken away from the Catholic faith, because of political reasons, believed in this truth. But when Martin Luther started to challenge the authority of Rome, in 1517 AD, his followers began to deny the greatness of this sacrament (In fact, Luther believed in it as ‘Consubstantiation’).

The Bible repeatedly teaches the reality of God’s real presence in the Eucharist. Just because of the greatness of this mystery, the whole 6th chapter of St. John is dedicated to explain it. The first book that was ever written in the New Testament, was of St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians (56 AD). St. Mark’s Gospel was formed little later (64 AD). The first historical evidence of the Lord’s Supper is in 1 Cor. 11:23-29, “For I received from the Lord what I have also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread and after giving thanks, broke it and said: “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper saying, “this cup is the  new covenant in my blood. Do this, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes. 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 examine himself to eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.”

If it has only a symbolic value, why did Paul give so much seriousness to it? Historically, Mark’s gospel comes next (64 AD). It was written in Rome as he was helping Peter in Rome.

Mk. 14:22-24 – “He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.’”

Matthew, the tax collector and an eye witness to the ‘Last Supper,’ wrote in 70 A.D., “Jesus took bread, said, ‘Take and eat. This is my body.’ Then He took the cup…saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you this is my blood of the covenant.’ ”

Luke, the gentile convert writes in 70 A.D.: “Then he took the bread…saying, ‘This is my body which will be given for you…This cup is the new covenant in my blood which will be shed for you.’ ”

John, his beloved disciple, clarifies all doubts about the real presence when he wrote in 90 A.D.: - “Jesus said: ‘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 in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life; I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood, true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.’ ”

By repetition, Jesus was insisting on this truth! Even those who heard it understood it as ‘Cannibalism’ – eating the meat of man. Drinking of blood was against Mosaic Law. So, even his disciples left him. Jn. 6:66: - “They said, ‘This saying is hard; who can accept it…’as a result of this many disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” This will never happen if Jesus was speaking those words in a symbolic meaning. He literally meant, what he said.

A faith, before the Bible!

Real presence of Jesus was accepted by all those who formed the Bible itself. The old Christian writers defended it. Iraneus (Asia Minor, 140-202), Tertullian (Rome, 160-220), Cyprian (Carthage, 200-258), Athanasius (293-373), Cyril of Alexandria (376-444), and Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) all wrote about this great mystery.

Ignatius of Antioch, close friend and disciple of Peter and John, wrote against the Gnostics in 110 A.D.: “They even abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they don’t admit that the Eucharist is the self same body of our Savior Jesus Christ, which flesh suffered for our sins and which the Father raised up again.” (Epistle to the Smyrneans, 7, 8).

Justin the Martyr, the close associate of apostles, wrote in 155 A.D.: “And this food is called among us Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake but he who believes that the things that we teach are true, and who are washed in the bath of forgiveness of sins and regeneration. We should not receive it as common drink and common food; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior.”

Now, most of the non-Catholic groups are considering sermons as the climax of Sunday observation. The hope of their salvation is in the skill of oratory and homiletics of a minister or a pastor. They spent the whole time to convince the followers about their fake doctrines, hunting for biblical words to get them supported. Acts of the Apostles stated clearly that Christians came together everyday for ‘breaking of bread’ with one mind and heart. This apostolic practice is totally ignored by them now.

Daily Masses: Is That Needed?

In every Catholic Church, the holy mass is celebrated everyday. The word ‘mass’ is coming from the Latin word ‘missa,’  which means ‘sent.’ ‘Ite missa est’ (‘Go, the communion is sent’) is referring to an ancient tradition of sending consecrated bread and wine from the holy mass to the sick.

When Heb. 10:12 say, “But Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins,” then why do we repeat it? We repeat it because Jesus commanded us to “do this in memory of me” (Lk. 22:19), and St. Paul says to us to do it “as often as possible.” “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes” (1 Cor. 11:24-26).

NEXT: Let the miracles speak the truth!