The Church refers to the Eucharist as a "pledge of future glory." What does that mean, and how does faithfully receiving the Eucharist ensure our salvation and bodily resurrection?
In Luke 24:13-35, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus have a surprise encounter with the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. There are basically four "stages" of communion in this encounter, and it's the same four stages, in the same order, that we find in the earliest Christian worship, and that we see in the Mass today. So let's look at each of the four stages, and then consider why it matters that they should all follow the same structure and pattern....
If St. Paul is teaching transubstantiation in 1 Corinthians 10-11, why does he refer to the Eucharist as "the bread"?
Let’s talk about the Bread of Life discourse in John 6:22-70. The Catholic interpretation makes sense, but it's a shocking one. We think that this lengthy passage is about the Eucharist, and that Jesus Christ literally means that we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood in Communion. This teaching, radical to twenty first-century ears, was no less radical to first-century ears, and even many of Jesus’ own disciples stopped following Him upon hearing it. Protestants typically disagree with this interpretation, arguing that Jesus’ commands that we should eat His Flesh and drink His Blood are just metaphors. Often, both sides are so busy debating the credibility of the Catholic interpretation that neither stop to seriously ask, “Does the Protestant interpretation make any sense?” The obvious question is if Jesus is speaking metaphorically, what’s it a metaphor for? What is Jesus actually saying?
Why should we care about the writings of the Church Fathers, or early Church history? Consider the Church of the early 100s. Protestants typically (a) reject the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ, that the Eucharist becomes His Flesh and Blood; and (b) believe that once you are saved, you'll never permanently fall away from the faith. But holding these views would require believing that the very same Symrnaean and Ephesian Christians praised by Christ in 96 A.D. are heretics by 107 A.D.
Today is Holy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper, and therefore the anniversary of both the Eucharist and the priesthood. It's here that Jesus celebrates the first Mass, and then commissions his disciples to do the same. And it's here that the Passion of Christ truly begins. Here are a few resources to help as you enter into Triduum, the holiest time of year.
Think Mass if boring? You might change your mind after considering these 8 parts of the Mass, and their connection to Sacred Scripture.
The scroll and seven seals of the Book of Revelation couldn't be opened without the Lamb standing as though slain, the Eucharistic Christ. Here are seven other mysteries of the faith that we need the Eucharist to unlock: (1) the New Covenant; (2) the Old Covenant; (3) the Mass; (4) Early Christianity; (5) the Church; (6) the lives of the Saints; and (7) your own spiritual life.
Early Christians like St. Justin Martyr and his companions died for the Christian faith, rather than worshipping idols. But if Protestants like Peter Leithart and Mike Grendon are right, these early Christians were idolaters anyways. Why? Because they believed in transubstantiation, that the bread and wine become the actual Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. So are Protestants right? Should we call him "Justin Idolater" instead? Or can we trust the early Christians?
Woodcut of St. Patrick, Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) In an article entitled Saint Patrick the Baptist?, Stephen R. Button tries to claim St. Patrick for Evangelical Protestantism… or at least disassociate him from Roman Catholicism. Button is hardly alone: you can find similar attempts by Don Boys and others, some of them dating back several decades. The argument tends […]