THE EUCHARIST

Scripture

  1. Old Testament
    1. Foreshadowing of the Eucharistic Sacrifice
    2. Foreshadowing of the Requirement to Consume the Sacrifice
       
  2. New Testament
    1. Jesus Promises His Real Presence in the Eucharist
    2. Jesus Institutes the Eucharist / More Proofs of the Real Presence
    3. Jesus' Passion is Connected to the Passover Sacrifice Where the Lamb Must be Eaten
    4. Eucharist Makes Present Jesus' One Eternal Sacrifice; Not Just a Symbolic Memorial
    5. Jesus in Glory Perpetually Offers the Father His Sacrifice on our Behalf
    6. The Book of Revelation and the Holy Mass

Tradition / Church Fathers

  1. Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist
  2. The Bread and Wine Become Jesus’ Body and Blood

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Scripture

I. Old Testament


(a). Foreshadowing of the Eucharistic Sacrifice

Gen. 14:18 - this is the first time that the word "priest" is used in Old Testament. Melchizedek is both a priest and a king and he offers a bread and wine sacrifice to God.

Psalm 76:2 - Melchizedek is the king of Salem. Salem is the future Jeru-salem where Jesus, the eternal priest and king, established his new Kingdom and the Eucharistic sacrifice which He offered under the appearance of bread and wine.

Psalm 110:4 - this is the prophecy that Jesus will be the eternal priest and king in the same manner as this mysterious priest Melchizedek. This prophecy requires us to look for an eternal bread and wine sacrifice in the future. This prophecy is fulfilled only by the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Catholic Church.

Malachi 1:11 - this is a prophecy of a pure offering that will be offered in every place from the rising of the sun to its setting. Thus, there will be only one sacrifice, but it will be offered in many places around the world. This prophecy is fulfilled only by the Catholic Church in the Masses around the world, where the sacrifice of Christ which transcends time and space is offered for our salvation. If this prophecy is not fulfilled by the Catholic Church, then Malachi is a false prophet.

Exodus 12:14,17,24; cf. 24:8 - we see that the feast of the paschal lamb is a perpetual ordinance. It lasts forever. But it had not yet been fulfilled.

Exodus 29:38-39 – God commands the Israelites to “offer” (poieseis) the lambs upon the altar. The word “offer” is the same verb Jesus would use to institute the Eucharistic offering of Himself.

Lev. 19:22 – the priests of the old covenant would make atonement for sins with the guilt offering of an animal which had to be consumed. Jesus, the High Priest of the New Covenant, has atoned for our sins by His one sacrifice, and He also must be consumed.

Jer. 33:18 - God promises that His earthly kingdom will consist of a sacrificial priesthood forever. This promise has been fulfilled by the priests of the Catholic Church, who sacramentally offer the sacrifice of Christ from the rising of the sun to its setting in every Mass around the world.

Zech. 9:15-16 - this is a prophecy that the sons of Zion, which is the site of the establishment of the Eucharistic sacrifice, shall drink blood like wine and be saved. This prophecy is fulfilled only by the priests of the Catholic Church.

2 Chron. 26:18 - only validly consecrated priests will be able to offer the sacrifice to God. The Catholic priests of the New Covenant trace their sacrificial priesthood to Christ.

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(b). Foreshadowing of the Requirement to Consume the Sacrifice

Gen. 22:9-13 - God saved Abraham's first-born son on Mount Moriah with a substitute sacrifice which had to be consumed. This foreshadowed the real sacrifice of Israel's true first-born son (Jesus) who must be consumed.

Exodus 12:5 - the paschal lamb that was sacrificed and eaten had to be without blemish. Luke 23:4,14; John 18:38 - Jesus is the true paschal Lamb without blemish.

Exodus 12:7,22-23 - the blood of the lamb had to be sprinkled on the two door posts. This paschal sacrifice foreshadows the true Lamb of sacrifice and the two posts of His cross on which His blood was sprinkled.

Exodus 12:8,11 - the paschal lamb had to be eaten by the faithful in order for God to "pass over" the house and spare their first-born sons. Jesus, the true paschal Lamb, must also be eaten by the faithful in order for God to forgive their sins.

Exodus 12:43-45; Ezek. 44:9 - no one outside the "family of God" shall eat the lamb. Non-Catholics should not partake of the Eucharist until they are in full communion with the Church.

Exodus 12:49 - no uncircumcised person shall eat of the lamb. Baptism is the new circumcision for Catholics, and thus one must be baptized in order to partake of the Lamb.

Exodus 12:47; Num. 9:12 - the paschal lamb's bones could not be broken. John 19:33 - none of Jesus' bones were broken.

Exodus 16:4-36; Neh 9:15 - God gave His people bread from heaven to sustain them on their journey to the promised land. This foreshadows the true bread from heaven which God gives to us at Mass to sustain us on our journey to heaven.

Exodus 24:9-11 - the Mosaic covenant was consummated with a meal in the presence of God. The New and eternal Covenant is consummated with the Eucharistic meal - the body and blood of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.

Exodus 29:33 – God commands that they shall eat those things with which atonement was made. Jesus is the true Lamb of atonement and must now be eaten.

Lev. 7:15 - the Aaronic sacrifices absolutely had to be eaten in order to restore communion with God. These sacrifices all foreshadow the one eternal sacrifice which must also be eaten to restore communion with God. This is the Eucharist (from the Greek word "eukaristia" which means "thanksgiving").

Lev. 17:11,14 - in the Old Testament, we see that the life of the flesh is the blood which could never be drunk. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ's blood is the source of new life, and now must be drunk.

Gen. 9:4-5; Deut.12:16,23-24 - in these verses we see other prohibitions on drinking blood, yet Jesus commands us to drink His blood because it is the true source of life.

2 Kings 4:43 - this passage foreshadows the multiplication of the loaves and the true bread from heaven which is Jesus Christ.

2 Chron. 30:15-17; 35:1,6,11,13; Ezra 6:20-21; Ezek. 6:20-21- the lamb was killed, roasted and eaten to atone for sin and restore communion with God. This foreshadows the true Lamb of God who was sacrificed for our sin and who must now be consumed for our salvation.

Neh. 9:15 – God gave the Israelites bread from heaven for their hunger, which foreshadows the true heavenly bread who is Jesus.

Psalm 78:24-25; 105:40 - the raining of manna and the bread from angels foreshadows the true bread from heaven, Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 53:7 - this verse foreshadows the true Lamb of God who was slain for our sins and who must be consumed.

Wis. 16:20 - this foreshadows the true bread from heaven which will be suited to every taste. All will be welcome to partake of this heavenly bread, which is Jesus Christ.

Sir. 24:21 - God says those who eat Him will hunger for more, and those who drink Him will thirst for more.

Ezek. 2:8-10; 3:1-3 - God orders Ezekiel to open his mouth and eat the scroll which is the Word of God. This foreshadows the true Word of God, Jesus Christ, who must be consumed.

Zech. 12:10 - this foreshadows the true first-born Son who was pierced for the sins of the inhabitants of the new Jerusalem.

Zech. 13:1 - on the day of piercing, a fountain (of blood and water) will cleanse the sins of those in the new House of David.

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II. New Testament


(a). Jesus Promises His Real Presence in the Eucharist

John 6:4,11-14 - on the eve of the Passover, Jesus performs the miracle of multiplying the loaves. This was prophesied in the Old Testament (e.g., 2 Kings4:43), and foreshadows the infinite heavenly bread which is Him.

Matt. 14:19, 15:36; Mark 6:41, 8:6; Luke 9:16 - these passages are additional accounts of the multiplication miracles. This points to the Eucharist.

Matt. 16:12 - in this verse, Jesus explains His metaphorical use of the term "bread." In John 6, He eliminates any metaphorical possibilities.

John 6:4 - Jesus is in Capernaum on the eve of Passover, and the lambs are gathered to be slaughtered and eaten. Look what He says.

John 6:35,41,48,51 - Jesus says four times "I AM the bread from heaven." It is He, Himself, the eternal bread from heaven.

John 6:27,31,49 - there is a parallel between the manna in the desert which was physically consumed, and this "new" bread which must be consumed.

John 6:51-52- then Jesus says that the bread He is referring to is His flesh. The Jews take Him literally and immediately question such a teaching. How can this man give us His flesh to eat?

John 6:53 - 58 - Jesus does not correct their literal interpretation. Instead, Jesus eliminates any metaphorical interpretations by swearing an oath and being even more literal about eating His flesh. In fact, Jesus says four times we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Catholics thus believe that Jesus makes present His body and blood in the sacrifice of the Mass. Protestants, if they are not going to become Catholic, can only argue that Jesus was somehow speaking symbolically.

John 6:23-53 - however, a symbolic interpretation is not plausible. Throughout these verses, the Greek text uses the word "phago" nine times. "Phago" literally means "to eat" or "physically consume." Like the Protestants of our day, the disciples take issue with Jesus' literal usage of "eat." So Jesus does what?

John 6:54, 56, 57, 58 - He uses an even more literal verb, translated as "trogo," which means to gnaw or chew or crunch. He increases the literalness and drives his message home. Jesus will literally give us His flesh and blood to eat. The word “trogo” is only used two other times in the New Testament (in Matt. 24:38 and John 13:18) and it always means to literally gnaw or chew meat. While “phago” might also have a spiritual application, "trogo" is never used metaphorically in Greek. So Protestants cannot find one verse in Scripture where "trogo" is used symbolically, and yet this must be their argument if they are going to deny the Catholic understanding of Jesus' words. Moreover, the Jews already knew Jesus was speaking literally even before Jesus used the word “trogo” when they said “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” (John 6:52).

John 6:55 - to clarify further, Jesus says "For My Flesh is food indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed." This phrase can only be understood as being responsive to those who do not believe that Jesus' flesh is food indeed, and His blood is drink indeed. Further, Jesus uses the word which is translated as "sarx." "Sarx" means flesh (not "soma" which means body). See, for example, John 1:13,14; 3:6; 8:15; 17:2; Matt. 16:17; 19:5; 24:22; 26:41; Mark 10:8; 13:20; 14:38; and Luke 3:6; 24:39 which provides other examples in Scripture where "sarx" means flesh. It is always literal.

John 6:55 - further, the phrases "real" food and "real" drink use the word "alethes." "Alethes" means "really" or "truly," and would only be used if there were doubts concerning the reality of Jesus' flesh and blood as being food and drink. Thus, Jesus is emphasizing the miracle of His body and blood being actual food and drink.

John 6:60 - as are many anti-Catholics today, Jesus' disciples are scandalized by these words. They even ask, "Who can 'listen' to it (much less understand it)?" To the unillumined mind, it seems grotesque.

John 6:61-63 - Jesus acknowledges their disgust. Jesus' use of the phrase "the spirit gives life" means the disciples need supernatural faith, not logic, to understand His words.

John 3:6 - Jesus often used the comparison of "spirit versus flesh" to teach about the necessity of possessing supernatural faith versus a natural understanding. In Mark 14:38 Jesus also uses the "spirit/flesh" comparison. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We must go beyond the natural to understand the supernatural. In 1 Cor. 2:14,3:3; Rom 8:5; and Gal. 5:17, Paul also uses the "spirit/flesh" comparison to teach that unspiritual people are not receiving the gift of faith. They are still "in the flesh."

John 6:63 - Protestants often argue that Jesus' use of the phrase "the spirit gives life" shows that Jesus was only speaking symbolically. However, Protestants must explain why there is not one place in Scripture where "spirit" means "symbolic." As we have seen, the use of "spirit" relates to supernatural faith. What words are spirit and life? The words that we must eat Jesus' flesh and drink His blood, or we have no life in us.

John 6:66-67 - many disciples leave Jesus, rejecting this literal interpretation that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. At this point, these disciples really thought Jesus had lost His mind. If they were wrong about the literal interpretation, why wouldn't Jesus, the Great Teacher, have corrected them? Why didn't Jesus say, "Hey, come back here, I was only speaking symbolically!"? Because they understood correctly.

Mark 4:34 - Jesus always explained to His disciples the real meanings of His teachings. He never would have let them go away with a false impression, most especially in regard to a question about eternal salvation.

John 6:37 - Jesus says He would not drive those away from Him. They understood Him correctly but would not believe.

John 3:5,11; Matt. 16:11-12 - here are some examples of Jesus correcting wrong impressions of His teaching. In the Eucharistic discourse, Jesus does not correct the scandalized disciples.

John 6:64,70 - Jesus ties the disbelief in the Real Presence of His Body and Blood in the Eucharist to Judas' betrayal. Those who don't believe in this miracle betray Him.

Psalm 27:2; Isa. 9:20; 49:26; Mic. 3:3; 2 Sam. 23:17; Rev. 16:6; 17:6, 16 - to further dispense with the Protestant claim that Jesus was only speaking symbolically, these verses demonstrate that symbolically eating body and blood is always used in a negative context of a physical assault. It always means “destroying an enemy,” not becoming intimately close with him. Thus, if Jesus were speaking symbolically in John 6:51-58, He would be saying to us, "He who reviles or assaults me has eternal life." This, of course, is absurd.

John 10:7 - Protestants point out that Jesus did speak metaphorically about Himself in other places in Scripture. For example, here Jesus says, "I am the door." But in this case, no one asked Jesus if He was literally made of wood. They understood him metaphorically.

John 15:1,5 - here is another example, where Jesus says, "I am the vine." Again, no one asked Jesus if He was literally a vine. In John 6, Jesus' disciples did ask about His literal speech (that this bread was His flesh which must be eaten). He confirmed that His flesh and blood were food and drink indeed. Many disciples understood Him and left Him.

Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18 – Jesus says He will not drink of the “fruit of the vine” until He drinks it new in the kingdom. Some Protestants try to use this verse (because Jesus said “fruit of the vine”) to prove the wine cannot be His blood. But the Greek word for fruit is “genneema” which literally means “that which is generated from the vine.” In John 15:1,5 Jesus says “I am the vine.” So “fruit of the vine” can also mean Jesus’ blood. In 1 Cor. 11:26-27, Paul also used “bread” and “the body of the Lord” interchangeably in the same sentence. Also, see Matt. 3:7;12:34;23:33 for examples were “genneema” means “birth” or “generation.”

Rom. 14:14-18; 1 Cor. 8:1-13; 1 Tim. 4:3 – Protestants often argue that drinking blood and eating certain sacrificed meats were prohibited in the New Testament, so Jesus would have never commanded us to consume His body and blood. But these verses prove them wrong, showing that Paul taught all foods, even meat offered to idols, strangled, or with blood, could be consumed by the Christian if it didn’t bother the brother’s conscience and were consumed with thanksgiving to God.

Matt. 18:2-5 - Jesus says we must become like children, or we will not enter the kingdom of God. We must believe Jesus' words with child-like faith. Because Jesus says this bread is His flesh, we believe by faith, even though it surpasses our understanding.

Luke 1:37 - with God, nothing is impossible. If we can believe in the incredible reality of the Incarnation, we can certainly believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. God coming to us in elements He created is an extension of the awesome mystery of the Incarnation.

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(b). Jesus Institutes the Eucharist / More Proofs of the Real Presence

Matt. 26:26-28; Mark. 14:22,24; Luke 22;19-20; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - Jesus says, this IS my body and blood. Jesus does not say, this is a symbol of my body and blood.

Matt. 26:26; Mark. 14:22; Luke 22:19-20 - the Greek phrase is "Touto estin to soma mou." This phraseology means "this is actually" or "this is really" my body and blood.

1 Cor. 11:24 - the same translation is used by Paul - "touto mou estin to soma." The statement is "this is really" my body and blood. Nowhere in Scripture does God ever declare something without making it so.

Matt. 26:26; Mark. 14:22; Luke 22:19 - to deny the 2,000 year-old Catholic understanding of the Eucharist, Protestants must argue that Jesus was really saying "this represents (not is) my body and blood." However, Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke, had over 30 words for "represent," but Jesus did not use any of them. He used the Aramaic word for "estin" which means "is."

Matt. 26:28; Mark. 14:24; Luke 22:20 - Jesus' use of "poured out" in reference to His blood also emphasizes the reality of its presence.

Exodus 24:8 - Jesus emphasizes the reality of His actual blood being present by using Moses' statement "blood of the covenant."

1 Cor. 10:16 - Paul asks the question, "the cup of blessing and the bread of which we partake, is it not an actual participation in Christ's body and blood?" Is Paul really asking because He, the divinely inspired writer, does not understand? No, of course not. Paul's questions are obviously rhetorical. This IS the actual body and blood. Further, the Greek word "koinonia" describes an actual, not symbolic participation in the body and blood.

1 Cor. 10:18 - in this verse, Paul is saying we are what we eat. We are not partners with a symbol. We are partners of the one actual body.

1 Cor. 11:23 - Paul does not explain what he has actually received directly from Christ, except in the case when he teaches about the Eucharist. Here, Paul emphasizes the importance of the Eucharist by telling us he received directly from Jesus instructions on the Eucharist which is the source and summit of the Christian faith.

1 Cor. 11:27-29 - in these verses, Paul says that eating or drinking in an unworthy manner is the equivalent of profaning (literally, murdering) the body and blood of the Lord. If this is just a symbol, we cannot be guilty of actually profaning (murdering) it. We cannot murder a symbol. Either Paul, the divinely inspired apostle of God, is imposing an unjust penalty, or the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Christ.

1 Cor. 11:30 - this verse alludes to the consequences of receiving the Eucharist unworthily. Receiving the actual body and blood of Jesus in mortal sin results in actual physical consequences to our bodies.

1 Cor. 11:27-30 - thus, if we partake of the Eucharist unworthily, we are guilty of literally murdering the body of Christ, and risking physical consequences to our bodies. This is overwhelming evidence for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. These are unjust penalties if the Eucharist is just a symbol.

Acts 2:42 - from the Church's inception, apostolic tradition included celebrating the Eucharist (the "breaking of the bread") to fulfill Jesus' command "do this in remembrance of me."

Acts 20:28 - Paul charges the Church elders to "feed" the Church of the Lord, that is, with the flesh and blood of Christ.

Matt. 6:11; Luke 11:3 - in the Our Father, we ask God to give us this day our daily bread, that is the bread of life, Jesus Christ.

Matt. 12:39 – Jesus says no “sign” will be given except the “sign of the prophet Jonah.” While Protestants focus only on the “sign” of the Eucharist, this verse demonstrates that a sign can be followed by the reality (here, Jesus’ resurrection, which is intimately connected to the Eucharist).

Matt. 19:6 - Jesus says a husband and wife become one flesh which is consummated in the life giving union of the marital act. This union of marital love which reflects Christ's union with the Church is physical, not just spiritual. Thus, when Paul says we are a part of Christ's body (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23,30-31; Col. 1:18,24), he means that our union with Christ is physical, not just spiritual. But our union with Christ can only be physical if He is actually giving us something physical, that is Himself, which is His body and blood to consume (otherwise it is a mere spiritual union).

Luke 14:15 - blessed is he who eats this bread in the kingdom of God, on earth and in heaven.

Luke 22:19, 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - Jesus commands the apostles to "do this," that is, offer the Eucharistic sacrifice, in remembrance of Him.

Luke 24:26-35 - in the Emmaus road story, Jesus gives a homily on the Scriptures and then follows it with the celebration of the Eucharist. This is the Holy Mass, and the Church has followed this order of the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist for 2,000 years.

Luke 24:30-31,35 - Jesus is known only in the breaking of bread. Luke is emphasizing that we only receive the fullness of Jesus by celebrating the Eucharistic feast of His body and blood, which is only offered in its fullness by the Catholic Church.

John 1:14 - literally, this verse teaches that the Word was made flesh and "pitched His tabernacle" among us. The Eucharist, which is the Incarnate Word of God under the appearance of bread, is stored in the tabernacles of Catholic churches around the world.

John 21:15,17 - Jesus charges Peter to "feed" His sheep, that is, with the Word of God through preaching and the Eucharist.

Acts 9:4-5; 22:8; 26:14-15 – Jesus asks Saul, “Why are you persecuting me?” when Saul was persecuting the Church. Jesus and the Church are one body (Bridegroom and Bride), and we are one with Jesus through His flesh and blood (the Eucharist).

1 Cor. 12:13 - we "drink" of one Spirit in the Eucharist by consuming the blood of Christ eternally offered to the Father.

Heb. 10:25,29 - these verses allude to the reality that failing to meet together to celebrate the Eucharist is mortal sin. It is profaning the body and blood of the Lord.

Heb. 12:22-23 - the Eucharistic liturgy brings about full union with angels in festal gathering, the just spirits, and God Himself, which takes place in the assembly or "ecclesia" (the Church).

Heb. 12:24 - we couldn't come to Jesus' sprinkled blood if it were no longer offered by Jesus to the Father and made present for us.

2 Pet. 1:4 - we partake of His divine nature, most notably through the Eucharist - a sacred family bond where we become one.

Rev. 2:7; 22:14 - we are invited to eat of the tree of life, which is the resurrected flesh of Jesus which, before, hung on the tree.

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(c). Jesus' Passion is Connected to the Passover Sacrifice where the Lamb Must Be Eaten

Matt. 26:2; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7 - Jesus' passion is clearly identified with the Passover sacrifice (where lambs were slain and eaten).

John 1:29,36; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19 - Jesus is described as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Lamb must be sacrificed and eaten.

Luke 23:4,14; John 18:38; 19:4,6 - under the Old Covenant, the lambs were examined on Nisan 14 to ensure that they had no blemish. The Gospel writers also emphasize that Jesus the Lamb was examined on Nisan 14 and no fault was found in him. He is the true Passover Lamb which must be eaten.

Heb. 9:14 - Jesus offering Himself "without blemish" refers to the unblemished lamb in Exodus 12:5 which had to be consumed.

Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25 - Jesus is celebrating the Passover seder meal with the apostles which requires them to drink four cups of wine. But Jesus only presents the first three cups. He stops at the Third Cup (called “Cup of Blessing” - that is why Paul in 1 Cor. 10:16 uses the phrase “Cup of Blessing” to refer to the Eucharist – he ties the seder meal to the Eucharistic sacrifice). But Jesus conspicuously tells his apostles that He is omitting the Fourth Cup called the “Cup of Consummation.” The Gospel writers point this critical omission of the seder meal out to us to demonstrate that the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacrifice on the cross are one and the same sacrifice, and the sacrifice would not be completed until Jesus drank the Fourth Cup on the cross.

Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26 - they sung the great Hallel, which traditionally followed the Third Cup of the seder meal, but did not drink the Fourth Cup of Consummation. The Passover sacrifice had begun, but was not yet finished. It continued in the Garden of Gethsemane and was consummated on the cross.

Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 18:11 - our Lord acknowledges He has one more cup to drink. This is the Cup of Consummation which he will drink on the cross.

Psalm 116:13 - this passage references this cup of salvation. Jesus will offer this Cup as both Priest and Victim. This is the final cup of the New Testament Passover.

Luke 22:44 - after the Eucharist, Jesus sweats blood in the garden of Gethsemane. This shows that His sacrifice began in the Upper Room and connects the Passion to the seder meal where the lamb must not only be sacrificed, but consumed.

Matt. 27:34; Mark 15:23 - Jesus, in his Passion, refuses to even drink an opiate. The writers point this out to emphasize that the final cup will be drunk on the cross, after the Paschal Lamb's sacrifice is completed.

John 19:23 - this verse describes the "chiton" garment Jesus wore when He offered Himself on the cross. These were worn by the Old Testament priests to offer sacrifices. See Exodus 28:4; Lev. 16:4.

John 19:29; cf. Matt. 27:48; Mark 15:36; - Jesus is provided wine (the Fourth Cup) on a hyssop branch which was used to sprinkle the lambs' blood in Exodus 12:22. This ties Jesus' sacrifice to the Passover lambs which had to be consumed in the seder meal which was ceremonially completed by drinking the Cup of Consummation. Then in John 19:30, Jesus says, “It is consummated.” The sacrifice began in the upper room and was completed on the cross. God’s love for humanity is made manifest.

Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; John 19:14 - the Gospel writers confirm Jesus' death at the sixth hour, just when the Passover lambs were sacrificed. Again, this ties Jesus' death to the death of the Passover lambs. Like the Old Covenant, in the New Covenant, the Passover Lamb must be eaten.

1 Cor. 5:7 - Paul tells us that the Lamb has been sacrificed. But what do we need to do? Some Protestants say we just need to accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior.

1 Cor. 5:8 - But Paul says that we need to celebrate the Eucharistic feast. This means that we need to eat the Lamb. We need to restore communion with God.

Heb. 13:15 - "sacrifice of praise" or "toda" refers to the thanksgiving offerings of Lev. 7:12-15; 22:29-30 which had to be eaten.

1 Cor. 10:16 - Paul's use of the phrase "the cup of blessing" refers to the Third Cup of the seder meal. This demonstrates that the seder meal is tied to Christ's Eucharistic sacrifice.

John 19:34-35 - John conspicuously draws attention here. The blood (Eucharist) and water (baptism) make the fountain that cleanses sin as prophesied in Zech 13:1. Just like the birth of the first bride came from the rib of the first Adam, the birth of the second bride (the Church) came from the rib of the second Adam (Jesus). Gen. 2:22.

John 7:38 - out of His Heart shall flow rivers of living water, the Spirit. Consequently, Catholics devote themselves to Jesus' Sacred Heart.

Matt. 2:1, Luke 2:4-7 - Jesus the bread of life was born in a feeding trough in the city of Bethlehem, which means "house of bread."

Luke 2: 7,12 - Jesus was born in a "manger" (which means "to eat"). This symbolism reveals that Jesus took on flesh and was born to be food for the salvation of the world.

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(d). The Eucharist Makes Present Jesus' One Eternal Sacrifice; it's Not Just a Symbolic Memorial

Gen. 14:18 - remember that Melchizedek's bread and wine offering foreshadowed the sacramental re-presentation of Jesus' offering.

Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - the translation of Jesus' words of consecration is "touto poieite tan eman anamnasin." Jesus literally said "offer this as my memorial sacrifice." The word “poiein” (do) refers to offering a sacrifice (see, e.g., Exodus 29:38-39, where God uses the same word – poieseis – regarding the sacrifice of the lambs on the altar). The word “anamnesis” (remembrance) also refers to a sacrifice which is really or actually made present in time by the power of God, as it reminds God of the actual event (see, e.g., Heb. 10:3; Num. 10:10). It is not just a memorial of a past event, but a past event made present in time.

In other words, the “sacrifice” is the “memorial” or “reminder.” If the Eucharist weren’t a sacrifice, Luke would have used the word “mnemosunon” (which is the word used to describe a nonsacrificial memorial. See, for example, Matt. 26:13; Mark 14:9; and especially Acts 10:4). So there are two memorials, one sacrificial (which Jesus instituted), and one non-sacrificial.

Lev. 24:7 - the word "memorial" in Hebrew in the sacrificial sense is "azkarah" which means to actually make present (see Lev. 2:2,9,16;5:12;6:5; Num.5:26 where “azkarah” refers to sacrifices that are currently offered and thus present in time). Jesus' instruction to offer the bread and wine (which He changed into His body and blood) as a "memorial offering" demonstrates that the offering of His body and blood is made present in time over and over again.

Num. 10:10 - in this verse, "remembrance" refers to a sacrifice, not just a symbolic memorial. So Jesus' command to offer the memorial “in remembrance” of Him demonstrates that the memorial offering is indeed a sacrifice currently offered. It is a re-presentation of the actual sacrifice made present in time. It is as if the curtain of history is drawn and Calvary is made present to us.

Mal. 1:10-11 - Jesus' command to his apostles to offer His memorial sacrifice of bread and wine which becomes His body and blood fulfills the prophecy that God would reject the Jewish sacrifices and receive a pure sacrifice offered in every place. This pure sacrifice of Christ is sacramentally re-presented from the rising of the sun to its setting in every place, as Malachi prophesied.

Heb. 9:23 - in this verse, the author writes that the Old Testament sacrifices were only copies of the heavenly things, but now heaven has better “sacrifices” than these. Why is the heavenly sacrifice called “sacrifices,” in the plural? Jesus died once. This is because, while Christ’s sacrifice is transcendent in heaven, it touches down on earth and is sacramentally re-presented over and over again from the rising of the sun to its setting around the world by the priests of Christ’s Church. This is because all moments to God are present in their immediacy, and when we offer the memorial sacrifice to God, we ask God to make the sacrifice that is eternally present to Him also present to us. Jesus’ sacrifice also transcends time and space because it was the sacrifice of God Himself.

Heb. 9:23 - the Eucharistic sacrifice also fulfills Jer. 33:18 that His kingdom will consist of a sacrificial priesthood forever, and fulfills Zech. 9:15 that the sons of Zion shall drink blood like wine and be saved.

Heb. 13:15 - this "sacrifice of praise" refers to the actual sacrifice or "toda" offering of Christ who, like the Old Testament toda offerings, now must be consumed. See, for example, Lev. 7:12-15; 22:29-30 which also refer to the “sacrifice of praise” in connection with animals who had to be eaten after they were sacrificed.

1 Peter 2:5-6 - Peter says that we as priests offer "sacrifices" to God through Jesus, and he connects these sacrifices to Zion where the Eucharist was established. These sacrifices refer to the one eternal Eucharistic sacrifice of Christ offered in every place around the world.

Rom. 12:1 - some Protestants argue that the Eucharist is not really the sacrifice of Christ, but a symbolic offering, because the Lord's blood is not shed (Heb. 9:22). However, Paul instructs us to present ourselves as a "living sacrifice" to God. This verse demonstrates that not all sacrifices are bloody and result in death (for example, see the wave offerings of Aaron in Num. 8:11,13,15,21 which were unbloody sacrifices). The Eucharistic sacrifice is unbloody and lifegiving, the supreme and sacramental wave offering of Christ, mysteriously presented in a sacramental way, but nevertheless the one actual and eternal sacrifice of Christ. Moreover, our bodies cannot be a holy sacrifice unless they are united with Christ's sacrifice made present on the altar of the Holy Mass.

1 Cor. 10:16 - "the cup of blessing" or Third cup makes present the actual paschal sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb who was slain.

1 Cor. 10:18 - Paul indicates that what is eaten from the altar has been sacrificed, and we become partners with victim. What Catholic priests offer from the altar has indeed been sacrificed, our Lord Jesus, the paschal Lamb.

1 Cor. 10:20 - Paul further compares the sacrifices of pagans to the Eucharistic sacrifice - both are sacrifices, but one is offered to God. This proves that the memorial offering of Christ is a sacrifice.

1 Cor. 11:26 - Paul teaches that as often as you eat the bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death. This means that celebrating the Eucharist is proclaiming the Gospel.

1 Cor. 10:21 - Paul's usage of the phrase "table of the Lord" in celebrating the Eucharist is further evidence that the Eucharist is indeed a sacrifice. The Jews always understood the phrase "table of the Lord" to refer to an altar of sacrifice. See, for example, Lev. 24:6, Ezek. 41:22; 44:16 and Malachi 1:7,12, where the phrase "table of the Lord" in these verses always refers to an altar of sacrifice.

Heb. 13:10,15 - this earthly altar is used in the Mass to offer the Eucharistic sacrifice of praise to God through our eternal Priest, Jesus Christ.

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(e). Jesus in Glory Perpetually Offers the Father His Sacrifice on Our Behalf

Rev. 1 to 22 - Jesus is described as the "Lamb" 28 times in the book of Revelation. This is because Jesus emphasizes His sacrifice in heaven and in His Holy Catholic Church.

Rev. 1:13 - Jesus is clothed in heaven with a long robe and golden girdle like the Old Testament priests who offered animal sacrifices. See Exodus 28:4.

Rev. 2:17 - the spiritual manna, our Lord's glorious body and blood, is emphasized in the heavenly feast.

Rev. 3:20 - as Priest and Paschal Lamb, our Lord shares the Eucharistic meal with us to seal His New Covenant. Through the covenant of his body and blood, we are restored to the Father and become partakers of the divine nature.

Rev. 5:6 - this verse tells us that Jesus in His glory still looks like a lamb who was slain. Also, Jesus is "standing" as though a Lamb who was slain. Lambs that are slain lie down. This odd depiction shows Jesus stands at the Altar as our eternal priest in forever offering Himself to the Father for our salvation.

Rev. 7:14 - the blood of the Lamb is eternally offered in heaven with the washing of the robes to make them white.

Rev. 14:1, Heb. 12:22 - Zion is the city where Jesus established the Eucharist and which was miraculously preserved after the destruction of Jerusalem. See also Psalms 2:6 and 132:13. It represents the union of heaven and earth, of divinity and humanity. This is why those who enter into the Eucharistic celebration on earth enter into the presence of innumerable angels, the souls of the just made perfect, Jesus the Mediator of the Covenant and His sprinkled blood, and God the Judge of all.

Rev. 19:13 - in all His glory, Jesus' sacrifice is eternally present as He presents Himself to the Father clothed in a robe dipped in blood. Jesus' sacrifice is the focus in heaven and in the Mass. When the Father beholds His Son, He beholds His sacrifice for humanity.

Rev. 19:9 - we are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb where we become one with Him by consuming His body and blood. This is the nuptial union of divinity and humanity.

Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14; 8:1; 9:11,25; 10:19,22 - Jesus is repeatedly described as "High Priest." But in order to be a priest, “it is necessary for [Jesus] to have something to offer.” Heb. 8:3. This is the offering of the eternal sacrifice of His body and blood to the Father.

Heb. 2:18 - although His suffering is past tense, His expiation of our sins is present tense because His offering is continual. Therefore, He is able (present tense) to help those who are tempted.

Heb. 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:15,17 - these verses show that Jesus restores the father-son priesthood after Melchizedek. Jesus is the new priest and King of Jerusalem and feeds the new children of Abraham with His body and blood. This means that His eternal sacrifice is offered in the same manner as the bread and wine offered by Melchizedek in Gen. 14:18. But the bread and wine that Jesus offers is different, just as the Passover Lamb of the New Covenant is different. The bread and wine become His body and blood by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.

Heb. 4:3 – God’s works were finished from the foundation of the world. This means that God’s works, including Christ’s sacrifice (the single act that secured the redemption of our souls and bodies), are forever present in eternity. Jesus’ suffering is over and done with (because suffering was earthly and temporal), but His sacrifice is eternal, because His priesthood is eternal (His victimized state was only temporal).

Heb. 4:14 – Jesus the Sacrifice passes through the heavens by the glory cloud of God, just like the sacrifices of Solomon were taken up into heaven by the glory cloud of God in 2 Chron. 7:1. See also Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; and Acts 1:10.

Heb. 7:24 – Jesus holds His priesthood is forever because He continues forever, so His sacrificial offering is forever. He continues to offer His body and blood to us because He is forever our High Priest.

Heb. 8:2 - Jesus is a minister in the sanctuary offering up (present tense) His eternal sacrifice to the Father which is perfected in heaven. This is the same sanctuary that we enter with confidence by the blood of Jesus as written in Heb. 10:19. See also Heb. 12:22-24.

Heb. 8:3 - as High Priest, it is necessary for Jesus to have something to offer. What is Jesus offering in heaven? As eternal Priest, He offers the eternal sacrifice of His body and blood.

Heb. 8:6; 9:15; cf. Heb. 12:22-24; 13:20-21 - the covenant Jesus mediates (present tense) is better than the Old covenant. The covenant He mediates is the covenant of His body and blood which He offers in the Eucharist. See Matt. 26:26-28; Mark. 14:22,24; Luke 22;19-20; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - which is the only time Jesus uses the word “covenant” (which is the offering of His body and blood).

Heb. 9:12 – Jesus enters into heaven, the Holy Place, taking His own blood. How can this be? He wasn’t bleeding after the resurrection. This is because He enters into the heavenly sanctuary to mediate the covenant of His body and blood by eternally offering it to the Father. This offering is made present to us in the same manner as Melchizedek’s offering, under the appearance of bread and wine.

Heb. 9:14 - the blood of Christ offered in heaven purifies (present tense) our consciences from dead works to serve the living God. Christ's offering is ongoing.

Heb. 9:22 – blood is indeed required for the remission of sin. Jesus' blood was shed once, but it is continually offered to the Father. This is why Jesus takes His blood, which was shed once and for all, into heaven. Heb. 9:12.

Heb. 9:23 – Jesus’ sacrifice, which is presented eternally to the Father in heaven, is described as “sacrifices” (in the plural) in the context of its re-presentation on earth (the author first writes about the earthly sacrifices of animals, and then the earthly offerings of Jesus Christ’s eternal sacrifice).

Heb. 9:26 – Jesus’ once and for all appearance into heaven to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself shows that Jesus’ presence in heaven and His sacrifice are inseparable. This also shows that “once for all,” which refers to Jesus’ appearance in heaven, means perpetual (it does not, and cannot mean, “over and done with” because Jesus is in heaven for eternity). “Once for all” also refers to Jesus’ suffering and death (Heb. 7:27; 9:12,26;10:10-14). But “once for all” never refers to Jesus’ sacrifice, which is eternally presented to the Father. This sacrifice is the Mal. 1:11 pure offering made present in every place from the rising of the sun to its setting in the Eucharist offered in the same manner as the Melchizedek offering.

Heb. 10:19 - we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus on earth in the Eucharistic liturgy, which is the heavenly sanctuary where Jesus’ offering is presented to God in Heb. 8:2.

Heb. 10:22 - our hearts and bodies are (not were) washed clean by the action of Jesus' perpetual priesthood in heaven.

Heb. 13:10 – the author writes that we have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. This altar is the heavenly altar at which Jesus presides as Priest before the Father, eternally offering His body and blood on our behalf. See. Mal. 1:7,12; Lev. 24:7; Ez. 41:22; 44:16; Rev. 5:6; 6:9; 9:13; 11:1; 16:7.

Heb. 13:20-21 - Jesus died once, but His blood of the eternal covenant is eternally offered to equip us (present tense) with everything good that we may do God's will.

Heb. 13:8 - this is because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. While His suffering was temporal (because bodily pain is temporal), Jesus and His sacrifice are eternal (because redemption, salvation, and the mediation of the New covenant are eternal).

Heb. 13:15 – the letter concludes with an instruction to continually offer up, through Christ, a sacrifice of praise to God. The phrase “sacrifice of praise” refers to the “toda” animal sacrifices that had to be consumed. See, for example, Lev. 7:12-15; 22:29-30.

1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 20:6 - we are a royal priesthood in Jesus, and offer His sacrifice to the Father on earth as He does in heaven.

1 John 1:7 - the blood of Jesus cleanses us (present tense) from all sin. His blood cannot currently cleanse us unless it is currently offered for us.

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(f). The Book of Revelation and the Holy Mass

The Book of Revelation shows us glimpses of the heavenly liturgy – Jesus Christ’s once and for all sacrifice eternally present in heaven. This is why the Church has always incorporated the elements that John saw in the heavenly liturgy into her earthly liturgy, for they are one and the same liturgical action of Jesus Christ our High Priest.

Rev. 1:6, 20:6 - heaven's identification of the priesthood of the faithful is the same as the Church's identification on earth.

Rev. 1:10 - John witnesses the heavenly liturgy on Sunday, the Lord's day, which is a Catholic holy day of obligation for attending Mass on earth.

Rev. 1:12, 2:5 - there are lampstands or Menorahs in heaven. These have always been used in the Holy Mass of the Church on earth.

Rev. 1:13 - Jesus is clothed as High Priest. Our priests also clothe themselves as "alter Christuses" (other Christs) in offering His sacrifice in the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 1:13, 4:4, 6:11, 7:9, 15:6, 19:13-14 - priests wear special vestments in heaven. Our priests also wear special vestments in celebrating the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 2:5,16,21; 3:3; 16:11 - there is a penitential rite in heaven which is also part of the liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 2:17 - there is manna in heaven given to the faithful. This is the same as the Eucharistic manna given to the faithful at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 4:4, 5:14; 11:16, 14:3, 19:4 - there are priests ("presbyteroi") in heaven. Priests offer sacrifice. Our earthly priests participate with the heavenly priests in offering Jesus' eternal sacrifice in the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 4:8 - heaven's liturgical chant "Holy, Holy, Holy" is the same that is used in the liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 4:8-11, 5:9-14, 7:10-12, 18:1-8 - the various antiphonal chants in the heavenly liturgy are similar to those used at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 5:1 - there is a book or scroll of God's word in heaven. This is reflected in the Liturgy of the Word at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 5:6 and throughout - heaven's description of Jesus as the "Lamb" is the same as the description of Jesus as the Lamb of God in the Eucharistic liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 5:8, 6:9-11, 8:3-4 - heaven's emphasis on the intercession of the saints is the same as the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 5:8, 8:3-4 - there is incense in heaven which has always been part of the liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 5:14; 7:12; 19:4 - heaven's concluding liturgical prayer "Amen" is the same as is used at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 6:9 - the martyrs who are seen under the heavenly altar is similar to the Church's tradition of keeping relics of saints under the earthly altars.

Rev. 7:3, 14:1, 22:4 - there is the sign of the cross ("tau") in heaven. This sign is used during the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 7:9; 14:6 - the catholicity or universality of heaven as God's family is the essence of the Catholic faith on earth.

Rev. 8:1 - the silent contemplation in heaven is similar to our silent contemplation at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 8:3, 11:1, 14:18, 16:7 - there is an altar in heaven. But no altar is needed unless a sacrifice is being offered in heaven. This is the same sacrifice that is offered on the altars used in the Holy Masses on earth.

Rev. 11:12 - the phrase "come up here" is similar to the priest's charge to "lift up your hearts" at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 12:1-6, 13-17 - heaven's emphasis on the Blessed Virgin Mary is the same as the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 12:7 - heaven's emphasis on the Archangel Michael's intercession is the same as the concluding prayers at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 14:4 - there are consecrated celibates in heaven, as there are with our Catholic priests and religious on earth.

Rev. 15:7, 16:1-4,8,10,12,17; 21:9 - there are chalices (or bowls) in the heavenly liturgy. This is like the chalices used to offer Christ's sacrifice in the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 15:3-4 - there is the recitation of the "Gloria" in heaven. This is also recited at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 15:5 - there is a tent or tabernacle in heaven. Tabernacles are used to store the Eucharist at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 17, 19:9 - the consummation of the Lamb at heaven's marriage supper is the same as the Lamb's supper in the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 19:1,3,4,6 - there is the recitation of the "Alleluia" in heaven. This is also recited at the Holy Mass on earth.

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Tradition / Church Fathers

I. Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist

"They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again." Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to Smyrnaeans, 7,1 (c. A.D. 110).

"For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh." Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66 (c. A.D. 110-165).

"[T]he bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord, and the cup His blood..." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, IV:18,4 (c. A.D. 200).

"He acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as his own blood, from which he bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of creation) he affirmed to be his own body, from which he gives increase to our bodies." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:2,2 (c. A.D. 200).

"But what consistency is there in those who hold that the bread over which thanks have been given is the Body of their Lord, and the cup His Blood, if they do not acknowledge that He is the Son of the Creator of the world..." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, IV:18, 2 (c. A.D. 200).

"For the blood of the grape--that is, the Word--desired to be mixed with water, as His blood is mingled with salvation. And the blood of the Lord is twofold. For there is the blood of His flesh, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and the spiritual, that by which we are anointed. And to drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord's immortality; the Spirit being the energetic principle of the Word, as blood is of flesh. Accordingly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. And the one, the mixture of wine and water, nourishes to faith; while the other, the Spirit, conducts to immortality. And the mixture of both--of the water and of the Word--is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul." Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2 (ante A.D. 202).

"Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, 'This is my body,' that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body…He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: 'I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,' which means, of course, the cross upon His body. And thus, casting light, as He always did, upon the ancient prophecies, He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body. He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed 'in His blood,' affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body which is not a body of flesh. If any sort of body were presented to our view, which is not one of flesh, not being fleshly, it would not possess blood. Thus, from the evidence of the flesh, we get a proof of the body, and a proof of the flesh from the evidence of the blood." Tertullian, Against Marcion, 40 (A.D. 212).

"For because Christ bore us all, in that He also bore our sins, we see that in the water is understood the people, but in the wine is showed the blood of Christ...Thus, therefore, in consecrating the cup of the Lord, water alone cannot be offered, even as wine alone cannot be offered. For if any one offer wine only, the blood of Christ is dissociated from us; but if the water be alone, the people are dissociated from Christ; but when both are mingled, and are joined with one another by a close union, there is completed a spiritual and heavenly sacrament. Thus the cup of the Lord is not indeed water alone, nor wine alone, unless each be mingled with the other; just as, on the other hand, the body of the Lord cannot be flour alone or water alone, unless both should be united and joined together and compacted in the mass of one bread; in which very sacrament our people are shown to be made one, so that in like manner as many grains, collected, and ground, and mixed together into one mass, make one bread; so in Christ, who is the heavenly bread, we may know that there is one body, with which our number is joined and united." Cyprian, To Caeilius, Epistle 62(63):13 (A.D. 253).

"Having learn these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengtheneth man's heart, to make his face to shine with oil, 'strengthen thou thine heart,' by partaking thereof as spiritual, and "make the face of thy soul to shine."" Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XXII:8 (c. A.D. 350).

"For as to what we say concerning the reality of Christ's nature within us, unless we have been taught by Him, our words are foolish and impious. For He says Himself, My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him. As to the verity of the flesh and blood there is no room left for doubt. For now both from the declaration of the Lord Himself and our own faith, it is verily flesh and verily blood. And these when eaten and drunk, bring it to pass that both we are in Christ and Christ in us. Is not this true? Yet they who affirm that Christ Jesus is not truly God are welcome to find it false. He therefore Himself is in us through the flesh and we in Him, whilst together with Him our own selves are in God." Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 8:14 (inter A.D. 356-359).

"Let us then in everything believe God, and gainsay Him in nothing, though what is said seem to be contrary to our thoughts and senses, but let His word be of higher authority than both reasonings and sight. Thus let us do in the mysteries also, not looking at the things set before us, but keeping in mind His sayings. For His word cannot deceive, but our senses are easily beguiled. That hath never failed, but this in most things goeth wrong. Since then the word saith, 'This is my body,' let us both be persuaded and believe, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ hath given nothing sensible, but though in things sensible yet all to be perceived by the mind. So also in baptism, the gift is bestowed by a sensible thing, that is, by water; but that which is done is perceived by the mind, the birth, I mean, and the renewal. For if thou hadst been incorporeal, He would have delivered thee the incorporeal gifts bare; but because the soul hath been locked up in a body, He delivers thee the things that the mind perceives, in things sensible. How many now say, I would wish to see His form, the mark, His clothes, His shoes. Lo! Thou seest Him, Thou touchest Him, thou eatest Him. And thou indeed desirest to see His clothes, but He giveth Himself to thee not to see only, but also to touch and eat and receive within thee." John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, Homily 82 (A.D. 370).

"It is good and beneficial to communicate every day, and to partake of the holy body and blood of Christ. For He distinctly says, 'He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life.' And who doubts that to share frequently in life, is the same thing as to have manifold life. I, indeed, communicate four times a week, on the Lord's day, on Wednesday, on Friday, and on the Sabbath, and on the other days if there is a commemoration of any Saint.” Basil, To Patrician Caesaria, Epistle 93 (A.D. 372).

"You will see the Levites bringing the loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers and invocations have not yet been made, it is mere bread and a mere cup. But when the great and wonderous prayers have been recited, then the bread becomes the body and the cup the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ...When the great prayers and holy supplications are sent up, the Word descends on the bread and the cup, and it becomes His body." Athanasius, Sermon to the Newly Baptized, PG 26, 1325 (ante A.D. 373).

“…if a person sees bread he also, in a kind of way, looks on a human body, for by the bread being within it the bread becomes it, so also, in that other case, the body into which God entered, by partaking of the nourishment of bread, was, in a certain measure, the same with it; that nourishment, as we have said, changing itself into the nature of the body. For that which is peculiar to all flesh is acknowledged also in the case of that flesh, namely, that that Body too was maintained by bread; which Body also by the indwelling of God the Word was transmuted to the dignity of Godhead. Rightly, then, do we believe that now also the bread which is consecrated by the Word of God is changed into the Body of God the Word. For that Body was once, by implication, bread, but has been consecrated by the inhabitation of the Word that tabernacled in the flesh. Therefore, from the same cause as that by which the bread that was transformed in that Body was changed to a Divine potency, a similar result takes place now. For as in that case, too, the grace of the Word used to make holy the Body, the substance of which came of the bread, and in a manner was itself bread, so also in this case the bread, as says the Apostle, 'is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer'; not that it advances by the process of eating to the stage of passing into the body of the Word, but it is at once changed into the body by means of the Word, as the Word itself said, 'This is My Body.'” Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 37 (post A.D. 383).

“ Seeing, too, that all flesh is nourished by what is moist (for without this combination our earthly part would not continue to live), just as we support by food which is firm and solid the solid part of our body, in like manner we supplement the moist part from the kindred element; and this, when within us, by its faculty of being transmitted, is changed to blood, and especially if through the wine it receives the faculty of being transmuted into heat. Since, then, that God-containing flesh partook for its substance and support of this particular nourishment also, and since the God who was manifested infused Himself into perishable humanity for this purpose, viz. that by this communion with Deity mankind might at the same time be deified, for this end it is that, by dispensation of His grace, He disseminates Himself in every believer through that flesh, whose substance comes from bread and wine, blending Himself with the bodies of believers, to secure that, by this union with the immortal, man, too, may be a sharer in incorruption. He gives these gifts by virtue of the benediction through which He trans-elements the natural quality of these visible things to that immortal thing." Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 37 (post A.D. 383).

"Perhaps you will say, 'I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?' And this is the point which remains for us to prove. And what evidence shall we make use of? Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature, because by blessing nature itself is changed...The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: 'This is My Body.' Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks." Ambrose, On the Mysteries, 9:50 (A.D. 390-391).

"'And was carried in His Own Hands: ‘how carried in His Own Hands'? Because when He commended His Own Body and Blood, He took into His Hands that which the faithful know; and in a manner carried Himself, when He said, 'This is My Body.'" Augustine, On the Psalms, 33:1,10 (A.D. 392-418).

"Dearly-beloved, utter this confession with all your heart and reject the wicked lies of heretics, that your fasting and almsgiving may not be polluted by any contagion with error: for then is our offering of the sacrifice clean and oar gifts of mercy holy, when those who perform them understand that which they do. For when the Lord says, "unless ye have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man, and drunk His blood, ye will not have life in you,' you ought so to be partakers at the Holy Table, as to have no doubt whatever concerning the reality of Christ's Body and Blood. For that is taken in the mouth which is believed in Faith, and it is vain for them to respond Amend who dispute that which is taken." Pope Leo the Great, Sermon, 91:3 (ante A.D. 461).

"The body which is born of the holy Virgin is in truth body united with divinity, not that the body which was received up into the heavens descends, but that the bread itself and the wine are changed into God's body and blood. But if you enquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it was through the Holy Spirit, just as the Lord took on Himself flesh that subsisted in Him and was born of the holy Mother of God through the Spirit. And we know nothing further save that the Word of God is true and energizes and is omnipotent, but the manner of this cannot be searched out. But one can put it well thus, that just as in nature the bread by the eating and the wine and the water by the drinking are changed into the body and blood of the eater and drinker, and do not become a different body from the former one, so the bread of the table and the wine and water are supernaturally changed by the invocation and presence of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Christ, and are not two but one and the same.” John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4:13 (A.D. 743).

“Wherefore to those who partake worthily with faith, it is for the remission of sins and for life everlasting and for the safeguarding of soul and body; but to those who partake unworthily without faith, it is for chastisement and punishment, just as also the death of the Lord became to those who believe life and incorruption for the enjoyment of eternal blessedness, while to those who do not believe and to the murderers of the Lord it is for everlasting chastisement and punishment. The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself: for the Lord has said, 'This is My body,' not, this is a figure of My body: and 'My blood,' not, a figure of My blood. And on a previous occasion He had said to the Jews, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. For My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed. And again, He that eateth Me, shall live." John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4:13 (A.D. 743).

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II. The Bread and Wine Become Jesus’ Body and Blood

"For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh." Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66 (A.D. 110-165).

"He acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as his own blood, from which he bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of creation) he affirmed to be his own body, from which he gives increase to our bodies." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:2,2 (c. A.D. 200).

"Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, 'This is my body,' that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. An empty thing, or phantom, is incapable of a figure. If, however, (as Marcion might say,) He pretended the bread was His body, because He lacked the truth of bodily substance, it follows that He must have given bread for us. It would contribute very well to the support of Marcion's theory of a phantom body, that bread should have been crucified! But why call His body bread, and not rather (some other edible thing, say) a melon, which Marcion must have had in lieu of a heart! He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: 'I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,' which means, of course, the cross upon His body. And thus, casting light, as He always did, upon the ancient prophecies, He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body.” Tertullian, Against Marcion, 40 (A.D. 212).

“He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed 'in His blood,' affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body which is not a body of flesh. If any sort of body were presented to our view, which is not one of flesh, not being fleshly, it would not possess blood. Thus, from the evidence of the flesh, we get a proof of the body, and a proof of the flesh from the evidence of the blood. In order, however, that you may discover how anciently wine is used as a figure for blood, turn to Isaiah, who asks, 'Who is this that cometh from Edom, from Bosor with garments dyed in red, so glorious in His apparel, in the greatness of his might? Why are thy garments red, and thy raiment as his who cometh from the treading of the full winepress?' The prophetic Spirit contemplates the Lord as if He were already on His way to His passion, clad in His fleshly nature; and as He was to suffer therein, He represents the bleeding condition of His flesh under the metaphor of garments dyed in red, as if reddened in the treading and crushing process of the wine-press, from which the labourers descend reddened with the wine-juice, like men stained in blood. Much more clearly still does the book of Genesis foretell this, when (in the blessing of Judah, out of whose tribe Christ was to come according to the flesh) it even then delineated Christ in the person of that patriarch, saying, 'He washed His garments in wine, and His clothes in the blood of grapes'--in His garments and clothes the prophecy pointed out his flesh, and His blood in the wine. Thus did He now consecrate His blood in wine, who then (by the patriarch) used the figure of wine to describe His blood." Tertullian, Against Marcion, 40 (A.D. 212).

"He once in Cana of Galilee, turned the water into wine, akin to blood, and is it incredible that He should have turned wine into blood?" Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XXII:4 (c. A.D. 350).

"Having learn these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengtheneth man's heart, to make his face to shine with oil, 'strengthen thou thine heart,' by partaking thereof as spiritual, and "make the face of thy soul to shine."" Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XXII:8 (c. A.D. 350).

"Then having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual Hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth His Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before Him; that He may make the Bread the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ; for whatsoever the Holy Ghost has touched, is surely sanctified and changed." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XXIII:7 (c. A.D. 350).

"Let us then in everything believe God, and gainsay Him in nothing, though what is said seem to be contrary to our thoughts and senses, but let His word be of higher authority than both reasonings and sight. Thus let us do in the mysteries also, not looking at the things set before us, but keeping in mind His sayings. For His word cannot deceive, but our senses are easily beguiled. That hath never failed, but this in most things goeth wrong. Since then the word saith, 'This is my body,' let us both be persuaded and believe, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ hath given nothing sensible, but though in things sensible yet all to be perceived by the mind...How many now say, I would wish to see His form, the mark, His clothes, His shoes. Lo! Thou seest Him, Thou touchest Him, thou eatest Him. And thou indeed desirest to see His clothes, but He giveth Himself to thee not to see only, but also to touch and eat and receive within thee." John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, Homily 82 (A.D. 370).

"You will see the Levites bringing the loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers and invocations have not yet been made, it is mere bread and a mere cup. But when the great and wonderous prayers have been recited, then the bread becomes the body and the cup the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ....When the great prayers and holy supplications are sent up, the Word descends on the bread and the cup, and it becomes His body." Athanasius, Sermon to the Newly Baptized, PG 26, 1325 (ante A.D. 373).

"Then He added: 'For My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink [indeed].' Thou hearest Him speak of His Flesh and of His Blood, thou perceivest the sacred pledges, [conveying to us the merits and power] of the Lord's death, and thou dishonourest His Godhead. Hear His own words: 'A spirit hath not flesh and bones.' Now we, as often as we receive the Sacramental Elements, which by the mysterious efficacy of holy prayer are transformed into the Flesh and the Blood, "do show the Lord's Death.'" Ambrose, On the Christian Faith, 4, 10:125 (A.D. 380).

“Rightly, then, do we believe that now also the bread which is consecrated by the Word of God is changed into the Body of God the Word. For that Body was once, by implication, bread, but has been consecrated by the inhabitation of the Word that tabernacled in the flesh. Therefore, from the same cause as that by which the bread that was transformed in that Body was changed to a Divine potency, a similar result takes place now. For as in that case, too, the grace of the Word used to make holy the Body, the substance of which came of the bread, and in a manner was itself bread, so also in this case the bread, as says the Apostle, 'is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer'; not that it advances by the process of eating to the stage of passing into the body of the Word, but it is at once changed into the body by means of the Word, as the Word itself said, 'This is My Body.'” Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 37 (post A.D. 383).

“Seeing, too, that all flesh is nourished by what is moist (for without this combination our earthly part would not continue to live), just as we support by food which is firm and solid the solid part of our body, in like manner we supplement the moist part from the kindred element; and this, when within us, by its faculty of being transmitted, is changed to blood, and especially if through the wine it receives the faculty of being transmuted into heat. Since, then, that God-containing flesh partook for its substance and support of this particular nourishment also, and since the God who was manifested infused Himself into perishable humanity for this purpose, viz. that by this communion with Deity mankind might at the same time be deified, for this end it is that, by dispensation of His grace, He disseminates Himself in every believer through that flesh, whose substance comes from bread and wine, blending Himself with the bodies of believers, to secure that, by this union with the immortal, man, too, may be a sharer in incorruption. He gives these gifts by virtue of the benediction through which He trans-elements the natural quality of these visible things to that immortal thing." Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 37 (post A.D. 383).

"Perhaps you will say, 'I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?' And this is the point which remains for us to prove. And what evidence shall we make use of? Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature, because by blessing nature itself is changed...The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: 'This is My Body.' Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks." Ambrose, On the Mysteries, 9:50 (A.D. 390-391).

"'And was carried in His Own Hands:' how 'carried in His Own Hands'? Because when He commended His Own Body and Blood, He took into His Hands that which the faithful know; and in a manner carried Himself, when He said, 'This is My Body.'" Augustine, On the Psalms, 33:1, 10 (A.D. 392-418).

"He did not say, 'This is the symbol of My Body, and this, of My Blood,' but, what is set before us, but that it is transformed by means of the Eucharistic action into Flesh and Blood." Theodore of Mopsuestia, Commentary on Matthew 26:26 (ante A.D. 428).

"Eran.--You have opportunely introduced the subject of the divine mysteries for from it I shall be able to show you the change of the Lord's body into another nature. Answer now to my questions.
Orth.--I will answer.
Eran.--What do you call the gift which is offered before the priestly invocation?
Orth.--It were wrong to say openly; perhaps some uninitiated are present.
Eran.--Let your answer be put enigmatically.
Orth.--Food of grain of such a sort.
Eran.--And how name we the other symbol?
Orth.--This name too is common, signifying species of drink.
Eran.--And after the consecration how do you name these?
Orth.--Christ's body and Christ's blood.
Eran.--And do yon believe that you partake of Christ's body and blood?
Orth.--I do." Theodoret of Cyrus, Eranistes, 2 (A.D. 451).


"Dearly beloved, utter this confession with all your heart and reject the wicked lies of heretics, that your fasting and almsgiving may not be polluted by any contagion with error: for then is our offering of the sacrifice clean and oar gifts of mercy holy, when those who perform them understand that which they do. For when the Lord says, "unless ye have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man, and drunk His blood, ye will not have life in you,' you ought so to be partakers at the Holy Table, as to have no doubt whatever concerning the reality of Christ's Body and Blood. For that is taken in the mouth which is believed in Faith, and it is vain for them to respond Amend who dispute that which is taken." Pope Leo the Great, Sermon, 91:3 (ante A.D. 461).

"The body which is born of the holy Virgin is in truth body united with divinity, not that the body which was received up into the heavens descends, but that the bread itself and the wine are changed into God's body and blood. But if you enquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it was through the Holy Spirit, just as the Lord took on Himself flesh that subsisted in Him and was born of the holy Mother of God through the Spirit. And we know nothing further save that the Word of God is true and energises and is omnipotent, but the manner of this cannot be searched out. But one can put it well thus, that just as in nature the bread by the eating and the wine and the water by the drinking are changed into the body and blood of the eater and drinker, and do not become a different body from the former one, so the bread of the table and the wine and water are supernaturally changed by the invocation and presence of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Christ, and are not two but one and the same.” John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4:13 (A.D. 743).

“Wherefore to those who partake worthily with faith, it is for the remission of sins and for life everlasting and for the safeguarding of soul and body; but to those who partake unworthily without faith, it is for chastisement and punishment, just as also the death of the Lord became to those who believe life and incorruption for the enjoyment of eternal blessedness, while to those who do not believe and to the murderers of the Lord it is for everlasting chastisement and punishment. The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself: for the Lord has said, 'This is My body,' not, this is a figure of My body: and 'My blood,' not, a figure of My blood. And on a previous occasion He had said to the Jews, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. For My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed. And again, He that eateth Me, shall live." John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4:13 (A.D. 743).

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