Photo Credit: Flickr/michael_swanBy: Admin Pastor Manny
The Eucharist is the gift of God to this world. This is the reason why Jesus comes to us, and He makes Himself really present under the appearances of bread and wine. Without the Eucharist, we will have no Mass because the Eucharist is the center of the Mass. It’s the Sacrifice of the Mass. However, anti-Catholics often argue that they are doing the Supper the correct way because they are doing it while remembering Him while we are doing the Supper by sacrificing Him. Of course, we do not sacrifice Him in the sense that we are killing Him in every Mass. Rather, we present the same sacrifice that took place 2000 years ago. So, let’s deal with their argument. Is the Eucharistic Meal just a mere remembrance?
19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in REMEMBRANCE of me.”
This is the verse that is often cited by anti-Catholics in order for them to say that they are biblical while we are unbiblical. However, they are missing the context. Why did Jesus use the word “remembrance”? We should remember that His apostles were Jews, and it’s important how Jews understood the word “remembrance”. And because of the fact that the Jews only had the Old Testament as their holy book, then we should cite a verse from the Old Testament that mentions the word “remembrance”.
10 On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts, and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; they shall serve you for REMEMBRANCE before your God: I am the LORD your God.”
This verse also used the word “remembrance” and yet, it uses a biblical language of sacrifice. Think about this. The Lord’s Supper was not just mere dinner like our family dinner. When his apostles listened to him, they understood that the Eucharistic meal was really a sacrifice. But, how do we know that Christ is really present and that Christ is the same sacrifice in the Eucharist? In Numbers 10:10, it is important to note that the burnt offerings and the peace offerings were literal sacrifices and not metaphorical. These offerings were really presented to God. It is also important to note that the offerings were also eaten by the Jews (Exodus 32:6). In the New Testament, we have the Passover meal of the New Covenant. The moment His apostles heard Jesus saying the term “remembrance”, they understood that the bread and the wine were really offered. But, the account of the Supper did not end there. Jesus Christ also said that it is His Body, and it is His Blood. The apostles did not understand it the way that Protestants today understood this passage. This is not just a figurative speech. This is a supernatural reality. As Catholics, we should recognize that the Mass is where heaven meets earth because we believe, just like the apostles did, that Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life that came down from Heaven (John 6:48).