Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, is both biblical and historical.
There are many bible verses showing what Christ meant when he said, "Take, eat; this is My Body."
As Christians, it is not enough to simply believe in Christ. We must also believe Christ. This means we must believe and do what He says.
That is a key difference between Catholics and many protestant faiths. We Catholics believe Jesus while protestants do not believe Jesus when He says "This is My Body" and "This is My Blood".
For the first 1600 years of Christianity all Christians believed in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Luther and Calvin believed in the real presence in the Eucharist in a sense. It was Zwingli who is known as the first person in Christian history to deny the Real Presence in 1529.
The question really becomes, who do you follow on the Real Presence in the Eucharist? Christ or Zwingli?
Many Christians say they believe in receiving communion at their local Church or Congregation. The only problem for them is that they do not have a Priest to Consecrate the Host.
They do not have the Holy Orders Christ instituted on the Apostles to pray over the Bread and Wine that will make the Bread and Wine the Body and Blood of Christ.
In the Bible we read many verses of what is meant by the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Let us begin:
48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven.If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
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.
54 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him.
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.
58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.
59 These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it?
61 But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you?
62 If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray him.
65 And he said: Therefore did I say to you, that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father.
66 After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him.
67 Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?
68 And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.
70 Jesus answered them: Have not I chosen you twelve; and one of you is a devil?
71 Now he meant Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon: for this same was about to betray him, whereas he was one of the twelve.
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
16 The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?
17 For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread.
1 Corinthians 11:23-29
23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread.
24 And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me.
25 In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.
26 For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come.
27 Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.
26 And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body.
27 And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this.
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.
29 And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give glory to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath prepared herself.
8 And it is granted to her that she should clothe herself with fine linen, glittering and white. For the fine linen are the justifications of saints.
9 And he said to me: Write: Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith to me: These words of God are true.
35 And when he had said these things, taking bread, he gave thanks to God in the sight of them all; and when he had broken it, he began to eat.
22 And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye. This is my body.
23 And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it.
24 And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.
25 Amen I say to you, that I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new in the kingdom of God.
19 And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me.
20 In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.
46 And continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they took their meat with gladness and simplicity of heart;
11 Then going up, and breaking bread and tasting, and having talked a long time to them, until daylight, so he departed.
13 And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them.
16 But their eyes were held, that they should not know him.
17 And he said to them: What are these discourses that you hold one with another as you walk, and are sad?
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said to him: Art thou only a stranger to Jerusalem, and hast not known the things that have been done there in these days?
19 To whom he said: What things? And they said: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people;
20 And how our chief priests and princes delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him.
21 But we hoped, that it was he that should have redeemed Israel: and now besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done.
22 Yea and certain women also of our company affrighted us, who before it was light, were at the sepulchre,
23 And not finding his body, came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who say that he is alive.
24 And some of our people went to the sepulchre, and found it so as the women had said, but him they found not.
25 Then he said to them: O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken.
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures, the things that were concerning him.
28 And they drew nigh to the town, whither they were going: and he made as though he would go farther.
29 But they constrained him; saying: Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them.
30 And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way, and opened to us the scriptures?
33 And rising up, the same hour, they went back to Jerusalem: and they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were staying with them,
34 Saying: The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35 And they told what things were done in the way; and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.
First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in.” These are offered according to the law. Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.” He takes away the first to establish the second. By this “will,” we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
All of these Bible verses show what Christ meant.
We also have the very first Christians proclaiming what is found in the bible and how those that walked with the Apostles and the first Centuries, how they interpreted the scripture.
Here are a few of their quotes:
St. Ignatius of Antioch (Student of John the Apostle)
"Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us.
They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty.
They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead."
- Letter to the Smyrnaeans", paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D.
"Come together in common, one and all without exception in charity, in one faith and in one Jesus Christ, who is of the race of David according to the flesh, the son of man, and the Son of God, so that with undivided mind you may obey the bishop and the priests, and break one Bread which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ."
-"Letter to the Ephesians", paragraph 20, c. 80-110 A.D.
"I have no taste for the food that perishes nor for the pleasures of this life. I want the Bread of God which is the Flesh of Christ, who was the seed of David; and for drink I desire His Blood which is love that cannot be destroyed."
-"Letter to the Romans", paragraph 7, circa 80-110 A.D.
St. Clement of Rome
"Since then these things are manifest to us, and we have looked into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do in order all things which the Master commanded us to perform at appointed times. He commanded us to celebrate sacrifices and services, and that it should not be thoughtlessly or disorderly, but at fixed times and hours. He has Himself fixed by His supreme will the places and persons whom He desires for these celebrations, in order that all things may be done piously according to His good pleasure, and be acceptable to His will. So then those who offer their oblations at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed, but they follow the laws of the Master and do not sin. For to the high priest his proper ministrations are allotted, and to the priests the proper place has been appointed, and on Levites their proper services have been imposed. The layman is bound by the ordinances for the laity."
St. Clement, bishop of Rome, 80 A.D., to the Corinthians
"Our sin will not be small if we eject from the episcopate those who blamelessly and holily have offered its Sacrifices."
Letter to the Corinthians, [44,4]
"Let no one eat and drink of your Eucharist but those baptized in the name of the Lord; to this, too the saying of the Lord is applicable: 'Do not give to dogs what is sacred'".
"On the Lord's own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure. However, no one quarreling with his brother may join your meeting until they are reconciled; your sacrifice must not be defiled. For here we have the saying of the Lord: 'In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a mighty King, says the Lord; and my name spreads terror among the nations.'"
Even after the Bible and Early Church Fathers show Christians the truth, many will continue to not believe Christ.
They have been programmed in their mind to defend what their pastors tell them over what Christ and the Bible say. The Bible speaks about this:
1 Timothy 4:1 - The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
If you are a Protestant you may leave upset, but you will not leave deceived. Books and verses from the Bible have been provided.
This article is written with love, respect and compassion for all Christians.
Article written by Jose Licea for Christian Catholic Media
Jose Licea is a Catholic Apologist who loves to study scripture and defend the Catholic faith.