Nine Proofs of the True Presence

Nine Proofs of the True Presence

Central to our religion is the Eucharistic celebration and our reception of Holy Communion. This act of unity is meant to convey a perception in, as St. Paul states, “a standard religion, hope and Lord.” Unfortunately, there are divergent views amongst Catholics as to what takes place on the Eucharistic celebration. Specifically, these divergent views middle on the very nature and actuality of what Holy Communion is. Recent nationwide surveys have indicated that solely thirty % of American Catholics imagine within the Real Presence of Jesus within the Blessed Sacrament. Equally, if no more, troubling is the truth that these surveys additional convey that this share will increase to a mere sixty-two % for people who attend mass usually (outlined as attending Mass a minimum of as soon as monthly).

In half, this lack of perception within the True Presence is the results of poor catechesis throughout the Church for a number of a long time. To tackle this downside the bishops of the American Church have inaugurated a two-year Eucharistic Revival that started on July 1, 2022, and can conclude on June 30, 2024. In the primary 12 months, actions in every diocese will happen on the diocesan stage. With the graduation of the second 12 months, starting on July 1, 2023, the main target will shift to the parish stage.

To that finish and in preparation for a Eucharistic Revival in parishes throughout the nation, I want to current to you 9 proofs or sturdy arguments that, taken individually, vigorously help the assumption within the True Presence of Jesus within the Blessed Sacrament. But, in my view, when taken as a complete, the 9 proofs current irrefutable proof of this. Not image however somewhat His very self, made Truly Present in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

So let me start with the primary proof. It is Jesus’ personal phrases that testify to His True Presence within the Blessed Sacrament within the “Bread of Life discourse” present in Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel. “Amen, amen I say to you except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you shouldn’t have life inside you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I’ll elevate him up on the final day. For my flesh is true meals and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood stays in me and I in him” (Jn 6:53-56). Four instances in these 4 verses Jesus emphatically states that we should eat his flesh and drink his blood to realize everlasting life. There is not any symbolism contained in these phrases.

In truth, it turns into much more literal once we notice that the phrase “eat” doesn’t exist within the Aramaic language, the language that Jesus spoke. The translation of the phrase he would have used on this textual content in lieu of eat is munch, chew or gnaw! Reread these 4 verses changing the phrase “eat” with any of those decisions and it turns into extra apparent why, after listening to Jesus communicate, so a lot of His followers left Him. They knew He meant it actually.

 Notice Jesus doesn’t attempt to dissuade these followers from leaving Him. It stands to motive that if He have been being misunderstood He would have clarified His that means, which He had achieved on different events when his listeners misunderstood him. But He didn’t do this right here as a result of He meant it actually. Maybe not in the best way they understood it however actually nonetheless!

So now allow us to flip to the second proof. What does this chapter in John’s Gospel inform us of Jesus’ response to the departure of so a lot of his disciples within the Bread of Life discourse simply mentioned? He did one thing which certainly confounded his closest disciples when he turned to them and stated, “Will you permit me additionally?” The inference right here is that Jesus is telling his closest disciples that they have to imagine on this instructing, even when they should settle for it on religion alone, if they’re to stay as his disciples. Jesus is ready to begin once more, if mandatory, if his disciples refuse to just accept this important instructing!

The third proof entails a facet of biblical examine. It’s known as Typology, a elaborate phrase for understanding the numerous Old Testament figures or “sorts” that prefigure or foretell their success of their corresponding New Testament figures or “anti-types.” I notice that’s a sophisticated rationalization, however it will likely be higher understood via an illustration.

Take for example Isaac, the son of Abraham, whom God commanded to have sacrificed by Abraham on Mt. Moriah. God assessments Abraham however doesn’t allow Abraham to truly undergo with the sacrifice. Well, Isaac is a “sort” and Jesus is the “anti-type” as this meant sacrifice of Isaac prefigures or foretells of the particular sacrifice that God the Father affords of his solely Son, Jesus.

There are many such sorts contained within the Old Testament. Moses, King David, and the Passover lambs are however just a few which might be fulfilled within the particular person of Jesus as their anti-type. One factor that’s clear within the examine of Typology, the kind is at all times much less vital than its corresponding anti-type discovered within the New Testament.

Now we should think about whether or not the Blessed Sacrament has a kind contained within the Old Testament that prefigures it? In truth it does. Jesus even refers to it within the “Bread of Life discourse.” That sort is the manna from heaven which fed some three million Israelites for forty years whereas they wandered via the desert. Miraculous with out query.

Now for the proof of the True Presence of Jesus within the Blessed Sacrament. If Jesus is just not really current within the Blessed Sacrament that may make the kind, specifically the manna from heaven of better significance than its success or antitype, the Blessed Sacrament. As acknowledged above the kind is at all times much less vital than its anti-type. Thus we’re left with two decisions, both Jesus made this the one exception (unlikely), or it’s, in reality, better than the manna from heaven as Jesus is Truly Present within the Blessed Sacrament.

The fourth proof pertains to the prayer that Jesus taught us generally known as the “Our Father.” Have you ever puzzled why Jesus made a double reference to the day when He stated, “give us this present day our every day bread”? Why didn’t He say “give us this present day our bread” or “give us our every day bread”? The unique identified texts of Matthew and Luke’s Gospel have been written within the Greek language. The phrases day and every day in these Greek texts are hemera (day) and epiousios (every day).

The phrase hemera might be present in Greek literature for a minimum of a millennium earlier than the time of Christ. However, the phrase epiousios doesn’t exist in Greek literature earlier than the time of Christ or after, besides within the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and in commentaries written on these Gospel passages. Linguists confer with it as a neologism (or new phrase).

But one thing fascinating occurs when this phrase is damaged into two because it varieties two Greek phrases, “epi” and “ousios”. And every of those Greek phrases might be present in Greek literature for tons of of years earlier than the time of Christ. The phrase epi means above or tremendous in English, whereas the phrase ousios means substance or nature. Put collectively we get above nature or tremendous substance. This will also be stated to imply super-natural. Now let’s substitute every day with super-natural. “Give us this present day our super-natural bread”! Jesus is instructing his disciples to hope every day for the reception of super-natural bread, or what we might confer with as we speak because the Blessed Sacrament!

You might ask when this was found. The reply is as early because the third century. St Cyprian, St Cyril of Jerusalem, and St Jerome (every of whom are Church Fathers) all wrote biblical commentaries on these passages and drew the identical conclusion which I’ve outlined right here for you. St Jerome is especially noteworthy as he’s the one who translated the bible into one widespread language, Latin. That fourth century translation of the bible is known as the Latin Vulgate. In it he wrote these phrases translated from the Latin, “give us this present day our supersubstantial bread”!

Turning now to the fifth proof, we look at the phrases Jesus used to institute the Eucharist. These phrases might be discovered within the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke in addition to Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. I’ll use the phrases of establishment from Matthew’s Gospel. “While they have been consuming Jesus took bread, stated the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples stated, “Take and eat, that is my physique, then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it them saying “Drink from it, all of you, for that is my blood of the covenant, which will likely be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.”  In these phrases Jesus institutes the Eucharist and fulfills within the Eucharistic celebration, that which he stated we would want to eat and drink to realize everlasting life within the Bread of Life discourse mentioned at size within the first proof.

Now, taken collectively, the phrases Jesus spoke within the Bread of Life discourse and the Institution of the Eucharist go hand in hand. Both communicate unambiguously about his disciples consuming His flesh and ingesting His blood. If Jesus solely meant these phrases metaphorically then he has really misled his disciples into believing that he meant it actually by the way during which he spoke in each of those vital passages.

 If Jesus is just not Truly Present within the Blessed Sacrament then we, as His disciples, are committing idolatry once we kneel down earlier than a mere piece of bread. Recall the phrases of the primary of the commandments that God had given to Moses “I’m the Lord your God; you shall place no international gods earlier than me.” Kneeling is a type of worship, and it might simply be construed as idolatry if it’s a mere piece of bread, even one that’s purportedly a symbolic illustration of Jesus, that we kneel earlier than. In truth, many non-Catholic Christians, who don’t imagine within the True Presence, imagine that we just do that. It then stands to motive that it is just true worship, and Jesus has not misled us, if Jesus is Truly Present within the Blessed Sacrament!

The sixth proof comes from Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians and issues the right disposition every of us ought to have when receiving Holy Communion. And I quote “Therefore whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily must reply for the physique and blood of the Lord. An individual ought to look at himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anybody who eats and drinks with out discerning the physique, eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Cor 11: 27-29).

This is a transparent warning that we must always not obtain Holy Communion if we’re not in a state of grace, by having dedicated a severe sin. For by doing so, we commit one other severe sin and threat spending eternity with out God. We should first resort to acquire forgiveness of our sins, by God, within the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Then correctly disposed we might go to obtain Jesus’ physique and blood in Holy Communion. Doesn’t Paul’s warning appear extraordinarily harsh if it’s a mere piece of bread that we eat? His warning solely is smart if Jesus is Truly Present within the Blessed Sacrament.

The first six proofs that I’ve offered to you’ve all been explicitly biblically primarily based. The final three are usually not, and but, for my part, present very compelling proof in their very own proper.

So now allow us to flip to the primary of those which is the seventh proof. Specifically, what did the early Church say in regards to the Eucharist, particularly the Church of the primary century within the fast aftermath of Jesus’ Ascension and the Apostles’ public ministry? The reply is quite a bit! And whereas quite a few sources might be pointed to, I’ve chosen one for brevity sake. They are the seven letters of St Ignatius of Antioch, that he wrote whereas beneath arrest and on his method from Antioch to Rome; the place he can be executed for his Christian religion within the Roman Coliseum within the 12 months 107 AD. It’s noteworthy that these seven letters are nonetheless in existence as we speak.

Ignatius was no mere Christian, however arguably probably the most revered Christian of his time much more so than the pope was on the time. This reverence was primarily based upon his intimate relationships with none apart from the Apostles Peter, John, and Paul, who helped type him theologically, in addition to his sanctity and the place he held because the bishop of Antioch, a number one middle of Christianity, for forty years.

In his Letter to the Philadelphians he states “Take care, then, to have however one Eucharist. For there may be one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to point out forth the unity of His blood; one altar; as there may be one bishop, together with the clergymen and deacons, my fellow-servants.” In his Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Ignatius in reference to heretics who denied the True Presence states “From the Eucharist and prayer they maintain aloof, as a result of they don’t confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ.”

From these quotations, it’s clear that Ignatius believed in Jesus’ True Presence within the Blessed Sacrament (which he would have realized from the Apostles themselves), and by extension the early Church as nicely. The reverence the early Church held Ignatius in testifies so far.

The eighth proof is a somewhat uncommon one in that it considers what Satanists imagine on the topic. Yes, I do know that may be surprising to you, however let me clarify. Satanists worship Satan, not God. They hate God! They principally worship Satan in a ritual generally known as a “black mass.” In this ritual they mock God by reciting the Latin mass backwards and of their culminating act, they desecrate, in unspeakable methods, a consecrated host that had been consecrated by a Catholic priest.

Now right here’s the important thing level. They won’t use a bunch from another Christian liturgy, solely a validly and licitly consecrated host by a Catholic priest. Why, might you ask? Well the straightforward reply is that they don’t need to desecrate a bit of bread however somewhat God himself on this motion. But of their actions, they’re implicitly testifying to their perception, in a perverted method little question, that solely in a consecrated host by a Catholic priest is Jesus’ Truly Present, in a legitimate and licit method, within the Blessed Sacrament.

Afterall, within the Gospel accounts it’s the demoniacs, these possessed by demons, who acknowledged who Jesus was earlier than anybody else did, even His personal apostles. “What would you like of us Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I do know who you’re, the Holy One of God” (Mk 1: 24).

Which brings us to my ninth and ultimate proof; Eucharistic miracles. A Eucharistic miracle most often entails a change within the look of a consecrated host. More typically than not, the middle of the host seems as a bloody fleshy substance whereas the outer rim stays beneath the looks of bread.

There have been nicely over 100 Church permitted Eucharistic miracles courting again to the early center ages. And but in latest a long time a dozen Eucharistic miracles have occurred unfold all through the world. It is going on with better frequency at a time when the assumption within the Real Presence of Jesus within the Blessed Sacrament is in decline. Is heaven attempting to get our consideration? I believe so.

For brevity’s sake I want to talk about one such miracle. That Eucharistic miracle occurred within the parish of St. Anthony of Padua in Sokolka, Poland in 2008. A consecrated host had fallen to the ground through the distribution of Holy Communion. The pastor put the host apart till after mass after which, because the Church prescribes, positioned the host in a cup of water to dissolve it. He then positioned the cup, with the host in it, within the vestry secure.

Per week later, he opened the secure to correctly eliminate the water with presumably a dissolved host in it. To his utter amazement he discovered the host intact however modified in look. The very middle of the host, roughly three-eighths of an inch in diameter, had became a bloody fleshy substance. Shortly thereafter, the pastor contacted the bishop who just a few weeks later paid a go to to the parish to see for himself.

After his go to and after a number of extra weeks of statement, the bishop determined to have two dissected items of the host despatched to 2 world famend forensic laboratories to find out the contents of the host. Each specimen contained a bit of the interior bloody fleshy substance in addition to the outer rim of the host that remained beneath the looks of bread. Neither laboratory was conscious of the opposite’s involvement.

Both laboratories got here again with the similar outcomes. The unbiased findings included the next; (1) it was coronary heart tissue from an individual severely crushed within the chest space (as Christ was), (2) the blood sort was AB+ (solely 5 % of the world’s inhabitants has that blood sort) and is similar blood sort present in each Eucharistic miracle in addition to the blood sort discovered on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium (the burial fabric of Jesus and the fabric that coated his head, respectfully, as referenced in Jn 20: 6-7), (3) the guts tissue was alive which was really astounding while you notice that human tissue can solely survive for twenty minutes outdoors of a physique and this was months after its discovery, and at last (4) the scientists at these laboratories couldn’t clarify nor have been they conscious of any scientific devices in existence that might replicate the intricate weaving and connection of the ends of the guts tissue fibers with these of the bread fibers; so intricately have been they woven collectively!

One has to additionally think about the extremely lengthy odds of every Eucharistic miracle together with the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium having the identical blood sort of AB+, which solely 5% of the world’s inhabitants has, when one realizes that blood sorts have been solely found within the early a part of the 20th century!

So, there you’ve it. Nine proofs, or sturdy arguments, that individually make a really compelling case for the True Presence of Jesus within the Blessed Sacrament. But as I stated on the outset, in my view, when taken as a complete, these 9 proofs current irrefutable proof of this. Not an emblem however somewhat His very self, made Truly Present in his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

I’m positive that there are different proofs as nicely, but it surely’s my hope that these 9 proofs will deepen your religion within the True Presence of Jesus within the Blessed Sacrament and allow you to worship Him in his Eucharistic Presence extra profoundly as we enter this 12 months of Eucharistic revival in our parishes.

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash



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