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Eucharist QUESTION from Frances February 15, 1999 In an article distributed in our church the author said we must avoid an overly literalistic interpretation of John 6:35-59. Jesus' command to eat his body and drink his blood can only make sense if we understand the words body and blood as designating the whole person, the real glorified Jesus as he exists today.
In a second article that i read recently another author said The Bread and Wine retain their appearance but are really and truly the Body of Christ. It is not the same body that Jesus had on earth with bones and tissue, but rather it is the mystical glorified Body of Christ.
I am confused by these articles - did Jesus at the last supper give the apostles his glorified body?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on March 4, 1999 Dear Frances:
Please forgive the long delay in responding to your question. I have been unavailable for the past couple weeks.
Pope St. Pius V answers this question in the Catechism he authorized shortly after the Council of Trent:
…in this Sacrament are contained not only the true Body of Christ and all the constituents of a true body, such as bones and sinews, but also Christ whole and entire. The Eucharist contains Jesus Christ in the complete fullness of his divinity and the completeness of his humanity. Jesus is therefore in the Blessed Sacrament whole and entire, consisting of the soul, all the parts of the body and the blood, — all which must be believed to be in this Sacrament.
I believe this means that the writers of the articles you mention, whom both say the Body of Christ in the Eucharist is the Glorified Body that Jesus has today, are wrong, and perhaps heretical.
If one thinks about it, how can the Body and Blood in the Eucharist be the glorified body of Jesus? The glorified body is not flesh and blood, a biological organism. We don’t know for sure what the glorified body is, as St. Paul states, but we know that it is not the material flesh and blood of this life, and it is not pure spirit.
But for us to partake in BODY and BLOOD, this must be a real body as we know as body and blood. Pope St. Pius confirms this: …in this Sacrament are contained not only the true Body of Christ and all the constituents of a true body, such as bones and sinews, but also Christ whole and entire.
So the Body and Blood we partake in the Eucharist is the body of Jesus that he had 2000 years ago, the one with bones, flesh, and blood.
It appears to me that the writers of the articles you mention no longer truly believe in the Real Presence in the way the Church teaches as the TRUE real presence of the Body and Blood.
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