Transubstantiation at the Last Supper

Question from Mary Rogers on 3/27/2008:

Fr. Bob - thank you for your previous answer. I need to clarify my question. The original question with the sister at college was whether Jesus knew he was divine when he was here on earth. When the basic consensus was that He did not know, my comment was that Jesus had to know because at the Last Supper, He changed bread and wine into his body and blood. My point was why would Jesus do this if He thought Himself only human. Today sister came in with the response that no Catholic theologian believes that transubstantiation actually occurred at the Last Supper, that it could only happen after the crucifixion, which I thought was a ludicrous comment. Can you please clarify what exactly happened during the Last Supper (I want to make sure that I have my understanding correct before I continue defending my faith in this class; I am an older student and I feel these religion classes are a perfect opportunity for evangelization to the 20-somethings, but some of the comments made in class are having the opposite affect).

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 3/28/2008:
Mary, I am aware of the logical connection between the self-consciousness of Jesus and what He did at the Last Supper. The two problems are connected. Jesus enjoyed two natures, one divine and the other human, but only a single personality which was divine. He knew he was divine from the very beginning of his Incarnation. Yes, I am aware that this is denied by many liberals in our Church today. I suggest you read #470-474 in the official catechism "Catechism of the Catholic Church" which is explicit enough. Jesus is a divine person, one single divine personality with a double nature, divine and human. He knew who he was from the beginning. Since around 1960, interest in the human psychology of Jesus gain prominence. This psychology is truly human and so it grew in him as it does in all of us. But it is only the person that acts, that is responsible, not the nature. So, at the Last Supper, the divine Person of Jesus Christ was in perfect knowledge and control of his actions. God bless you. Fr. Bob Levis

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