Catholic Note

hile most Protestants believe the Last Supper was significant and often agree that communion is important, they don't believe that Jesus literally meant He wanted us to eat His flesh and drink His blood. The argue that Jesus used many symbolisms about Himself -- He called Himself a door, a vine, etc. And since eating human flesh is cannibalism, they argue that Jesus could not have been speaking literally in John 6. The Eucharist, however, is a unique and miraculous reality in which we consume the entirety of the living Christ -- although his natural condition is veiled by the sacrament. The Church has consistently understood Christ's words to be literally referring to His true flesh and blood, as is evident in the writings of the early Church saints like St. Ignatius of Antioch (50-107), St. Justin Martyr (100-165), St. Irenaeus of Lyons (125-203), St. Ambrose (340-397) and St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386). Although all the faithful in the Church has always believed in the concept of transubstantiation, in 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council dogmatically defined the concept: that while the outward appearances of bread and wine remain {the taste, touch, smell and looks}, their inward realities or substance has become the living Christ. Because Jesus is truly present - body, blood, soul and divinity - we adore the Eucharist with profound reverence.
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