St John's Q&A

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Eucharist - notes

The following are my notes from the first talk of the summer series on the Eucharist. Please ask any questions if they're unclear to you.
“Seven Ways to get to Heaven”

Introduction to series

A. What are the seven ways? Are there other ways?
- we don’t know of any other means (CCC, # 1257)
- baptism by desire is still baptism, e.g.

In the sacraments, we encounter Christ and receive his Grace in a special way
- this Grace gets us to Heaven
- sacramental grace = sharing in the life of God
- Can we get this Grace on our own?
- Thus, can we get to Heaven on our own?

We need the sacraments (Church, priests) to get to Heaven

B. Sacraments – all are from Christ himself
- Eucharist (“This is my body” Lk 22)
- Baptism (“Baptize in the name of the F, S, and HS” Mt 28)
- Confirmation (“receive the Holy Spirit” Jn 20)
- Confession (“whose sins you forgive are forgiven them” Jn 20)
- Anointing of the Sick (Jesus sends the apostles out - “they set
off to..anoint many sick people Mk 6)
- Marriage (“what God has united, man must not divide” Mt 19)
- Holy Orders (“do this in memory of me” Lk 22)

- Christ guarantees that we will go to Heaven if we receive his sacraments
e.g., “anyone eats this bread will live forever” (Jn 6: 51)

The Eucharist
- the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ under the signs of bread and wine
- the Most Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament, Real Presence

a. Eucharist is just a symbol?? No, it’s really Him

b. words of the Last Supper
- “this is my body” (Matt, Mark, Luke, Paul)
- “this is the cup of my blood. It will be shed for you and for all so that
sins might be forgiven.”
c. Jesus teaches about the Eucharist - John 6

Real Presence
- “I am the bread of life” (35)
- “I am the living bread which comes down from heaven” (51)
- “the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world”(51) - same flesh and blood on the Cross is present in the Eucharist**
- “my flesh is true food, my blood is true drink”

- “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day” (54)
- “anyone who eats this bread will live forever” (51)
- “anyone who eats this bread will live forever” (58)

- v. 54 (Christ dwelling within us = eternal life dwelling within us)
- “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I in that
person” (56)
- “whoever eats me will also draw life from me” (57)

** in the Eucharist, Christ’s sacrifice on Mount Calvary is re-presented
under the signs of bread and wine
- the Mass is a re-presentation of Calvary

- the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
- the Memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection
- Heavenly banquet
- Holy Communion

d. the Church and the Eucharist

Modern Church
- “the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life” – Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 11
- “the Eucharist makes the Church” (CCC, # 1396)

Early Church
- “they devoted themselves to the breaking of the bread” (Acts 2:42,46)
- “the blessing-cup, which we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of
Christ; and the loaf of bread which we break, is it not a sharing in the
body of Christ?” (1 Cor 10:16)

- rules for receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion:
- the Didache, one of the oldest Christian documents
Let no one eat or drink of this Eucharist with you except those who have been baptized in the name of the Lord; for it was in reference to this that the Lord said, 'Do not give that which is holy to dogs.' (c. 100 AD)

- Theodore of Mospsuestia (c. 350 AD) - Communion in the hand

Do not approach with hands extended and fingers open wide.
Rather make of your left hand a throne for your right as it is about
to receive your King, and receive the Body of Christ in the fold of
your hand, responding ‘Amen.’

Church in the Middle Ages
- Council of Trent (c. 1550 AD)

First of all, the holy council teaches and openly and plainly
professes that after the consecration of bread and wine, our Lord
Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is truly, really and
substantially contained in the august sacrament of the Holy
Eucharist under the appearance of those sensible things.

e. the Saints and the Eucharist
- St. John Chrysostom (347-407 AD):
We become one with Him: we become one Body and one Flesh with Christ... Jesus, for the burning love He bore us, wished to unite Himself so closely to us that we should become one and the same with Him for such is the dream of true lovers.
When you see the Lord immolated and lying upon the altar, and the priest bent over that sacrifice praying, and all the people empurpled by that precious Blood, can you think that you are still among men and on earth? Or are you not lifted up to heaven? Is not every carnal affection deposed? Do you not with pure mind and clean heart contemplate the things of heaven?

- St Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897)

"Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you-
for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart... Receive Communion often, very often...there you will have the sole
remedy, if you want to be cured."

- St. Joseph Moscati (1880-1927)
When this busy doctor was asked how he managed to cope with his demanding schedule, he replied: "By the daily reception of Jesus in the Sacrament of The Holy Eucharist."

- Blessed Theresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)
It is labor; it is not only work-it is hard labor. But we wouldn't be able to do it unless we had Mass and Holy Communion in the morning. I know I wouldn't be able to work one week if it were not for that continual force coming from Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. All of us know that unless we believe and can see Jesus in the appearance of bread on the altar, we will not be able to see Him in the distressing disguise of the poor. Therefore these two loves are but one in Jesus."

f. St. John’s, Hollywood and the Eucharist

- Weekday Mass, 8 am
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament + Benediction
First Friday of the month, 8:30 am – 8 pm

- Books, videos, tapes - sacristy of Church
- list of books and internet web sites ( see attached)
- parish blog site:

1. Books
With us today – on the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist
- Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ

Praying in the Presence of the Lord
- Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR

This is my Body, this is my blood – miracles of the Eucharist

- Bob and Penny Lord

The Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist

- Fr. Robert DeGrandis, SSJ

- St Martin’s Catholic bookstore, 2078 Crain Hwy, Waldorf, 301-645-1667
- Newman bookstore, 3329 8th St., NE DC 202-526-1036
- Pauline Books & Media, 1025 King St., Alexandria 703-549-3806
- (Heavenly Presents, 25775 Point Lookout Rd., Leonardtown 301-475-9770)

2. Internet web sites


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