The Cathecism of the Catholic Church calls the Holy Eucharist the “source and summit of our faith”. The problem is there are many Catholics who take the Eucharist lightly and take it for granted. They view it as a right instead of a privilege. They see it with their eyes and not with their faith. The Holy Eucharist is so much more than its outward appearance. It is Christ, it is Biblical, and it is necessary for salvation.
I want to break down two truths, which are discounted and ignored by many Catholics, and show the reality of Church teaching. It is devastating to your soul if you ignore the truths about the Eucharist.
1.) It’s not the Real Presence, just a symbol
A pew research study in 2019 showed that only 31 percent of Catholics actually believed in the Real Presence. If you are one of those who has been deceived into believing the Eucharist is simply bread and wine, but nothing else, I would encourage you to reconsider how the apostles viewed the Eucharist. They saw it as the true body and blood of Jesus. They taught explicitly against it being just a symbol. “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? And as there is one loaf, so we, although there are many of us, are one single body, for we all share in the one loaf.” (I Corinthians 10:16-17)
2.) The Real Presence is not Biblical
First of all, unlike Protestants, faith in Jesus is much more than just what is contained in the Bible. Does the Bible included every moment, word, teaching, and action of the life of Jesus? Absolutely not. Does the Bible ever say that if a belief is not contained within the Bible then it is not true? Absolutely not. In fact, let’s remember the apostles did not have the Bible as we have it now.
However, despite accusations the belief in the Real Presence is not Biblical, it certainly is truth, and we see this in John 6. There were, in fact, disciples of Jesus that left him after he taught on the Eucharist. Why? It was too hard to believe and understand. One of the most important facts about John 6 is that they requested a sign. They asked Jesus for a sign that he was indeed the Messiah. Jesus tells them that he is real food just like Moses and the Israelites ate real food in the desert. Jesus did not give them an “example”. He gave them what they asked for and that was proof that he was Lord.
“So they said, ‘what sign will you yourself do, the sight of which will make us believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers ate manna in the desert, as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Jesus answered them: In all truth I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread: for the bread of God is the bread which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. ‘Sir’ they said, ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered them: I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever hunger: no one who believes in me will ever thirst.” (John 6:30-35)
If you continue reading John 6 you will find that in John 6:66 is where the disciples said it is too hard of a teaching (the Eucharist) and they turned away and went back to their old lives. If Jesus was only speaking metaphorically, why did they turn away from following him? He had taught many difficult teachings and yet never had a mass exodus from following him until the moment he taught on the Eucharist. There are still many Catholics today who approach the Eucharist as an entitlement, a right as a Catholic, and see it as nothing more than a piece of bread and a drink of wine. It is a grave disservice to Christ and to your own soul to not believe Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist. In fact, you not only receive the Eucharist in an unworthy manner when you do this but you also are committing a sin by lying. When one approaches the priest and he holds up the host, presents it to you, and says “the body of Christ”, the response is “amen”. If you do not believe in the Real Presence then when you say “amen” you are telling a lie. Amen means you agree with what is said and if you do not believe it is the body of Christ then saying you agree is telling a lie. It is a sin and you are bringing even more stains on your soul.
There are grave consequences for receiving the Eucharist in an unworthy manner and I would encourage you to remind yourself if the Church’s teaching on it and then get to the Sacrament of Reconciliation to be forgiven.
If you find yourself fitting into one of these categories where you do not believe in the Real Presence and do not believe the teaching of the Real Presence is Biblical then I would urge you to reconsider your belief. It is for the salvation of your soul that you see Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, you adore Him, you thank Him, you receive Him, and you live for Him.