Originally Posted by arcura
Many different denominations do. Some not.
If you so believe, why?
If not. Why not.
Peace and kindness,
Christ tells us, “For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” The blood signifies a ‘real’ sacrifice, for the first born on Pasch. This is why we know it’s literal or a real meat and not symbolic; it’s the only food that consumes, bite by bite.
In the synagogue at Nazareth Christ lays claim to His prophecy as Messianic King, in person, in his ‘real presence,’ ”and began to say to them: This day is fulfilled this scripture in your ears.” (Luke 4:21). If you will read your book, you’ll see that Christ claims his universal Kingship in the New Solomon. “And behold more than Solomon here. The men of Ninive shall rise in the judgment with this generation and shall condemn it; Because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas. And behold more than Jonas here.” (Luke 11:31); THE KING IS HERE is the proclamation, one greater than the Temple. (Matt 12:6). Lord over the Sabbath (Luke 6:5). The personification of Elias (Mat 12:6), He requires our faith based on His Divinity (John 6:29), “Jesus answered and said to them: "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." To glorify the Father He created in their midst a new Kingdom, what the Law and the Prophets had been, He said, had been but a preparation (Luke 16:16; cf. Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 13:17; 21:43; 24:14; Mark 1:14; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2, 60; 18:17).
Taking the seat of Moses, Christ now becomes the High Priest of that Kingdom of God, “The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech.” (Psalm 109:4) And that priesthood is institutionalized in the Kingdom, “For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 1:11). The High-priest of the Messianic Kingdom continues the sacrificial offerings; “Thus saith the Lord: if my covenant, with the day can be made void, and my covenant with the night, that there should not be day and night in their season" (Jeremiah 33:20) Taking that seat Christ becomes the perfect high-priest sacrificing the perfect sacrifice offering it up in the Kingdom of God, I.e. His Temple, the Church, with His own blood entering Heaven. (Cf. Hebrews 9)
One of the most important observances for the observing Jew then and now is the Pasch or Passover. It too was a commemoration or a remembrance of the blood that caused death to pass over the first born. Another commemoration was commanded by God and an elaborate sacrificial Law. (See Exodus 12, 13, etc.) This is a reference to the law of sacrifices, the Old Law, the Law of Moses. In Hebrews 10, Paul tells us that the blood of the goat or oxen cleansing, but not perfectly remitting sin. Obviously had the Jews possessed a perfect sacrifice there would have been no need for Christ’s redemptive sacrifice. However the Jew did understand that there is both a real and a spiritual power in the Sacrifice of the Meat and Blood. Moses’ sacrifice can’t remove sin because it is not a perfect sacrifice; rather ritualistic or symbolic, that is a sacrifice that leaves no sense of a “conscience of sin.” This would have been an offering did not please the pharisaic Jew. Christ offered himself (a Real Sacrifice) doing the will of God, fulfilling the prophecy of the sacrificial lamb. This sacrifice produces eternal life similar to the manna from God, but more still. Not a sacrifice simply feeds the belly or the intellect by one that removes totally the stain of sin. This sacrifice is so perfect it can never be repeated nor can it ever ceases, this is one in the same sacrifice of the Passion Christ, done for remittance of our sins and eternal life. It’s done in loving obedience of that continual perfect sacrifice, “do this,” He says, “in commemoration of me.” The Sacrament of Communion is a continuation of Moses’ sacrifice with a perfect lamb; The Real Sacrifice, the Real Presence of Christ. (Cf. St. John Chrysostom,Homily 17 on Hebrews)
The Jewish Sacred tradition of Passover celebrates the first born of every family who ceremoniously eats the flesh of the sacrificial lamb; a commemoration when death passed over the firstborn of Israel. Don’t you watch movies? Good grieve Charlie Brown, everybody our age has seen Charlton Heston’s, ‘The Ten Commandments’ – you should’ve seen it a dozen times since its’ release in 1956. What Got Yul Brynner, aka Rameses, so mad that he went chasing after Moses in a rage? Rameses’ son was killed by the curse he himself uttered. Moses saw it coming and the ‘BLOOD’ of the sacrificial lamb was ordered to be placed over the door header so the curse would ‘PASS OVER’. And I get this part of the story right without the use of a BOOK – who’d a thunk it! Since then, (no, not since 1956 -, since Moses) part of the commemoration of Passover was to sacrifice the lamb in a special feasts and customs. At the home, there was the custom of ‘Pesachim’ which included a search the house for leaven bread. Leavend bread epresented a blotted, vainglorious and arrogant and sinful nature. It was hung over a lamp to burn out the leaven (corruption). You might recall Paul’s words “Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened.” (1Cor 5: Judaism was steeped with metaphoric visions of leavened and unleavened bread that was culturally ingrained in the Jewish psyche, as it was Christ’s and the Twelve.
One of the many ecclesiastic feasts and ceremonies that take place over the many days of festival was on the Saturday before the day of the Pasch (fifteenth of the Jewish month). On day 14 day, the male members of the family met in the synagogue or in the Temple and a sacrifice a lamb, part of which, accompanied with the blood was carried home. The first born ate the flesh of the Lamb and the blood was ceremonially placed on the door jambs. This is a real sacrifice, as opposed to a spiritual sacrifice, signified by the presence of ‘blood’. We know this because in Jewish sacrificial costom the presence of blood related to the meat. The point being that this would have been much better understood, along with all the nuances of a multiple of images this would represent to a Jew; especially to the Pharisees. Now, re-read John 5 and 6 keeping these images in mind.
Most of the Gospel of John, Chapter 5 regards other cleansing spiritual rituals in the sense of getting ready for Pesach (Passover) This period on Judaism yearly cycles is called Shalosh R’glim. The man in the pool that was told to get up and walk, efforts to get in the cleansing water are of particular importance in Judaism and Catholicism. But, what’s important to us is when Christ says to his Twelve; “If you did believe Moses, you would perhaps believe me also: for he wrote of me.” Notice that Christ appealed to the intellect of the Jews, not to their passions or heart (at least not here in Chapter 5). The question at the end of this chapter is pivotal for Christians, “But if you do not believe his writings (Moses), how will you believe my words?” The question cuts right to the heart of the Jewish tradition in Catholicism. Or, at the best, most of Moses’ tradition clouded in the passage of time. It’s important here because it’s this tradition that Gospel of John 6 speaks to.
The Church feeds the belly, the intellect, the heart and the soul of those who hunger for Christ. The miracle of 5,000 isn’t so much about the souls saved that day, as it was the millions saved from a people made unleavened by coming into contact with these 5,000. Pasch was at hand, a Time of Atonement, a sacrificial lamb was required – stress this ‘was required’ no Jew worth his salt would be caught without one. This was to be a perfect sacrifice lamb bleed then burnt on the God’s altar for atonement of sins. Later to be consumed by the first born of the Kingdom – among these 5,000 new adopted sons of God were a very special Twelve. Notice too, it is the men who are told to sit and that it is bread that is feed them – we’re not told but likely it was the commoner’s unleavened bread. Right out of the Jewish tradition of Seder.
What then are we to make of the Christ saying he was the ‘meat’? Why would Christ feed his Jewish bothers bread when we all know that man doesn’t live by bread alone? Why would he feed us manna, especially one that had a 24 hour shelf life? – you may recall that when the manna fell from heaven, it needed to be collected, processed and cooked in short order, or it would spoil. What value is a food like that? Sounds like Twinkie food to me – a worthless cake surrounding a sweet pasty center, but of no real nutritional value. How long can such sustenance last? Christ reminds us that our “fathers ate manna in the desert, and are dead. (John 6:49). Sounds like all bun to me; can shortbread take a man through an eternity without a filling meat? The bread of a Divine knowledge is a worthless burger without the meat.
Christ tells these first-born of his Kingdom, ‘eat meat’. He’s definitely not playing to the chick Pharisee’s cows who want moo miracles. You can almost hear, ‘Punt the burger, and pass the Chikin”! [Sorry, I’m a sucker for corny jokes] Not, at all. Christ says Moses bread didn’t save; why? The bread of the intellect isn’t meat enough to last an eternity; intellectual word of God is only good for this world. Christ, however is telling us He’ll provide the beef, he says “I am that bread of life”. I am the meat that an eternal death will pass over, I am the meat of everlasting life, a flesh for the life of the world; a meat for the first-born of His Kingdom. The simple fact of the matter is that “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.” A sacrificial meat for the first born is given us all; death will pass over.
Straight out of the Jewish tradition of Seder Christ said, why labor “for the meat which perishes;” why not work for “that which endures unto life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you.” So where’s the beef? Christ tells us where and flat out too, and it ain’t in Wonder bread, “For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (Cf. John 6:26, 55). This is a real sacrifice containing the real presence of Christ. This is how we know this is a ‘real sacrifice’ and not a spiritual one of symbolic prayers.