Tag Archives: Eucharist

The Church Of The Unsatisfied

God gave the Israelites manna in the desert.  Without that miraculous food, they would have starved to death.  It literally kept them alive.  But, human nature kicked in.  They grew tired of the manna and began to complain.  “We want more options.  We want more variety.”  Manna, no matter how miraculous, was no longer good enough.

Jesus took a few fish and some loaves of bread and miraculously fed thousands of hungry people.  They followed him around wanting even more.  “God gave our ancestors manna in the desert.  What sign can you give us?  What can you do?”  They had just been miraculously fed, but they wanted more.  The miracle of the fish and loaves wasn’t good enough for them.

Jesus told them He would provide the true food and true drink of His flesh and blood to sustain their eternal life.  They lacked understanding.  Many then turned away from Him, and the betrayal of Judas took root at this point.  For many of Christ’s disciples, His flesh and blood were not good enough.  They wanted more.  At the Last Supper, Jesus pointed out Judas as the betrayer, and showed the apostles the miracle of the Eucharist.  He had told them earlier that they would need to eat His flesh and blood, and now He showed them how to do it in a miraculous manner.

Manna was not good enough for the Israelites.  The miracle of the fish and the loaves was not good enough for the multitudes following Jesus around.  His flesh and blood were not good enough for many of His disciples.  Human nature has not changed much.  His flesh and blood are still not good enough for many Christians today.  They want more.  More programs, more coffee, more doughnuts, more music, more excitement, more Bible studies, more interesting preaching, more miracles, etc.

What more can Jesus give than His very flesh and blood poured out and crucified for our forgiveness and salvation?  What is more miraculous than the God of the universe humbling Himself in the form of bread and wine in order to spiritually and physically unite with His own, spiritual/physical creations?  Add the other six sacraments and we not only have life, but life more abundantly.  Why do we grumble?  Don’t we have enough?  We don’t even deserve what we do have.  Do we really believe?  God help our unbelief.

Just Another Man In The Presence Of Jesus

The History Channel’s The Bible series was watched by lots of people.  I enjoyed most of it.  There is only so much that can be covered in the time they had.  Obviously, they left a lot out.  I thought some of what they left out could have been covered.  For example, at Pentecost, the disciples spoke in other languages, but they were not shown talking that way to the public.  And it didn’t show how the public thought they were drunk.  There was nothing shown about the Roman guards at the tomb of Jesus or the angels that were there, the road to Emmaus, etc.  Despite all they left out, it was still an interesting program to watch.

I liked that the show demonstrated the humanity of the disciples pretty well.  Even with Jesus staring them in the face they still acted human.  They were in the direct presence of Jesus for three years, but they were not groveling on the ground or prostrating themselves the entire time.  Sometimes they were scared, or they fell asleep, or they had a bad attitude, or they were apathetic, etc.  This is just like we are today, even in the real presence of Christ we have good days and bad days.  Followers of Jesus are not perfect.  Jesus is perfect.

Knowing my humanity, I try my best to do this when I go to Mass:

– I listen carefully to the Scriptures and the sermon.

– I’m mindful of the fact that I am about to encounter the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ and receive Him into my whole self, body and soul.  (“This is my body, this is my blood.”)

– I remember how the disciples fell asleep after Jesus asked them to pray with Him.

– I remember how Thomas doubted until he saw the wounds on the living Christ and then said, “My Lord and my God.”

-I remember that Jesus said to Thomas, “You see me and you believe.  Blessed are those who have not seen, yet still believe.”

– I remember how Peter denied even knowing Jesus and then repented.

– I remember that all the heavenly saints and angels are also worshiping at this Mass and every Mass.

– I think about how Mass is constantly being said at some point on Earth at all hours of every day and how this links us to each other and to Heaven.

-I remember that there is faith, hope and love, and that the greatest of these is love.

-I remember that God is love, that Jesus is love in flesh and blood, and that I am there to receive that flesh and blood.

-I remember that we are what we eat, so I need to let Christ nourish me and change me into God’s love.

Jesus Vs. E.T.

There are lots of reasons I can give as to why I choose to be a Catholic Christian.  I can talk about the necessity of Church authority in a world of relativistic, secularized theologies and individualistic Bible interpretations.  I can talk about the historical consistency of the Church from Christ until today in an atmosphere of endless church splits and fragmentations.  I can talk about how the Catholic Church stands firm on issues of morality while other churches cave into public pressure and secular culture.  I can talk about the need for unity, community and guidance in a world of Jesus-and-me, church-hopping Christians who “don’t want to be told what to do.”  I can talk about 2000 years of sacred Tradition and the deposit of faith being preserved by the Catholic Church.  I can explain that, without the God-given authority of the Catholic Church, Christians wouldn’t even know if their Bibles should contain The Gospel of Thomas or The Gospel of John or the Book of James, for it was the Catholic Church that decided the answer.  I can appeal to both reason and faith from the perspective of Natural Law and theology, etc., etc.

To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, it’s hard to give a short answer as to why I decided to be Catholic, because there are at least 10,000 reasons all leading to the conclusion that Catholicism is true.  But, after all is said and done, the ultimate reason I want to be Catholic is because I love Jesus Christ, and I want to follow Him.  I want to be with Him.  But, as much as I love Him, He loves me even more, and wants even more to be with me.  I’m not content to have a long distance relationship with Christ.  It is not enough for me to only have Jesus “in my heart” and read His letters and listen to preachers talk about being with Him in Heaven some day.  I want to be with Him now.  Thankfully, Jesus wants this even more than I do, so He set up His Church to provide the means.

But it’s not all about me and Jesus.  Jesus loves us all the same.  So He set things up in such a way that we can all be with Him, and He with us, not just “in our hearts” but in our very physical presence and essence.  I used to imagine that Jesus did a kind of “E.T” thing.  In the movie “E.T.” the little alien creature goes back to space and leaves his friend Eliot behind in tears.  In order to consol Eliot, the alien points his glowing finger at his friend’s head and says, “I’ll be right here!”  In other words, “I’ll be with you in spirit, or I’ll be present in your thoughts, but actually, I’m leaving you.”

Jesus promised to never leave us nor forsake us.  He also said He would not leave us orphans.  On the road to Emmaus Jesus met the men who begged Him to stay, even though they did not recognize who He was.  Jesus did not point to their heads or their chests and say, “Don’t worry, I’ll be right here!”  No, Jesus vanished from their sight, but, as they requested, He stayed with them in the bread, and that’s how they recognized who He was.  Jesus can do anything He wants with His glorified body.  He chooses to be present with us in bread and wine, so we can all touch Him, be with Him, partake of the Sacrificial Lamb and be united in one Body with Him.  This is what Passover was foreshadowing.  We are saved by the blood of the Lamb, but we also physically partake of, and become one with, the Lamb.

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit as the Church’s teacher, Comforter and power.  However, the Holy Spirit is not a substitute for Christ’s physical presence among us.  Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit to teach the Church what it needed to know.  One thing the Church needs to know is that Jesus is here among us!  He longs to be with us and become one with us.  The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life and unity.  If you love Jesus, don’t just read His letters and sing songs about Him.  Follow Him and really be with Him!

A Talk With The Youth

I’m back in the saddle again after a break from writing.  Sometimes I just run out of things to say.  A period of contemplation and soaking in of the life that surrounds me usually provides some thoughts to share.  The introverted side of me is always reluctant to speak for the sake of speaking.  So, I try to have something to convey that may be pertinent to someone.

Recently, I was asked to share my story of Catholic reversion with some eighth graders at a local Catholic school.  It was part of an attempt to capture their interest in upcoming youth events that may help them stay involved with their faith as they become more independent.

Afterwards, it occurred to me that, when I left Catholicism, the Protestants I was involved with wanted to hear my “testimony.”  They wanted to hear how God had worked in my life to bring me out of Catholicism and into their fold.  Catholics had little interest in hearing about why I had left.  Upon returning to Catholicism, the only folks that openly want to hear my story seem to be Catholics.  There are no Protestants approaching me and asking me to tell why I decided to leave them and return to Catholicism.  Now, it is the Catholics that want me to “testify.”

It would be nice if everyone had a listening ear.  It would be nice if everyone had a “teachable spirit” and a willingness to hear truth spoken in love (even truth that hurts).  But, I suppose it is human nature to take sides and dig in one’s heals and feel threatened or bewildered by opposing opinions.  We all want to feel secure in what we believe.  We tend to seek out like minds to confirm our beliefs, not opposing views that challenge them.

In telling my story, it is important for me to make clear the positive contributions that both Catholics and Protestants have made in my spiritual journey.  My desire is that all Christians heed the prayer of Jesus that we, as believers in Him, “all may be one.”  Therefore, in talking about my return to Catholicism, I try to avoid an “us against them” attitude.  Obviously, it would not make sense for me to be Catholic if I did not believe Catholicism to be true.  But I try to approach that truth as one would direct a thirsty soul to water in a desert.  “It’s over here.  Come this way.  Look at this awesome gift God has given us!”

I only had a few minutes to speak to the eighth graders.  After briefly explaining how I left Catholicism and found my way back to Jesus and His Church with the help of Protestant Bible teaching, I presented them with the following scenario:

“Have you ever loved someone so much that you just wanted to be with them?  Writing a letter wasn’t enough.  Talking on the phone wasn’t enough.  You had to be with that person physically.  You had to embrace and hold that person so close that you practically melted together and became one.”  I noticed many of them nodding their heads.  “That’s what the Holy Eucharist in the Catholic Church is like.  The Bible is like letters from God.  The presence of His Spirit is sort of like talking on the phone with a loved one.  But God loves us so much, He desires to also be with us physically, and melt into us and become one with us, and us with Him (after all, He did make us eternally spiritual AND physical creatures).  God makes this life-giving embrace possible through the physical presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  The Catholic Church is where this 2000 year old miracle takes place.  That was the biggest reason for me coming back to Catholicism, and it’s the biggest reason for you to stay.”

Yet Another Grain of Truth

Recently, my doctor told me to go on a gluten free diet.  No gluten.  No wheat.  Although it needs to be confirmed, my blood work shows I may have Celiac Disease.  So, I have been following doctor’s orders, and experimenting with gluten free products.

Some products are better than others.  One thing I have noticed is that my gluten free breads, cookies and pancakes don’t hold together very well.  They seem to crumble or separate rather easily.  The gluten in wheat apparently has a cohesive quality to it that other grains lack.

When faced with the “go gluten free” order from the doctor, I began to wonder what I should do about Holy Communion.  Although I had heard some vague mentioning of this issue, I never really paid much attention to it.  Now I have to, so I did a little research.  I discovered this article:  http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/why-wheat-bread

Previously, I had no idea how scripturally important it is to use wheat for the Eucharist.  Two points really struck me.  First, the sacramental substance really is important (like using only water for baptism and not milk or orange juice, for instance).  Secondly, the cohesive quality of wheat has so many spiritual and symbolic applications that never occurred to me until I read this article.  No other grain can fulfill the role.  Suddenly, I saw the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Christian life in a whole new light.  When I hold a hamburger on crumbling, gluten free bread or watch the bottoms fall out of my gluten free pancakes and cookies, it reminds me of how important it is for all Christians to partake of the authentic, Holy Eucharist in unity.  We are not supposed to be divided into competing, crumbling denominations with our own versions of the Lord’s Supper.  We are supposed to worship in one accord with the Holy Eucharist holding us all together.

Thank God for the bishops that insist that Catholics must keep at least some gluten in our communion bread.  I love the authenticity of Catholicism and the Church’s steadfastness.  I’m not offended one bit that the Church’s suggestion to me is, “Receive Christ from just the cup, because both the bread and the wine are transubstantiated to become the whole Christ.”  Nor does it upset me in the least that completely gluten free wafers are not offered.  I would have it no other way.  I want the Church to remain authentic in every aspect.

Incidentally, those who ask, “Doesn’t the gluten disappear when the bread is changed into Christ?” are misunderstanding what transubstantiation is about.

Maybe I have Celiac Disease, or maybe I just have gluten sensitivity.  In any case, this experience has opened my eyes to yet another grain of truth in Catholicism.  The more I learn about it, the more I appreciate it.

We Are Not The Walking Dead

More than a few times I have heard Catholics and non-Catholics comment on the outward appearance of Catholics receiving Holy Communion.  The common theme is that Catholics appear to be too casual and unmoved by the experience of receiving the Blessed Sacrament.  This is probably true in some cases.

Catholics will often point out that, since we are receiving the greatest gift available to humanity, the Lord, God, Jesus Christ Himself, we should show a bit more enthusiasm and appreciation for what we are receiving.  Too often we shuffle up the aisle like zombies, or like people waiting in line at the supermarket to buy a pack of gum.  We need to appreciate what we have been freely given, and what it cost.  The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.  It is how God chooses to feed us and give us spiritual life.

Non-Catholics will often conclude that the doctrine of the Real Presence must be false.  After all, how could anyone approach and receive Jesus Christ Himself with a lack of enthusiasm?  Some will say, “If I believed what you Catholics supposedly believe, I would be at church every time the doors were opened falling on my face before Jesus!”  (Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t.  This could also be a veiled way of using lukewarm Catholics as an excuse to reject the doctrine.)  I recently heard a story about a non-Catholic man who was actively involved in a Catholic parish for many years because his wife was Catholic.  When asked why he never became Catholic he replied that Sunday after Sunday he saw people go to communion with long faces.  He didn’t see them being enthusiastic about what they were doing, so, he rejected the doctrine.

There are several reasons why people may seem unimpressed when receiving communion.  One reason is that many Catholics don’t really understand the truth of what they are doing.  American Catholics in particular have often been influenced by Protestant theologies that teach communion as merely symbolic.  Hence, many poorly catechized Catholics simply don’t understand and appreciate the reality of the Sacrament.

Some Catholics approach Holy Communion with reverence, humility and contemplation.  They may show little or no emotion externally, yet they are deeply moved and changed internally.  Only God knows the heart of a person.  As the Scripture says, “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God sees the heart.”

There are, of course, Catholics that have fallen into complacency and apathy.  They are like the Jews in the desert grumbling over the miraculous manna that God provided for food.  Initially, the manna was greeted with gratitude and enthusiasm.  After a while, human nature crept in and stole the joy.  As we see in John chapter 6, the Holy Eucharist is the flesh and blood of Christ who is the Bread of Life come down from Heaven.  He is the fulfillment of what the miraculous manna foreshadowed.  Unfortunately, like the Jews, Catholics can also succumb to human nature and complacency, even though the miracle is right before them.  Yet, just like the manna, their complacency does not negate the truth of the miracle which is the Blessed Sacrament.

There are also many Catholics that have reached a place of peace and serenity in their faith and, like the disciple Jesus loved, will simply lay their heads on Jesus and be at rest.  There is not necessarily any exuberant display of emotion observed when they receive communion.  They are calm, but not unimpressed.  There are charismatic Catholics as well.  Yet, we must never confuse emotion with Spirit.  Sometimes people mistakenly believe that the Holy Spirit is not at work unless someone is emotionally excited.

The bottom line is that truth cannot be determined by how people react to it emotionally, or by how many people believe it.  Truth is true because it is true.  There are indeed many Catholics that take for granted the gift they are offered.  There are also many that appreciate the Holy Eucharist for what it is.  To whom much is given, much will be required.  We all need to examine our own hearts and not be deterred by our perceptions of others.  Nor should we use any lack of emotional enthusiasm in others as an excuse for our own faithlessness.  Jesus waits for us.  The gift is there for all of us.  If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.

Visiting Where I Was Born Again.

This past weekend I was back in my hometown to celebrate a wedding and a birthday.  I needed to go to Church Sunday morning.  The default location was St. Ignatius, the Church I grew up in.  My parents still attend there, and it would be a chance to visit with them for a bit.  This time, however, I decided to do something different.  I was not baptized at St. Ignatius but at St. Clare, and my family attended there until I was in second grade.  Since I had not been there since I was a second grader, I thought it would be interesting to visit.

While approaching the church and school buildings, it struck me how small everything appeared.  Things are magnified to a child’s eyes, and my memory was a child’s memory.  Then I noticed the front steps.  I recalled an old photograph of my family standing on those steps with a baby.  The baby was me at my baptism.  I haven’t seen that photo in years, but I remember it.  And I remember the steps.

Upon entering the church a flood of memories hit me.  It all started to come back.  Except for the scale of things, I felt like I was looking through my six-year-old eyes.  The sights, the sounds and the aroma were familiar and welcoming.  It was like a reunion with a long lost relative.  As I took in the details it occurred to me that more than forty years had left so much unchanged.  The corner stone read “1914.”  The building was almost one hundred years old.  I was baptized there near its mid-century period.  I ran my hand along the railing that I could barely reach as a child.

Meanwhile, I was helping my wife juggle two-year-old twins and trying not to disrupt the Mass.  I had to carry my daughter to the back of the church to settle her down.  I paced back and forth while she gradually fell asleep.  Then I noticed the statue of St. Clare off to the side.  I gazed at her for a while and my eyes were drawn to the focal point of the monstrance she was holding.  When the priest lifted up the Holy Eucharist, it really hit me.  All those years that statue had been standing there holding that monstrance.  I had left, but she had not.  Yet, it was only a fraction of the time that Christ had been steadfastly present in the tabernacle of that church and in every Catholic Church for two thousand years.  He stayed with us, like He stayed with the travelers on the road to Emmaus, present in the Blessed Sacrament.

Jesus said to my heart, “You were baptized here, Thomas.  This is where you became my own.  When you left My Church, I awaited your return with open arms.  I have always been here for you, even when you didn’t care.  Though you may leave me, I will never leave you nor forsake you.  I love you, and I am happy you finally came home to Me.”  Then, I felt the warmth of my daughter asleep in my arms, and I knew the same promise was for her and her brother.  “I will not leave you orphans.  I am with you until the end of the age.”

Let Me Entertain You

A few years ago a new church opened in my town.  I watched with interest as they converted an empty Walmart store into a church building.  They knocked a hole in one of the walls and installed a drive-through window for serving coffee.  They even had a catchy label above the window, but I can’t recall the exact words they used.  I think it was “Java for Jesus” or something like that.  One day, as I drove by the place, I noticed a new sign had been installed by the road and I had to do a double-take.  For a few seconds I thought I was looking at a sign for a new “gentlemen’s club.”  Then I realized it was the sign for the new church.

Well, I had to give them credit for at least trying to draw people to church.  The whole thing certainly got my attention.  About a year or two went by and I noticed that there didn’t seem to be as much activity.  The drive-up window didn’t have a sign anymore.  Today I decided to take a closer look and discovered that the building is boarded up and deserted.  Apparently, the church is gone.  I had not noticed it was gone because the sign is still mounted by the main road where I usually drive by.

I wondered if the church just moved to another building.  I looked them up online to see if they had a website.  They did.  The pastor even had a blog, but when I clicked on the link the blog was gone.  The website was from 2009, so I assume the church just never took off and had to close their doors.  Judging from their website and their sign they tried very hard to market themselves.  “Church like you’ve never seen it before!” The church was “not trying to be like the church next door.”  Gimmicks and marketing techniques were generously employed in an attempt to draw a crowd.  The website claimed that church attendance was at 2000.  It also stated a goal of reaching 12,000 with the Gospel (not sure why they would want to stop at that number).

I never attended the church and I’m just an outsider looking in, but it did get me thinking.  I have heard many Catholics say that the Church needs to do more to attract people, especially younger ones.  Perhaps, to a point.  The above church that is now boarded up seemingly did a lot of things to attract people, especially younger, “edgy” people.  Now they are gone.  It takes more than modern appeal, vibrant rock style entertainment and a celebrity type preacher to attract and keep people.  Lots of people even followed Jesus around in hopes of seeing him do a miracle.  To them it was entertainment.  As soon as Jesus placed demands on them such as, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you” they were gone.

The worship of Catholicism is not about entertainment.  Nor is it about modern appeal, hip preachers or rocking music.  It is about worshiping Christ the way Christ said to worship 2000 years ago, through the Eucharist.  We live in a society that cannot seem to get enough media and entertainment.  Consequently, many churches feel they have to deliver what the people want instead of focusing on what the people need.  People need the written Word, and they need the living Word, Christ in the Eucharist.  That is how Jesus said he would feed his followers.

I’m not making fun of the above church or glorying in its demise.  I just wish they would use all that creativity and energy to help people discover the meal Christ has prepared for them.  I wish they understood the Eucharist.  I want our separated Christian brothers and sisters to come home and stop trying so hard to reinvent what Jesus has already established.

The Catholic Church has nothing against glorifying God through media.  The cathedrals, paintings, sculptures and music from the past centuries illustrate the importance of appealing to the senses to inspire awe and wonder for God.  The difference is that no matter how grand or how small an individual Catholic Church may be, the meal is the same.  The meal is what sustains the Church.  It cannot be improved upon.  Anyone, young or old, that is bored with the Catholic Mass simply does not understand it.  The meal is Christ himself.  Without the Eucharist, there would be no Church.

Are you following Jesus around hoping for some entertainment?  Or do you yearn for The Bread of Life?  One is fleeting and the other eternal.

Perfect Worship

I’ve been reflecting on different ways that Christians worship God.  Here are several that came to mind:

-Music

-Prayer

-Scripture reading

-Preaching

-Liturgy

-Giving and sacrificing of self (including money, material goods, time, gifts, talents, fasting, martyrdom, etc.)

Some of these things can be witnessed in any Christian church service.  Some of them are daily activities, such as the self-sacrifice godly parents give their children in service to God, or the work one does at a job with a godly attitude.  Some are more extreme than others.  All of them are good ways to worship God.  We offer all of them to God in worship.  All of them have one thing in common: they are blemished.  They are not perfectly spotless.

There is only one thing we can offer God that is perfectly spotless and without blemish: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  That’s why a worship service filled with musical praise and inspirational preaching is good, but not perfect.  All of those things involve our hearts and our bodies.  All of those things are both spiritually and physically lifted up to God.  But, even at their best, they are still imperfect.

In the Catholic Mass, Christians are provided the opportunity to join our hearts, our bodies and our imperfect efforts in lifting up to God the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, perfectly spotless and without blemish.  We are not only to lift him up “in Spirit” but also “in the flesh,” for it is his flesh that he gives for the life of the world.  He gave us the Spirit partly so that we could have his flesh transubstantiated into the form of bread and wine and available to offer to God as the perfect worship.

Think about it this way.  Before Christ, all we could spiritually or physically offer God was imperfection.  Now we have a choice: our own physical and spiritual imperfection or the spiritual and physical perfection of Jesus Christ.

No matter how good the music is, no matter how inspiring or convicting the preaching is, no matter how good or blessed a worship service makes you “feel,” the worship is physically and spiritually blemished unless Jesus Christ himself is spiritually and physically (i.e. completely) lifted up to God.  That’s why Jesus instituted the Mass.  He gave us the Mass so that we could worship perfectly with our whole self joined physically and spiritually to him.  The Mass is the height of Christian worship.  “This is my body, this is my blood.”

Is The Bread Of Life’s Flesh Of No Avail?

Today’s Gospel reading is from John chapter 6:51-58.  It was great to hear our priest give a homily that affirmed the physical reality of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Many claim that Jesus was being metaphorical in saying that we must eat his flesh and drink his blood to have eternal life.  They use verse 64 to support the idea that Jesus was talking symbolically since he says, “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh is of no avail.  My words are spirit and life.”

Yet, Jesus did not say, “MY flesh is of no avail” but he said “THE flesh is of no avail.”  This was to contrast Spiritual truth with human inability to understand intellectually.  Certainly, the flesh of Jesus avails much because it is his flesh that he gives on the cross for the life of the world.  However, the flesh is our human frailty and lack of understanding, as in “The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” or “You judge according to the flesh and not after God.”  The flesh indeed profits nothing!  Our human weakness cannot match the power of the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, the word “Spirit” never means “symbolic” anywhere in Scripture.  The Spirit is very real and does not “symbolize” anything.  The Spirit is the power by which God makes calm weather out of storms, water into wine, life out of dust, creation out of nothingness, blind people see, deaf people hear and bread and wine into Christ’s own body and blood.  As God said, “Let there be light” and there was light (God’s words being Spirit and life), Jesus said, “Take and eat.  This is my body, this is my blood.”  That is Spirit and life in Jesus’ words, not metaphor!

If you are a Christian, when have you actually eaten Jesus’ flesh and drank his blood, thereby receiving the power and life of the Spirit the way Jesus prescribes?  Have you been partaking of a mere symbol?  We are called to believe the Spirit of Truth, by faith, not to understand with our fleshy brains.

(For even more on this topic, read this and this)