The Eucharist

Is Christ Present Uniquely?

I don’t know how to answer this question. Jesus clearly says during the last supper that this is His body, but it seems fair to interpret that statement in a wide spectrum: It could be anywhere between the literal or the symbolic. I find that I lean toward the Lutheran view (I’m not even Lutheran) mainly for its parallels between the full humanity and full divinity of Christ, that is that the bread and wine are bread and wine while also being Christ’s body and blood, but I can understand objections to this position.

Whatever the case, the main thing seems to be that we eat it and drink it. I admit that I don’t understand. The Catholic point is strong: How can we spiritualize what is, on the face of it, an explicit statement? The Reform position makes sense: In John 6, after giving what seems to be a very explicit statement that we must eat Jesus, the reason for eating Jesus, that He is the only source of true life, is suddenly spiritualized, for it says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.”


We are told to remember. When we take communion, that seems to be what we should be doing. Whether you believe that the bread is only a symbol or whether this is the thing itself, let us eat it in faith, remembering Christ’s promises to us. I think this should be a solemn act, a time of reflection. We are told to eat, so let us eat; we are told to remember, so let us remember. In this case, obeying seems more important than understanding.


I do not want to diminish the importance of understanding: Whatever position you come to, it will change how you do certain things. If the Catholics are right, it makes sense to genuflect in the presence of Jesus, but if the reformers are right, this may be verging into idolatrous territory.

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