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Having trouble with the idea of communion

What did Jesus mean when he said this is my blood and this is my body? Did he literally mean that we are supposed to eat his body and drink his blood? Why would he do this? This is a very repulsive thought to me, even symbolically, I am not sure I will ever be able to take communion again. What is the purpose of us symbolically/literally receiving blood and flesh of Jesus Christ?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 4:51 AM on Nov. 18, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (12)
  • Read prayerfully Luke 22:19,20. Here type met anti-type. Christ displaying His fulfillment of the Passover. (Exodus 12) It's all about salvation, the fulfillment of prophecy.
    Lexylex

    Answer by Lexylex at 6:41 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • It's not supposed to be about eating His flesh and blood in the sense of cannibalism. It's supposed to represent the nourishment He provides for our souls. How, without him, we would surely die (spiritually) - but with Him, we are nourished and sustained.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:13 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • the church i grew up in never EVER taught that it was literally Jesus' flesh. it was to represent his sacrifice of his body for us and as a reminder that he felt pain and was human. only churches that believe in transubstantiation (i think thats the word) believe the crackers and wine/juice actually become Jesus' flesh...thats always been a little creepy to me too.
    okmanders

    Answer by okmanders at 9:14 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • It's my understanding that Catholics usually believe in transubstantiation (meaning it literally changes to flesh and blood), while protestants tend to believe that it's symbolic. Depending on what you believe, that may mean the sacrifice of Jesus is happening over and over with each communion, or it may mean each communion is done in remembrance of Him. Some people believe it's simply a retelling of the myth of Osiris because many say his followers ate wheat cakes which symbolized his body and he was resurrected, which a lot of religions pull tradition from previous religions--that's not uncommon. It's meant to represent eternal life for protestants, but I've never been Catholic so I'm not sure about their POV on believing it literally changes. Maybe I'll ask my SIL to explain more about that since she's Catholic.
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 9:17 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • The explanation given by anonymous about it representing the nourishment He gives our souls is great, I like that. But even symbolically eating the "flesh" is creepy to me, even if it was a metaphor for something else.

    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:23 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • For me, it represents him giving himself completely - he cared so much about his message that he was willing to see it through to death. It represents, to me, that his heart and soul was in his message, that it was, to him, the very blood that ran through his veins (symbolically). So it seems, to me, that this symbol of remembrance is one that is intended to remind his followers of his willingness to give his life for his message, that he turned his life, and his body and blood, over to ruin in order to give that message to them - in essence, giving them his blood and body in sacrifice.

    But, unorthodox as I am, I understand not everyone sees it that way, lol. :)
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 10:35 AM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • It is completely symbolic.

    asmcbride

    Answer by asmcbride at 9:21 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • If you are Catholic, then the Eucharist does literally turn into the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, but not in a cannibalistic way.  When He said it, many of His disciples were stupefied saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" They understood Him literally, and He did not soften it, or 'correct' them in saying they misunderstood for He was only speaking symbolically. Instead, He added w/ greater emphasis, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."


    If you are Catholic, then this might help you.

    flatlanderjenn

    Answer by flatlanderjenn at 10:59 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • Also, click on the forums tab at catholic.com and ask about the Real Presence in the Eucharist. You will receive lots of help from people who explain it better than me. =)
    flatlanderjenn

    Answer by flatlanderjenn at 11:00 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • bump
    _Tam_

    Answer by _Tam_ at 10:58 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

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