112 – Jesus said that he was the Bread which came down from heaven, and that he would give his flesh as food and his blood as drink, thereby clearly alluding to the sacrifice of his life. We need Jesus, to be with him, to be nourished at his table, on his words of eternal life!

Last August, Francis commented on the famous ‘Bread of Life’ discourse narrated in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Saint John.

The rich theological substance of this passage has always nourished the faith of Eucharistic adorers and inspired a greater understanding of the immense gift that Christ left us in the Sacrament of the Altar. Moreover, the profundity of these words of Christ was the point of departure for essential doctrinal considerations regarding the Eucharist. The unanimous consideration of this pronouncement as a prefigure of the Sacrament of the Altar, generated a treasury of commentaries made by popes, saints and doctors of the Church, founded on the clear and captivating words of Jesus: ‘I am the bread of life come down from heaven.’

The Protestants, on the other hand, make all kinds of efforts to interpret the words proclaimed by our Redeemer in the synagogue of Capharnaum as a ‘metaphor’ that alludes to his imminent death. Could it be because they do not wish to nourish themselves and adore Jesus truly present in this great Sacrament? Within the scope of the study at hand, we will not specifically examine this problem, though there is much that could be said about the unhappiness of those who close their eyes so as not to recognize that Christ is really present in the consecrated host.

However, here we shall deal with an even more worrisome question. Why does Francis, the man who should instruct the flock of the Lord, omit any reference to the Eucharist when he comments on this discourse? Could there possibly be a more necessary topic for the good of the faithful, than the Real Presence in the Sacred Species, especially in the context of the Gospel of Saint John?

Why does Francis depart from the tradition of the Catholic Church when, as we shall see, he makes Protestant interpretations his own? Could it be that in his opinion the writings of the innumerable Catholic authors who explain the true doctrine contained in these verses lack solid arguments? Be that as it may, such writings do exist, are very clear, and our readers may peruse them here in order to better judge this important matter.

Francis

Francisco-luteranos

Quote A

Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

ContentsAuthors
I – The sixth chapter of the Gospel of Saint John was always interpreted by the Popes as a clear doctrine referring to the Eucharist
II – The Church has always understood and preached that the Eucharist is a true spiritual nourishment
III – He who has the duty to instruct the faithful may not omit the truths of the faith


A curious similarity with Luther’s commentaries regarding this Gospel passage…


Francis:

francisco‘Jesus said that he was the Bread which came down from heaven, and that he would give his flesh as food and his blood as drink, thereby clearly alluding to the sacrifice of his life.’

 

 

Luther:

lutero

That this is the correct understanding of the Gospel [the text on which he was preaching], namely, that it must be understood of the spiritual eating and drinking, the words show which the Lord speaks at the end of the chapter: ‘It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life’ (v. 63). With these words Christ means to say that the bodily eating of the flesh does not profit, but to believe that this flesh is God’s Son, who came from heaven for my sake and has shed His blood for me, that is profitable, and that is life. For this reason to eat the flesh of the Son of God and to drink His blood means, as already said, nothing else than that I believe that His flesh was given for me and His blood was shed for me and that He overcame sin, death, the devil, hell and all (other) evil for me. (Sermon on John 6 proffered on the Feast of Corpus Christi perhaps in the year 1523, Die HauptBchriften Luthers in Chronologischer Reihenfolge. Von. P. E. Kretzmann, Saint Louis, Mo.: Concordia Publishing House. Cf. Saint Louis Ed., XI:2253; Erl. 15, 371-373; Walch XI, 2998-3001, ef. Weunar XII, 580-584)


I – The sixth chapter of the Gospel of Saint John was always interpreted by the Popes as clear doctrine regarding the Eucharist


Benedict XVI

In the Eucharist Jesus offers his own body and pours out his own blood
By receiving the body and blood of Jesus Christ we become sharers in the divine life in a more conscious way
With the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus announces the Eucharistic Bread

John Paul II

The Eucharist is no metaphorical food: ‘My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed’ (Jn 6:55)
Christ gives himself as our food: ‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever’

Paul VI

Welcoming with faith the gift of the Eucharist is to welcome Christ
The Eucharist is our source of hope as Jesus said in the Gospel of John

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The first announcement of the Eucharist in the Gospel is found in John Chapter 6
The words of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum prepare for the institution of the Eucharist
Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet

Council of Trent (Ecumenical XIX)

With firmness of faith we believe in the Eucharist: Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us His ‘own flesh to eat’ (Jn 6:48)

Leo I

You ought to be partakers at the Holy Table with no doubt whatever concerning the reality of Christ’s Body and Blood

Saint John Damascene

The Lord said ‘This is My body’; and not ‘this is a figure of My body’

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Jesus unites us with Himself in this sacrament through the truth of His Body and Blood
The entire body of Christ is in the Eucharist

II – The Church has always understood and preached that the Eucharist is a true spiritual nourishment


Benedict XVI

The Eucharist is nourishment for the soul

John Paul II

The Church draws her nourishment from this ‘living bread’, the Eucharist

Paul VI

Christ is the spiritual food of the faithful under the appearances of bread and wine

John XXIII

Jesus nourishes our souls with his body and blood

Pius XII

The Church feeds us at Mass with the Bread of angels

Pius X

Christ often pointed out the necessity of frequently eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood

Council of Trent (Ecumenical XIX)

Jesus wished that this sacrament be received as the spiritual food of souls

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

The Eucharist: Bread of heaven and Cup of salvation

III – He who has the duty to instruct the faithful may not omit the truths of the faith


Pius VI

Omission about the dogma of transubstantiation is favorable to heretics and dangerous

Gregory XVI

In Church teachings nothing should be changed: they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning

Leo XIII

One cannot omit certain points of Church teaching in order to ‘bring in those who differ’ – they must come back in no other way than the way pointed out by Christ
No one may interpret the Holy Scripture against the sense of the Church or even against the unanimous agreement of the Fathers
Putting aside the doctrine of the Fathers of the Church and of the Councils give rise to dangerous interpretations

Pius X

Those who go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church fall into very serious errors
The Pope must guard with vigilance the deposit of the faith rejecting profane novelties
For the Modernist there is to be nothing immutable

Benedict XV

Be careful with eager searchers after novelties especially in the way they carry out religious functions

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The Magisterium must serve the word of God
Hold fast to the traditions learned by word of mouth or by letter

Paul VI

The grave responsibility of preserving unaltered the content of the Catholic faith which the Lord entrusted to the apostles
The Church rigorously conserves authentic revelation

Pontifical Biblical Commission

Those who instruct should never depart from the common doctrine and tradition of the Church even in the slightest degree

 

 

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