Carol asked:

At the last supper our Lord holds up the bread and says this is my body. Is he holding up his own body? Christ hadn't been crucified yet. How can this be his body?

Scott Hahn replied:

"... I would say the answer that the Church has always given is that yes Jesus gave Himself and not simply bread. And this is sort of the essence of what the Passover is all about. If He's coming as the lamb, then the lamb is the one who has to be sacrificed. The lamb is also the one upon whom which we must commune.

You couldn't sacrifice bread in the form of a lamb back in Exodus 12 when you were in Egypt. You had to sacrifice the lamb and you had to eat the lamb even if you didn't like it. So Christ as the new Passover comes as the lamb to be sacrificed but also as the communion of that sacrifice.

How does he do it? We don't know. How did the second person of the eternal trinity come down and become a zygote, an embryo, an infant, a teenager, an adult? It's a remarkable thing. We don't know but we know that it's true even if we don't know how it happened.

We also know that if Holy Thursday is what transforms Good Friday from being an execution to a sacrifice, Easter Sunday is precisely what turns that sacrifice into a sacrament that can be done in remembrance of Him. Because now His body is no longer dead. It is no longer just resuscitated either. It is animated. It is divinized. It is now distributable. It is now edible. It's not only deified it is deifying. It is glorifying and it is capable of glorifying us. So it's an interesting fact that in the gospels whenever you see a resurrection appearance of Jesus that is identified with a particular day of the week every single time it is Sunday. And almost invariably, not only do you see the resurrection appearances corresponding to Sunday but coinciding with a meal as well. But why? Because Jesus was preparing the Church to recognize that just as Cleopas and his companions said, our hearts were burning within us while he opened up the scriptures for hours but he was still a stranger, but our eyes were opened in the breaking of the bread. So on Sunday in the context of the breaking of the eucharistic bread, suddenly Cleopas and his companion in Luke 24 recognized who the resurrected lord of lords and the king of kings. And he disappeared. Not because he was vanishing, but because once our faith grasps the real presence of Christ in the eucharistic bread, not only on Sunday but on Holy Thursday as well then His physical body is no longer needed. It isn't adding anything to the real presence of Christ's resurrected body in the eucharist.

So the bottom line is yes, Carol He had the power and the intention to transform bread in the upper room and He now administers that power by celebrating this sacrament in the eucharist in giving Himself to us as his resurrected life-giving body."


© 2012 Immaculate Heart Catholic Radio

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Show air date: October 3, 2012

Question appeared in show: 31:39

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