Fred asked:

I've got some friends that are Catholic and they do something called eucharistic adoration. What do you do when you're in front of what looks like a wafer? You all say it's Jesus, but I don't get it. Where is that in the bible?

Patrick Madrid replied:

"...We believe as Catholics that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament in the eucharist. What that means is that at mass when the priest celebrates the mass and the miracle of transubstantiation takes place then what before was bread and wine on the altar still appears to be bread and wine ... but the reality has changed ... into the risen glorified Jesus' body, blood, soul and divinity. This is what you probably hear Catholics from time to time use the term the real presence ...

Adoration is when we are together with Jesus. Typically it's in a chapel or in a church and Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in a container sometimes it's called a monstrance ... you'll see it inside of a round glass enclosure.

So we're worshipping not bread. If that were just bread then we would be idolaters. We would be doing something seriously wrong. But rather we're worshipping Jesus Christ who is truly present under the appearance of bread ...

There are glimpses of this doctrine all throughout the New Testament not to mention the Old Testament. We know that in John chapter 6, Jesus in the bread of life discourse beginning in verse 22, he talks to the Jews and he says in verse 33 for example, for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. They said to him Lord, give us this bread always. Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall not hunger. He who believes in me shall never thirst. From there going all the way to the end of John chapter 6 we see Jesus repeating the fact that his flesh and his blood are real food and he keeps equating this with bread.

And then we see at the last supper where Jesus actually takes bread and says to his apostles ... this is my body and taking the chalice of wine, this is my blood. So the significance of that, Fred is that Jesus gives this teaching, although he doesn't give it in one fell swoop ... When you take all of these things into account together and then you take a look at the way that the apostles and those who knew the apostles who knew what Jesus meant, you see that they recognized very clearly that Jesus is present in the holy eucharist and that we are indeed to spend time with him. We're worship him in not only how he is in heaven but also to worship him in the Blessed Sacrament ...

In the Catholic church we don't say that everything must be proved from the bible. In fact, it's interesting because the bible itself doesn't make that claim ... So in addition to what the bible does teach us, including those passages I just mentioned, we also see apostolic tradition ... the way in which the Church lives out the understanding of the meaning of what Christ and the apostoles did when they were teaching."


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Show air date: October 10, 2013

Question appeared in show: 1:33

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