This title caught my attention: On the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist in Catholic Say online magazine, and since The Urantia Book is so clear about it, it seems worth a share and an attempt at education for all of those who wonder what Communion really is.
Few church doctrines create such controversy as this doctrine of the Catholic Church, that asserts that it is only in the Eucharist - the bread and wine consecrated during Mass - that Jesus is really present. But is it true? Please see our blog below, filled with the enlightened teachings about the real Last Supper ...
The article referenced here is full of Biblical corroborations of the Catholic belief about the Eucharist; here's one snippet:
"The doctrine of the Real Presence asserts that in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists frequently attack this doctrine as "unbiblical," but the Bible is forthright in declaring it (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16–17, 11:23–29; and, most forcefully, John 6:32–71)."
Click to read the entire article
But Is It True?
In The Urantia Book, we finally get the true story of the Last Supper, from which the so-called "sacrament" of the Eucharist is taken; we find out that the Biblical stories of Jesus' literal body and blood being present in the bread and wine are mistaken. Jesus is present, yes, but not in a physical way. We do not literally eat Jesus' body or drink his blood. This belief is a holdover from very primitive times, when blood held a high sacrificial value.
The full life and teachings of Jesus in Part IV of The Urantia Book provide not only comfort and guidance about living a good spiritual life along the lines of Jesus' life, but these teachings also put to rest all controversy about certain doctrines believed for centuries about Jesus and God ... doctrines like Jesus' presence in the Eucharist.
Even though Holy Week is passed, we can always celebrate the Last Supper along with its momentous events, and there's no better time to introduce the reader to this story - and no better way than by just inserting it here, so that it can be appreciated in full:
179:5.1 "As they brought Jesus the third cup of wine, the "cup of blessing," he arose from the couch and, taking the cup in his hands, blessed it, saying: "Take this cup, all of you, and drink of it. This shall be the cup of my remembrance. This is the cup of the blessing of a new dispensation of grace and truth. This shall be to you the emblem of the bestowal and ministry of the divine Spirit of Truth. And I will not again drink this cup with you until I drink in new form with you in the Father's eternal kingdom."
"The apostles all sensed that something out of the ordinary was transpiring as they drank of this cup of blessing in profound reverence and perfect silence. The old Passover commemorated the emergence of their fathers from a state of racial slavery into individual freedom; now the Master was instituting a new remembrance supper as a symbol of the new dispensation wherein the enslaved individual emerges from the bondage of ceremonialism and selfishness into the spiritual joy of the brotherhood and fellowship of the liberated faith sons of the living God.
"When they had finished drinking this new cup of remembrance, the Master took up the bread and, after giving thanks, broke it in pieces and, directing them to pass it around, said: "Take this bread of remembrance and eat it. I have told you that I am the bread of life. And this bread of life is the united life of the Father and the Son in one gift. The word of the Father, as revealed in the Son, is indeed the bread of life." When they had partaken of the bread of remembrance, the symbol of the living word of truth incarnated in the likeness of mortal flesh, they all sat down.
How did it become so complicated?
"In instituting this remembrance supper, the Master, as was always his habit, resorted to parables and symbols. He employed symbols because he wanted to teach certain great spiritual truths in such a manner as to make it difficult for his successors to attach precise interpretations and definite meanings to his words. In this way he sought to prevent successive generations from crystallizing his teaching and binding down his spiritual meanings by the dead chains of tradition and dogma. In the establishment of the only ceremony or sacrament associated with his whole life mission, Jesus took great pains to suggest his meanings rather than to commit himself to precise definitions. He did not wish to destroy the individual's concept of divine communion by establishing a precise form; neither did he desire to limit the believer's spiritual imagination by formally cramping it. He rather sought to set man's reborn soul free upon the joyous wings of a new and living spiritual liberty.
"Notwithstanding the Master's effort thus to establish this new sacrament of the remembrance, those who followed after him in the intervening centuries saw to it that his express desire was effectively thwarted in that his simple spiritual symbolism of that last night in the flesh has been reduced to precise interpretations and subjected to the almost mathematical precision of a set formula. Of all Jesus' teachings none have become more tradition-standardized.
"This supper of remembrance, when it is partaken of by those who are Son-believing and God-knowing, does not need to have associated with its symbolism any of man's puerile misinterpretations regarding the meaning of the divine presence, for upon all such occasions the Master is really present. The remembrance supper is the believer's symbolic rendezvous with Michael. When you become thus spirit-conscious, the Son is actually present, and his spirit fraternizes with the indwelling fragment of his Father.
The Supper was "established without ecclisiastical sanction."
"After they had engaged in meditation for a few moments, Jesus continued speaking: "When you do these things, recall the life I have lived on earth among you and rejoice that I am to continue to live on earth with you and to serve through you. As individuals, contend not among yourselves as to who shall be greatest. Be you all as brethren. And when the kingdom grows to embrace large groups of believers, likewise should you refrain from contending for greatness or seeking preferment between such groups."
"And this mighty occasion took place in the upper chamber of a friend. There was nothing of sacred form or of ceremonial consecration about either the supper or the building. The remembrance supper was established without ecclesiastical sanction.
"When Jesus had thus established the supper of the remembrance, he said to the apostles: "And as often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me. And when you do remember me, first look back upon my life in the flesh, recall that I was once with you, and then, by faith, discern that you shall all sometime sup with me in the Father's eternal kingdom. This is the new Passover which I leave with you, even the memory of my bestowal life, the word of eternal truth; and of my love for you, the outpouring of my Spirit of Truth upon all flesh."
" And they ended this celebration of the old but bloodless Passover in connection with the inauguration of the new supper of the remembrance, by singing, all together, the one hundred and eighteenth Psalm."
The Master is really present
And so we see that, far from being something so sacred that there has to be an "almost mathematical precision of a set formula," the Remembrance Supper is a simple celebration that can be practiced among belevers at any time, with any bread, any wine or juice, and with anyone who loves the Master and wishes to really enjoy his presence right then and there.
It is an occasion of joy that transcends any "ecclisiastical sanction." And this only makes sense. Jesus came not to establish a church or to formulate a set of rules and regflation so that only a chosen few could enjoy his presence. He established this remembrance supper so that ANY who want to celebrate and remember him can do so - and he's really there.
"This supper of remembrance, when it is partaken of by those who are Son-believing and God-knowing, does not need to have associated with its symbolism any of man's puerile misinterpretations regarding the meaning of the divine presence, for upon all such occasions the Master is really present. The remembrance supper is the believer's symbolic rendezvous with Michael. When you become thus spirit-conscious, the Son is actually present, and his spirit fraternizes with the indwelling fragment of his Father."
We believe it is high time to look with fresh eyes on the Last Supper. In The Urantia Book we have been gifted with the complete story of Jesus' life from spiritual personalities who were really there, and who know what really happened. When seen with this detailed information and explanation of the true significance of that momentous supper, we may all be inspired to create occasions where all of Jesus' followers will be made to feel welcome - a table that can be laid anywhere that two or more believers gather in his name.
This beautifully simple remembrance supper is one of the greatest things that Jesus left to us. Jesus wanted to include all of his children in this celebration and wanted all of his children to remember him whenever they gathered together in his name; he "sought to set man's reborn soul free."To try and keep this remembance supper from anyone because of a misunderstanding of its form or procedure seems a gross distortion of the Master's wishes to include all of his children at his table.
Time for a new tradition?
Maybe you'll like to establish a new tradition this year at your home - an inclusive, welcoming celebration in which all who wish to sit at the Lord's table and remember him can do so, knowing that he will grace your home with his presence, too.
To read the complete story of Holy Week and the events that led up to Jesus' death (including the Last Supper), please click here
For the complete Life and Teachings of Jesus, please see THIS LINK.