Saturday, June 13, 2009

Delaney on the Eucharist

I originally encounterd "Delaney" back in March (2009)
on YouTube, but since the format there only allows for
500 words per post, I suggested we debate in blogger,
and she concurred. The following comes from her blog,
and this response will be posted there as well.

> Delaney wrote:
> A friend from YouTube will be responding here from
> questions that I asked him and points that I made.
> The example used in this portion of the debate is
> the Eucharist and the Last Supper.
> For my references, I will only use Catholic sources
> such as the Catechsim and the New King James Version
> Bible.

sw: This is acceptable to me, though I may use other
versions of the Bible in my response (and will cite
which one with each use).

> I was asked: So MrsM, do you accept that Jesus (God)
> said to men that they could bind things on Earth and
> those things are bound in Heaven? If something is
> bound in Heaven can it be fallible?
> Matt 16:18-19 and Matt 18:18
> I responded: If it is something that goes against
> scripture, then it is not valid.

sw: Well, the subject of infallibility is not the
Eucharist/Last Supper - but Delaney (aka MrsM) does
make a tangential link, so I will proceed before
further comment...

> Delaney continues: What happens if the 'whatsoever'
> was against something in scripture? For example, the
> 'continuing' sacrifice of Christ even though when He
> died, He said "It is finished".

sw: The concept of the 'continuing' Sacrifice of
Christ is not quite so simple to spell out. This
involves the theological and philosophical concept
of time and space and how God, being supernatural
(beyond nature) is beyond the limits we, mortal
humans, see as time and space. I'll try to explain
it briefly here, and perhaps you will understand
this better - whether you agree with it at this point
in time (no pun intended) is another thing.

sw: An Act of God is not a temporal act, but an
eternal act for the Catholic. That is to say
that where _WE_ see such an act "in time" from
God's perspective, it is "outside of time" or
"beyond time." God, being omnipotent and omni-
scient, sees all of time all at once. He knows
our past, present and future - all at once. In
similar fashion, when He, Jesus Christ, came to
Earth, we see it as an event in our history; He
sees history, present and future all at one time.
The event of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ in
"history" was a one-time event, but for the
spiritually minded, it is an Act of God which
has no beginning nor end. Therefore, the Act of
the Sacrifice of the Cross, though it only
happened once - we agree here fully - from a
spiritual aspect it never ends.

sw: This brings me to the next point, "It is
finished." Yes, and a better translation there
would be "it is completed." The Sacrifice of
Christ, made once "in time," is completed on
the Cross nearly 2000 years ago. However, from
the supernatural point of view (outside of time)
that "act" has no beginning nor end. In the
Eucharist we "present" the SAME Sacrifice of
Christ. It is not a "new" sacrifice nor even
a "repeated" sacrifice - it is the SAME Sacrifice
made once "in time" but made eternally by God
Himself for all who believe in Him. So, what
you view as "continuing" or perhaps "another"
or "new" or "repeated" sacrifice - we do not,
for it is NOT as if God has continued to suffer
the indignity of the Cross for nearly 2000
years, but that indignity is an eternal reality
for Him and "made real" for us in the Eucharist
so that we, who live "in time," may be
continually reminded of what He went through
for us so that we might be saved.

> Delaney continues: Christ did say it was His
> flesh, I am not disagreeing with you. What
> Christ meant and we see it in further teachings,
> is that Christ is the Bread of life. We have
> to have food and drink to survive, correct? So
> with Christ saying it was real food and real
> drink, He meant that we need Him to live, not
> in this life but the next. Why do you think
> Christ called Himself 'bread'? In John 6 Jesus
> is referred to as " the Bread from Heaven".
> John 6:33 "For the bread of God is He who comes
> down from heaven and gives life to the world.
> John 6:35 "I am the bread of life. He who
> comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who
> believes in Me shall never thirst.
> John 6:50-51 "50 This is the bread which comes
> down from heaven, that one may eat of it and
> not die. 51 I am the living bread which came
> down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread,
> he will live forever; and the bread that I
> shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for
> the life of the world.
> Do you see the symbolism that Jesus used in
> this teaching? His flesh was represented by
> the bread, flesh that would be broken. It is
> not a literal flesh, as cannibalism is
> condemned in scripture.

sw: Certainly I can see how this CAN be taken in
a symbolic or figurative way - but you seem to be
overlooking part of this passage. Many of Jesus'
own disciples took Him literally here! "This is
a hard saying, who can hear it?" (John 6:60).
Jesus does not correct what you would say was a
misunderstanding of what Jesus said, no - He just
repeatedly states the same thing over and over
again - and after nearly all his disciples had
left Him, still without explaining anything as
symbolic or figurative, He turns to the Twelve
and asks, "Will you also leave?" (John 6:67).
Jesus didn't go chasing after those disciples
who left Him saying, "Hey wait guys! You were
not supposed to take me literally here, I was
only speaking symbolically!" No, they under-
stood Him literally and correctly - and He let
them walk away! He let them walk away not
because they did not believe Him, but because
they would not _ACCEPT_ what He had to say to
them. If you're not accepting Him, literally,
then you are doing the exact same thing those
disciples did - and you have turned from Him
and do not walk with Him.

> Delaney continues: Christ says to do this
> in remembrance (Luke 22:18-20 and others)
> It was for remembering what Christ did,
> proclaiming His death.

sw: When we read words like "remembrance" we
need to consider the context of how those
words were used by those who used them. For
the Jews a "remembrance" is much more than a
mere remembering. For the Jews it not only
was, but _IS_ a bringing to the present (in
time) an event of the past. Therefore to "do
this in remembrance" of Him is to make it
truly present for us (in time) here and now.
A "remembrance" in Jewish thought is an
actual confrontation of an event, again, not
just a remembering of said event (see the
following link as an example:

sw: Therefore, the "remembrance" of Jesus'
Sacrifice is to confront that exact same
Sacrifice in the present.

> Delaney continues: Not a renewing sacrifice
> of Christ.

sw: And I agree. The Catholic concept of the
Eucharist is _NOT_ a "renewing" of the Sacrifice
of Christ - it is _the SAME_ Sacrifice of Christ
made present for us to confront in the truest
(and Jewish) sense of "remembrance" of Him and
His Sacrifice.

> Delaney continues: Christ said "It is finished"
> and that there would be no more offerings.
> John 19:30 and Hebrews 10:11 and 18.

sw: As I stated a bit earlier, "It is finished"
is better translated to "it is completed." His
work on Earth to redeem mankind is completed, or
"finished." There are no "more" sacrifices, for
it is His Sacrifice which we bring to the present
in true "remembrance" of Him. That which we eat
and drink in the Eucharist is not mere bread and
wine, but truly _IS_, as He Himself proclaimed,
the Body and Blood of Christ offered for us unto
the remission of sins.

> Delaney continues: From New Advent Catholic
> Encyclopedia, the Eucharist is the on-going
> sacrifice of Christ. That idea is echoed in
> the catechsim.
> (CCC) 1368 The Eucharist is also the sacrifice
> of the Church. Christ's sacrifice present on
> the altar makes it possible for all generations
> of Christians to be united with his offering.

sw: Note, it is Christ's Sacrifice - not a new one,
not a "renewing" of it - but the exact SAME
Sacrifice made present for all generations of
Christians to be united with His offering.

> (CCC) 1436 It is made present the sacrifice of
> Christ which has reconciled us with God. It is
> a remedy to free us from our daily faults and
> to preserve us from mortal sins."

sw: Again note, it is that same Sacrifice of
Christ. I believe you will agree with me that
it truly is THE Sacrifice of Christ which has
reconciled us with God, would you not? As such,
that Sacrifice is true Grace indeed and is a
remedy to free us from our daily faults and to
preserve (help keep) us from mortal sins.

> (CCC) 1360 The Eucharist is a sacrifice of
> thanksgiving

sw: THE Sacrifice of Christ truly IS a
sacrifice of thanksgiving - do you not agree
with this?

> CCC) 1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice
> because it re-presents (makes present) the
> sacrifice of the cross (This one continues
> to say it is a memorial but that does not
> consist with the rest of the catechsim)

sw: What is said there is completely consistent
with what I have been saying and I defy you to
show where the Catechism is inconsistent on this.

> (CCC) 1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is
> also offered in reparation for the sins of
> the living and the dead and to obtain
> spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

sw: Before we go into spiritual or temporal
benefits of the Eucharist - let us remain
focused on exactly what the Eucharist IS in
Catholic thought and teaching.

> Delaney continues: I will stop here, I feel
> that I have given enough from the catechism.(

sw: I appreciate your use of the CCC, but I
feel you have misunderstood the spiritual nature
of the words spoken/written therein.

> Delaney continues: Now I will use the other
> source that I spoke of earlier.
> We first must look at what communion/the Last
> Supper is.

sw: And let me take a moment to insert a quick
statement of thanks for keeping your argumentation

> Luke 22:17-20 "17 Then He took the cup, and
> gave thanks, and said, Take this and divide it
> among yourselves; 18 for I say to you,[b] I
> will not drink of the fruit of the vine until
> the kingdom of God comes.
> 19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it,
> and gave it to them, saying, This is My body
> which is given for you; do this in remembrance
> of Me.
> 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper,
> saying, This cup is the new covenant in My
> blood, which is shed for you. "
> I Corinthians 11:23-26 "23 For I received from
> the Lord that which I also delivered to you:
> that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which
> He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had
> given thanks, He broke it and said, Take, eat;
> [b] this is My body which is broken[c] for you;
> do this in remembrance of Me. 25 In the same
> manner He also took the cup after supper,
> saying, This cup is the new covenant in My
> blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in
> remembrance of Me. 26 For as often as you eat
> this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim
> the Lords death till He comes."
> Christ teaches here that it is a remembrance
> of the blood and body that was to be shed and
> broken.

sw: Let us be clear here, the first reference is
Jesus teaching of what WILL happen, but the
second reference is St. Paul teaching, and using
the EXACT SAME WORDING that which (in time) had
already happened! Therefore we see already in
the days of inscripturation the concept of the
Real Presence in the Jewish/Catholic concept of
"remembrance" as the REAL confronting of the
Body and Blood of Christ. We must note that as
St. Paul continued that same teaching that those
who partake in the Eucharist unworthily eat and
drink damnation unto themselves for what? For
not discerning the Lord's body! Read for
yourself from right where you left off:

"Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and
drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be
guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But
let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of
that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that
eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and
drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning
the Lord's body." (1 Corinthians 11:27-29 KJV)

sw: I must reiterate the point, if one partakes
in the Eucharist unworthily, they are not guilty
of not discerning bread and wine, but of not
discerning the body of the Lord! It is for this
reason a Catholic cannot approach the Eucharist
in a state of mortal sin - for that would be an
unworthy reception of the Eucharist - but first
must "examine himself" and if necessary, go to
the Sacrament of Reconcilliation (Confession)
so that he (or she) may receive the body and
blood of Christ worthily.

> Delaney continues: Christ does not teach us
> that it is an offering of sin or that by
> partaking in it, we are forgiven of sin. On
> the contrary, we are to examine ourselves
> before we partake in it.

sw: Well no Christian can deny that the Sacrifice
of Christ on the Cross IS unto the remission of
sins - AND - in the very words of institution of
the Eucharist (the consecration) it is echoed
that it truly IS "unto the remission of sins."
So Christ's Sacrifice, which in Catholic teaching
the Eucharist truly is, IS "unto the remission
of sins."

> I Corinthians 11:27-29 (snipped the same quote I
> provided above)

> Delaney continues: Let's take a quick look at
> John 6. Verses 22-40 is Christ speaking about
> the Bread from Heaven and how He is the bread
> from Heaven. Verse 35 "I am the bread of life.
> He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he
> who believes in Me shall never thirst."
> John 6: 54-58 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks
> My blood has eternal life, and I will raise
> him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food
> indeed,[h] and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He
> who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in
> Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent
> Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who
> feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is
> the bread which came down from heaven—not as
> your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He
> who eats this bread will live forever.
> What must we do to have eternal life? Salvation.

sw: We can't "do" salvation. Salvation is the
free gift of God given to those who believe in
Jesus Christ (fully) as their Lord and Savior.

> And where does salvation come from? Jesus Christ.

sw: And I do not disagree with this statement!
Salvation comes from Jesus Christ (God) who
allow Himself to be sacrificed in our behalf to
redeem us of our sins.

> Delaney continues: There is a saying from the
> catechism that I would like to bring up.
> (CCC) 1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also
> offered in reparation for the sins of the
> living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or
> temporal benefits from God.

sw: (Noting, you already brought this passage up).

> Delaney continues: First let me note that we
> are told in Psalms 49 that we cannot redeem
> our brother nor pay a ransom for him.

sw: And "we" do not - Jesus Christ does. The
Eucharist is HIS Sacrifice, not ours.

> Delaney continues: Second, this is very
> clearly talking about a sin offering. "Offered
> in reparation of the sins'.

sw: And again I reiterate - this is not OUR
Sacrifice, but THE Sacrifice of Christ on the
Cross made present in the truest sense of the
term "remembrance" so that we might confront
face to face the Body of Christ.

> John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the
> sour wine, He said, It is finished! And
> bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
> Hebrews 10:18 Now where there is remission
> of these, there is no longer an offering for
> sin.
> Hebrews 10:11 "11 And every priest stands
> ministering daily and offering repeatedly
> the same sacrifices, which can never take
> away sins.

sw: Again I remind the reader - the Eucharist
is NOT "the same sacrifices" of the Jews "which
can never take away sins," rather it is THE
Sacrifice of Christ - which NO Christian would
deny which does indeed take away our sins.

> We are to partake in remembrance, not trying
> to have our sins forgiven, or to try to
> forgive the sins of someone else, or to try
> to receive benefits. It is for the purposes
> of remembrance and to proclaim Jesus' death.

sw: And I assert that you do not have the
appropriate understanding of "remembrance" in
the Jewish/Catholic sense of the word. You
appear to be stuck in a 20th-21st century and
Anglo/European/American view of the word and
not the way a 1st century Jew (like Jesus or
St. Paul) would have used and understood the

> posted by Delaney at 12:13 AM on Mar 27, 2009

Response by Scott at 13:44 on June 13, 2009

Respectfully yours in JMJ,


  1. Check out this quote from the main decree of the Council of Ephesus, if you've never see it you will be impressed. This is what St Cyril of Alexandria said against Nestorius at the Council:

    "Proclaiming the death, according to the flesh, of the Only-begotten Son of God, that is Jesus Christ, confessing his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into heaven, we offer the Unbloody Sacrifice in the churches, and so go on to the mystical thanksgivings, and are sanctified, having received his Holy Flesh and the Precious Blood of Christ the Saviour of us all. And not as common flesh do we receive it; God forbid: nor as of a man sanctified and associated with the Word according to the unity of worth, or as having a divine indwelling, but as truly the Life-giving and very flesh of the Word himself. For he is the Life according to his nature as God, and when he became united to his Flesh, he made it also to be Life-giving, as also he said to us: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood."

    Look at what is affirmed here:
    1) The Mass is a Sacrifice.
    2) Jesus is substantially present.
    3) John 6 was seen as the Eucharist.

    This is the Third Ecumenical Council, this squashes the Protestant position. From a Protestant point of view, what was said here is unBiblical and very blasphemous and not part of true Christianity.

  2. I discovered your blog based on your comments on Matthew Fox's crazy 95 theses. Thanks for taking him to task, and thanks for addressing this Delaney on the Eucharist.

    By the way, that St. Cyril of Alexandria quote is great. If you haven't, you should check out Hidden Manna, a great book on the subject relying on the Early Church Fathers.

  3. I do apologize. I had lost my log-in information for months. I will read this and get back to you as soon as I can. I will also create a new blog in response to your post.


Keep in mind while posting:
1) Please respond ON TOPIC to the article at hand.
2) Posts more than 4 weeks old are set to automatically save new comments for moderation - so your comment may not show up immediately if you're responding to an older post.
3) The "Spam Filter" is on - and randomly messages get caught in that filter. I have no control over which messages get caught in the spam filter and those that do must wait for me to mark them as "not spam." A message caught by the spam filter may show up for a moment, making you think it posted, and then disappear. Do not assume I have deleted your comment, it's probably just the spam filter and it will show up.