FAST FOOD: Twenty-Ninth Helping
“Through the Eucharist the deity is rendered present in a striking and unique fashion. Communion is achieved only through Jesus Christ, who is Man and as Man is Body. The Body is therefore rendered really present; the language of the four sources on the institution of the Eucharist (Mt 26:26-29;Mk 14:22-25; Lk 22:15-20; 1 Cor 11: 23-25; Jn 6) leave no room for mere symbolism in this respect.”
-John L. McKenzie, Dictionary of the Bible: Eucharist
Question: How does a Christian know that Holy Communion is really the body of Christ? If he or she rejects the authority of the Jesus of the Gospels when Jesus teaches a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, has not he or she rejected the same authority that tells him or her that the Host they have come forward to receive is the Body of Christ? If a Christian cannot say, “Amen,” to Jesus’ teaching and Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies—which is the clearest of teachings by Jesus in the Gospels—how can he or she say, “Amen,” to the offer of the Body of Christ at Holy Communion?
Or, can such Christian just break off a piece of the Host offered to them before receiving Communion and hand it back to the Eucharistic minister—symbolizing thereby their non-belief in the authority of Jesus’ teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies—and only then say, “Amen,” to receiving the Body of Christ? This would be terrific personal and communal symbolism, if the Consecrated Bread were mere symbolism.