The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church. It’s the life-blood of the Christian because Christ, our Redeemer, Savior and Healer, is truly present in the Eucharist sacramentally.
By Deacon Frederick Bartels
18 April 2018
Fr. Greg Bramlage and the Missionaries of the New Evangelization held a charismatic healing service on April 16, 2018, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Grand Junction, CO. It will continue through Wednesday, from 7:00 p.m. to about 9:30 p.m. Each night opens with exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, includes testimony, praise, worship and prayer, and closes with benediction and reposition.
During the service, with the Blessed Sacrament remaining exposed and constantly adored, several physical and spiritual healings took place by the power of the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, who is himself the Divine Healer. A number of people were freed either fully or partially from chronic pain, including back, knee and shoulder disabilities. One gentleman in particular whose leg was scheduled for amputation in a few months was healed of a severe bone infection. He arrived at the service on a motorized device, unable to walk due to nearly unbearable pain. After being prayed over by team members in the name of Jesus, he stood and began running back and forth across the front of the church. Fr. Greg called him forward and asked him to testify to his healing experience. He said he was pain-free! All praise to Jesus Christ!
The Blessed Sacrament remains exposed during the service so that praise and adoration of Jesus can take place freely and spontaneously. Catholics, of course, adore the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament as they do Christ himself—a worship which is often termed idolatry by our separated Protestant brethren.
Either Christ is present in the Eucharist truly and substantially or he is not. If Christ is present, then Catholics are doing what any Christian should do: worshiping the Lord Jesus. If Christ is not present, then Protestants are right and Catholics are guilty of the grave sin of idolatry. Interestingly, Martin Luther, the man often pegged as providing the catalyst for the Protestant revolution in the 16th century, believed Christ was present in the Eucharist. The founder of Protestantism did indeed worship the Eucharist. Unfortunately, after about 500 years of continued splintering and division among Christians, most Protestants no longer believe Christ is truly present—body, blood, soul, and divinity—in the Eucharist, under the signs of consecrated bread and wine. This lack of belief can be traced to some of the first revolutionaries, such as John Calvin, who believed it impossible for Christ to be bodily present in the Eucharist. As another example, Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1431), a Swiss reformer, refused to believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist—something he and Martin Luther argued bitterly about.
As a result of the lack of full communion with the Church initiated by 16th-century Protestantism, our separated brethren lack a valid sacrament of Orders and thus lack a valid priesthood, which means they also lack the ability and authority to confect the Eucharist. Consequently, the Eucharist cannot be validly celebrated in ecclesial communities lacking full communion with the Catholic Church (there are some exceptions, such as Eastern Orthodox Christians who have maintained valid Holy Orders and thus validly celebrate the sacraments).
Catholic Belief About The Eucharist Is Biblical
What does the Catholic Church teach about the Eucharist? The Church believes precisely what Christ himself said about the Eucharist and honors his words. Jesus said:
“Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.” (Jn 6:53 ff.)
And at the Last Supper:
Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Lk 22:19-20)
Jesus did not say, “This symbolizes my body” or “This contains my body” or “This symbolizes communion with me.” On the contrary, Jesus said, “This is my body.”
The Church believes, as she has for 2000 years and as the authors of the NT themselves teach according to their God-breathed writing, that the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ.
When Catholics consume the Eucharist, they consume Christ himself. When Catholics adore the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament, they adore Christ himself.
This means Eucharistic Adoration by faithful Catholics is totally biblical!
During the worship, prayer and healing services facilitated by Fr. Greg and his apostolate, Missionaries of the New Evangelization, the Blessed Sacrament remains exposed, adored, worshipped, loved. Why? Because Christ is there truly present sacramentally, alive and risen, working among his people—healing them, loving them, restoring them, saving them. Every wonder that takes place, every conversion, every healing is due to the divine power of the Risen Lord.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church and the Christian life. All the Church’s vitality and energy flow forth from it. It is the life-blood of every Catholic and should become so for every biblical Christian who loves Jesus Christ. It’s the source of love, healing, redemption, and salvation because it is truly Christ himself, Savior and Redeemer of humankind.
Photo Attribution: By Willuconquer [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons.
Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo. He holds an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry and is a Catholic educator, public speaker, and evangelist who strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel.