Holy Week: An object of faith…


-Holy Thursday-

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”  (Matthew 26:26-29)

I shall say very little about the greatest of all, because it is admittedly a mystery and an object of faith*. Catholics believe that in the Blessed Sacrament Christ is present, not merely as a thought is present in a mind, but as a person is present in a room, veiled only from the actual senses by the appearances of bread and wine. Of its historical aspect it will be enough to say that Roman Catholics are convinced that it is spoken of in this spirit at least as early as St. Ignatius, who was roughly of the next generation to that of the Gospel. The common sense of it, it seems to me, would be to say that if the words of Christ at the Last Supper were misunderstood, they were misunderstood by the twelve Apostles.

-G. K. Chesterton, Upon This Rock, An Outline of Christianity, 1926   

*Chesterton spoke about the “object of faith” in another instance of his writings. The following was provided by Mike Miles: “[…] the word Eucharist is but a verbal symbol, we might say a vague verbal mask, for something so tremendous that the assertion and the denial of it have alike seemed a blasphemy: a blasphemy that has shaken the world with the earthquake of two thousand years.”

-GKC, “Christendom in Dublin” (1932)


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