Eucharistic Theology

Eucharistic theology is a branch of Christian theology which treats doctrines concerning the Holy Eucharist, also commonly known as the Lord's Supper. It exists exclusively in Christianity and related religions, as others generally do not contain a Eucharistic ceremony.

In the Gospel accounts of Jesus' earthly ministry, a crowd of listeners challenges him regarding the rain of manna before he delivers the famous Bread of Life Discourse (John 6:22-59), and he describes himself as the "True Bread from Heaven". The aforementioned Bread of Life Discourse occurs in the Gospel of John, 6:30-59. Therein, Jesus promises to give His Flesh and Blood, which will give eternal life to all who receive It. In John 6:53, Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." And continues, (v. 54-55) "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink." Every year, the nation of Israel celebrated the Passover Meal, remembering and celebrating their liberation from captivity in Egypt. It was at the Passover, that Jesus Christ celebrated the Last Supper with his Apostles.

Christ is believed to have instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist at the Last Supper on the night before He died on the cross. This is recorded by Saint Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) and in the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew (26:26-28), Mark (14:22-24), and Luke (22:19-20). St. John is believed to have omitted the institution because he wrote his Gospel to supplement what the other evangelists had already written. The Eucharist was instituted in this way: "Jesus took some bread and when He had said the blessing He broke it and gave it to the disciples. 'Take it and eat,' He said, 'this is my body.' Then He took a cup and when He had returned thanks He gave it to them. 'Drink all of you from this,' He said, 'for this is my blood'" (Matthew 26:26-28).

Other places in Scripture which are believed to support the Real Presence in the Eucharist include John 6, Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 11, and Luke 24.

Read more about Eucharistic Theology:  Theories of The Real Presence, Efficacy of The Rite

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