Why is the Eucharist important for my salvation?

February 14, 2017

Why is the Eucharist important for my salvation?

Why is the Eucharist important for my salvation or is believing in God enough for me to go to heaven? Let’s go back to Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve, before they fell, were living in love, in peace and in purity. They were pure-minded; there was no lust, no sin, and only love. When they ate from the tree, they realized that they were naked, so they covered themselves. Then God asked if they ate from the tree. Adam said that Eve tricked him and, in turn, Eve blamed the serpent. Therefore, there was disunity, while before there was unity. Subsequently, Cain killed Abel. In addition, Cain was scared that other people would kill him, which demonstrates that, at the second generation of humanity, there was already a deep state of corruption. Sin thus leads to corruption. It wasn’t just a matter of forgiving sins; it was also a matter of healing from corruption.

His Grace Bishop Raphaël explains it in a fictional story: a father walks into the kitchen and asks his son, “Do you see this flask? This is poison, do not drink from it.” So he puts it on top of the fridge. The father is gone and the son thinks that his father is lying to him, thinking it is juice, and since he is thirsty, he takes the bottle from the top of the fridge. He then drinks it. Since it is poison, he falls on the floor. The father comes back and sees his son on the ground. Of course, the father will forgive him, yet there is still poison inside his son that requires healing. This story represents humanity, which got corrupted and requires healing. God had to give us His medicine. Let’s note that this is a fictional story: God would never test us with poison. The idea is that He had to heal this corruption in us.

The Holy Trinity, the Hypostasis, came down and was incarnate. He was fully human and fully God at the same time and his humanity and divinity were united together. Since the divinity is the source of life, it gave also to His flesh (humanity) to become the source of life when they were united in the One Person of the Son of God. When we partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, we eat of the source of life. We might have this poison, this corruption, inside of us that can lead us to death, but God gave us the antidote. He gave us life to eat. When we eat it, we regain life. That is what God explains thoroughly in John 6:53-55: “Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 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 food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.”

Let’s go back to that fictional story. Imagine the father is a doctor, he sees his son and grabs him and drives him to the hospital. At some point, his son tells him, “I believe in you. Father, forgive my sins.” The son believes in his father and he has faith in his father. He repented and confessed, but until he eats and he drinks from the medicine, he will still die. That is how crucial the Eucharist is.

This is the correct understanding of the Eucharist the church received from Christ from the beginning. The importance of Eucharist is demonstrated in the history and from the church fathers. St. Justin Martyr (100-165 AD) says, “this food is called among us Eucaristica (Eucharist), of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration (baptized), and who is so living as Christ has enjoined (instructed). For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these (not just symbols); but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word (liturgy), and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished (eating of it), is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh” (First Apology 1, 62).  We partake from the exact body and the blood Jesus had on earth.

 Remember know your faith, live your faith and teach your faith





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