Thursday, March 28, 2013

Catholic Thursday: The Eucharist

Welcome back to Stuart's Study. For my faithful readers you'll notice that it says "Catholic Thursday," not "Orthodox Thursday." Don't worry. I'm not abandoning Orthodox books. The supply has just run dry for the time being, so I will be reviewing them once per month, as opposed to once per week like I had been doing. My apologies to my brothers and sisters in the East. Today, I am reviewing another Bible study book by Fr. Mitch Pacwa entitled, The Eucharist: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics.

Most people probably know Fr. Pacwa from one of his numerous shows on EWTN. However, he is also the author of several other Bible study books including one on The Year of Faith and another on St. Paul. In "The Eucharist," Fr. Pacwa helps us understand the true meaning of this Blessed Sacrament. We first start by seeing how it compares to the Old Testament sacrifice and then move on to the actual words of sacrifice used in both the New Testament and the Mass.

This book also discusses the parallels between the Eucharist and Passover while also explaining Christ's priesthood. The most fascinating part to me, though, was the section devoted to Jesus' words, "Eat my Body and Drink my Blood." This Biblical passage is definitely a stumbling block for many today and was in Jesus' day as well. I definitely believe that the Eucharist becomes the actual Body and Blood of Jesus, but this section helped me appreciate the Scriptural evidence of it even more.

I love Fr. Pacwa's Bible studies. They are straightforward and, unlike other studies, all you need is his book and a Bible. Divided into six sections, one could easily complete this study in a week. However, you could also choose to only do one section a week if you are crunched for time. If you want to understand the Jewish roots of the Eucharist, this book is for you. If you are friends with a bunch of Protestants who say the Eucharist is a symbol and not the actual Body and Blood of Jesus, then reading this book will provide you  Biblical examples for next time they say this. In reality, any Catholic with a pulse would benefit from this 5 star book. Pick it up from Our Sunday Visitor and deepen your appreciation of the Eucharist during The Year of Faith.

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