Someone I deeply admire asked me why I want communion to be literal and this was my response:
I (or any other believing Catholic Christian) don’t want the Eucharist to be literal body parts. Trust me, it has nothing to do with what I or anyone else wants.
It has everything to do with Jesus’s institution of the Eucharist at the Last supper in which he said, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”
The following is from the Gospel of Luke:
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
Luke 22:19-20 NIV
Jesus was pointedly honest. When he was speaking in parables, it was clear. In the previous passage, He specifically stated , “This is my body.'”
If you are like me, we know we can take Jesus at His word. His body doesn’t have to look or taste like flesh and blood for it to BE His flesh and blood. His WORDs are powerful enough for me.
The same friend then asked me why I take the interpretation so literally and I answered the following:
Here is the reason I believe what I believe:
After my son’s Confirmation and the tears that came because of it (see https://wwwsmc.blog/2022/07/02/why-do-i-put-god-in-a-box/). I hung out in the Church for a while. I wouldn’t kneel or fold my hands or make the sign of the cross or even sing. I felt as though I was a fraud and didn’t belong.
I listened to those sermons and ended up in confession one day (a story for another time).
After a time, the one thing I couldn’t get past was Communion. I had spent the last 10 plus years convincing myself it was purely symbolic. In confession before mass one day, I told the priest that I wanted to believe but couldn’t.
His response blew my mind. He told me that I needed to walk up to receive the Eucharist and pray “I believe Lord, help my unbelief” all the way up.
I did what he said and I’ve NEVER doubted since.
Imagine being in His shoes. He knew that according to what he’s been taught, sending an unbeliever to receive the Eucharist would be “eating and drinking condemnation upon himself.” And it was on him, not me. But! He took a leap of faith that day. A freefall leap of trusting our God. And it was a beautiful thing!
Get yourself some friends that ask the hard questions. You’ll either change your mind or deepen your conviction!