Sep 3rd, By Bryan Cross Category:
Daily business briefing For most Christians, this week — Holy Week — is the most important week of the year. Holy Week culminates in the Paschal Triduum, the three days commemorating the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many Christians prepare for this event with 40 days of fasting, prayer, and alms giving.
Jesus had his last meal — a Jewish Passover meal — with his disciples on the evening of a Thursday commemorated as Holy Thursdaywas arrested during the night, tried Friday morning Good Fridayand condemned, crucified, and dead before sundown on Friday.
And, according to the Gospel accounts, he was bodily raised from the dead on the third day — Sunday, the day of Easter.
But what about Holy Thursday? Why does his last meal matter so much? On this, viewpoints differ among Christians. But actually, really, in the most literal way, flesh and blood.
Even though there is not a shred of empirical evidence for this idea, and even though the bread really does look and taste just like any other piece of bread, and the wine looks and tastes just like wine. Of a man who lived and died 2, years ago. So do a lot of my fellow Christians.
When asked how, we mostly shrug our shoulders. Suffice it to say that if you believe God created the whole universe out of nothing, you believe He can do a lot of things that seem — are — impossible, even preposterous.
Many Christians who believe this bizarre doctrine of the Eucharist myself included find themselves very attached to it. Often because we have found it true in our lives that the consecrated bread and wine is, in the words of Pope Francis, a powerful spiritual medicine.
Or just because it means that we can touch God — again — in the most literal way. And we can make Him be part of us. There is something carnal, intimate, almost sexual even, to this idea of touching and tasting God.
The Eucharist also asserts that spiritual realities, rather than visible realities, are the only true realities — the same belief that sends martyrs singing to their execution. For Christians, the Eucharist is important because it is the most profound manifestation of a fundamental and misunderstood truth about the humility of God.
Yes, you read that right.From: Michael H. Hart, The A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, ; pages While this book was being written, many friends and associates of the author suggested suggested the names of various historical figures who they felt might reasonably be included in .
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