The following bible verses are referenced from the YouTube post of Know the Truth on “Tinapay lang ang Communion” presented by apologist Atty Marwil Llasos, OP and Rev Fr Abe Arganiosa from Know the Truth (KTT) Philippines. For the actual video, please check https://youtu.be/9ClZ3ubKvTw
Why the church people are not always allowed to drink the “wine” during communion?
A quick answer is “Practical.” In the Philippines, we do not have much supply of wine. However, during special event like wedding, special anniversary, recollection, retreat, when there are not too many people, wine is usually included during communion.
What is the basis that the wine is reserved only for the priest?
Answer: At the Last Supper, 1 Corinthians 11:23-27 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) > 23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, 24 and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
However, this event is not well understood. Jesus was talking, not to all the Christians but to the apostles. According to the Letter to the Hebrews Chapter 7, Jesus´ priesthood is that of Melchizedek, a priest mentioned in the Book of Genesis, who offered the bread and wine to God. So, that time when Jesus said this to the apostles – eat it, drink this, do this in memory of me – the apostles were consecrated as first bishops.
Do this in memory of me. What does “this” mean? Gawin kanyang katawan ang tinapay at gawin dugo ang alak. The bread be made his body, and the wine, his blood. He did not say that everyone in the mass must eat the bread and drink the wine.
In the Upper Room (Cenacle), it is the first concelebrated mass and that is why all of them ate the bread and drank wine. All of them are priests of our Lord.
Do we, people of God, really have to take both the body and blood of Christ during Communion?
They are claiming in KJV that both body and blood should be received during communion. Let us read the 1st column below, which is from King James, a Protestant bible.
King James Version (KJV)
New International Version (NIV)
Good News Translation (GNT)
Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
27 So then whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] will be guilty of [profaning and sinning against] the body and blood of the Lord.
27 It follows that if one of you eats the Lord’s bread or drinks from his cup in a way that dishonors him, you are guilty of sin against the Lord’s body and blood.
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
Answer: There is an apparent mistake in this KJ version, in the use of “and,” i.e. “eat this bread AND drink this cup.” AND in Greek is καὶ (pronounced as
Kai.) However, in the original Greek, it was written ἢ (pronounced as ē), which means “or”. Whether it is bread or wine, we received Jesus´ body and blood, soul and divinity.
In later protestant bibles, they have corrected this. See the other 3 columns above, all of which now says “or.”
Is it enough to take only the bread and not the wine?
Even if only the bread is received, we are actually receiving all of Christ, not just physically but his divinity. Our answer to this is based on John 6:51 (Ang Biblia 2001) > 51 Ako ang tinapay na buháy na bumabang galing sa langit. Kung ang sinuman ay kumain ng tinapay na ito, siya’y mabubuhay magpakailanman, at ang tinapay na aking ibibigay sa ikabubuhay ng sanlibutan ay ang aking laman.”
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
Hence, it does not matter if one receives only the bread. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This body he is giving is for the salvation of mankind.
For us, it is clear in what we call the Sacramental and Eucharistic theology that shows that we are not splitting the body of Christ. Here, the body of Christ does not mean a portion of Christ, but the complete Christ. Likewise, when we receive the blood of Christ, it is the entire life of Christ, the person of Christ.
Why does the priest hold a large “bread” or “host” at the altar which is much bigger than what the communicant receives?
We have two answers here;
a) First, why does the priest hold a “large” host? At the time of Moses, the tabernacle has a place for the showbread. The Levite priest offers this in the altar. We read in Exodus 25:30 King James Version (KJV) > 30 And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me always. (Visual aid only: Tabernacle showing shewbread)
In our church, the center of our worship is an elevated blessed sacrament. During the mass, when the priest says, “This is my body,” he would raise the “host” so it can be seen by people of God.
In our Eucharistic adoration, there is monstrance from the Latin word monstrare, which means “to show”.
b) Why the host distributed to people are smaller?
Let us read from Levitico 2:4-6 Ang Biblia, 2001 (ABTAG2001) < 4 At pagka ikaw ay maghahandog ng alay na handog na harina na luto sa hurno, ay mga munting tinapay na walang lebadura ang iaalay mo na mainam na harina, na hinaluan ng langis, o mga manipis na tinapay na walang lebadura, na hinaluan ng langis. 5 At kung ang iyong alay ay handog na harina, na luto sa kawali, ay mainam na harina ang iaalay mo na walang lebadura, na hinaluan ng langis.6 Iyong pagpuputolputulin, at bubuhusan mo ng langis: isa ngang handog na harina.
4 When you offer a grain offering baked in an oven, it must be in the form of unleavened cakes made of bran flour mixed with oil, or of unleavened wafers spread with oil. 5 If your offering is a grain offering that is fried on a griddle, it must be of bran flour mixed with oil and unleavened. 6 Break it into pieces, and pour oil over it. It is a grain offering.
Maybe a similar question will be asked of us: What if we only drink the blood of Christ?
Mga Awit 116:12-14 > 12 Ano ang aking isusukli sa Panginoon sa lahat niyang kabutihan sa akin? 13 Aking itataas ang saro ng kaligtasan, at tatawag sa pangalan ng Panginoon, 14 tutuparin ko ang aking mga panata sa Panginoon,
In English (NABRE) 12 How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me? 13 I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
That “saro” or cup of salvation is further explained by our Lord Jesus Christ in 1 Corinto 11:25 Ang Biblia, 2001 (ABTAG2001) > 25 Sa gayunding paraan ay kinuha niya ang kopa, pagkatapos maghapunan, na sinasabi, “Ang kopang ito’y siyang bagong tipan sa aking dugo. Gawin ninyo ito tuwing kayo’y iinom nito, sa pag-aalaala sa akin.”
In English (NABRE) 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
The blood of Jesus gives us salvation. In Revelations 12: Jesus´ blood conquered Satan. Let us read Revelation 12:11 (NABRE) > 11 They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death.
We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus, which we will also read in Colossians 1:14 King James Version (KJV) > 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins
It is very clear the power of redemption that the blood of the lamb is powerful.
We may recall in Exodus 12:1-13, when the “Angel of Death” (as the 10th plague) passed through the night, the blood that was put on their houses´ doorposts and above the doors spared their family´s first-born sons. In our days now, the Devil is the source of death of mankind, and the redeeming blood of Jesus will spare us from death.
Eucharist was used in 1 Cor 11:23-24 but another term used during the early time is Breaking of the Bread because lay people usually receive only the bread when there is no priest. But if there are priests, they used the term “Eucharistic sacrifice of the body and blood of the Lord.“ So we see in Acts 2:42 King James Version (KJV) -> 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
We also have this verse:
Acts 2:46 King James Version (KJV) > 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
And here in Acts 20:7 (NABRE) > we read that on the first day of the week (Sunday), they also gather to break bread.7 On the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread, Paul spoke to them because he was going to leave on the next day, and he kept on speaking until midnight.
Thank you for your time. Feel free to follow the Youtube link above to hear the original presentation of Know the Truth – Tinapay lang sa Komunyon.