Staples thought that the idea that Catholics ate God was just nuts.
He challenged Dula on this, saying
that at the Last Supper (the “first Mass”), you believe that Jesus was holding himself in his hands?
Dula’s response: Amen, I believe God can do that … don’t you? Wow, you don’t think much of God ..
Uh … uh … well, he could do it, but he just wouldn’t … it’s just nuts!
The act of the incarnation was an infinite act of humility / humiliation on God’s part.
But he went further … to the ultimate humiliation, death, death on a cross.
But that wasn’t enough … he went further, in taking the appearance of bread and wine, so that he can get inside of us. In fact, the Eucharist represents God’s desire to become part of us so that he can heal us. In that way he can establish a spiritual bond with us that is beyond our ability to comprehend.
This is exactly the same as the consummation of a marriage, which is essential to the Sacrament of marriage.
In fact, this physicality (proximity) is crucial to all sacraments. In fact, graces are confected that are not duplicatable any other way. The Eucharist is our nuptial relationship with Jesus.
In the Jewish Christian community in the first century, the biggest issue was that of authority. That is why the Gospel of Matthew, which was written for that community, emphasizes the authority of Peter so much.
The substance of Mark’s Gospel was given to him by Peter (see the reference in 1 Peter).
Luke received the substance of his Gospel from St. Paul, & was able to interview Mary and others. The Gospel of Luke was written to the Gentiles.
The Gospel of John and the Eucharist
The Gospel of John was writing to Gnostics and his arch-enemy was Cerinthus (St. Iraneus in the 2nd century), so he emphasizes the divinity of Jesus and the Eucharist. Most Gnostics were opposed to both the divinity of Jesus, the Incarnation, & the Eucharist. In fact, they had a specific disdain for flesh. Notice how often John refers to flesh.
In any case, John has the Jews objecting (John 6:41 and John 6:52) to two central points: 1) Jesus was God 2) He gave us his flesh to eat. This was to target the false teachings of Cerinthus and the rest of the Gnostics (mostly former, fallen-away Catholics). But these murmurings, these objections are exactly what those who do not accept the Eucharist are doing.
Jesus the Great Teacher
When faced with these objections, Jesus dials up the response and repeats it again and again. Just look at the last part of John 6.
Those who believe in the reality of the Eucharist have a tremendous gift. This gift can be lost, so it must be lived. Furthermore, we have a tremendous responsibility to witness to this reality in our very lives.
Note that this is excerpted form a longer teaching by Tim Staples (on cd), The Sword and the Spirit .