The conviction about Jesus' real presence in the Eucharist is the universal view of the New Testament writers and the early church fathers. In fact, it is the most important doctrine of the Catholic Church. But why is it important to make that statement? What is the Eucharist?
What Does the Eucharist Mean?
To establish what the Eucharist truly means is very important because many people believe that Christ intended the Eucharist to be a memorial celebration. In that, people believe that Christ wanted us to gather together to mentally remember Jesus, not to receive the real Jesus into us.
Yet, Father Spitzer begs the question, who was closest to Jesus? Because whoever was closest to Jesus would be able to give accounts as to what He explicitly intended with establishing the Eucharist. It turns out that His evangelists and apostles were the ones closest to Him. From the writings of the four Gospels to St. Paul and Early Church fathers like St. Ignatius of Antioch, Christ's intention can become quite clear. All their writings explicitly argue that it is the offering up of Christ’s real body and blood for the life of the world.
What Did the Church Fathers Think about the Eucharist?
All the Church fathers state that the real presence is the most important aspect of the faith. The Catholic Church continues to reiterate the real presence of the Eucharist. The Church has simply been stating the truth that those in the living memory of Jesus stated with certainty. To state that Christ intended the Eucharist to be a symbolic representation stands in opposition to the writings of those who knew Christ personally. What Catholics believe today is the same as the Church fathers believed back then.