Thursday, March 20, 2003

Water, Wine and Blood. Moses and Jesus Christ.

Saw an interesting conversation on Catholic Convert which was talking about who performed the greater miracle: Moses turning water into blood, or Jesus turning water into wine.

Exodus 7:17 : Thus says the LORD, "By this you shall know that I am the LORD: behold, I will strike the water that is in the Nile with the rod that is in my hand, and it shall be turned to blood...

Through Moses, God proves that He is Lord by turning the waters of the Nile into blood. This "proof" for the benefit of the Egyptians, by God, is somewhat ironic. Blood is symbolic for life, yet this miracle results in the contamination of all water supplies in Egypt, making it unuseable, unable to sustain life. Because of their disbelief, the water, now blood, becomes a curse rather than a blessing for the Egyptians.

The Gospel of John is the one that Catholics turn to the most for the teaching of the doctrine of the Real Presence. It should be known that John is the only one that covers the wedding at Cana, where Jesus turns water into wine. Four chapters later, Jesus is talking about how His blood becomes real drink. Taking these comments by Jesus, as related by John, and reading the Last Supper discourse, we see Jesus fulfilling His comments by the institution of the Eucharist.

In John 6, it is interesting to point out that Jesus makes mention of the manna, a physical reality, sent by God to sustain the Jews. Jesus however trumps the manna, saying that something even greater than that food which sustained a nation for fourty years, was now present... His own flesh and blood.

So what do we have?

Moses : Water -> Blood
Manna -> Food

Jesus: Water -> Wine -> Blood
Body -> Food

The Real Presence was typed in the Old Testament.

Yes, but! Moses turning the water into blood was a curse upon Egypt! Jesus' blood is the exact opposite, it's supposed to give life!

True, but look at Jesus' words in John 6: 53-54:
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

If we tie this into St. Paul's comments on the Eucharist in 1 Corinthians 11:29:
For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

Truly, those who disbelieve will suffer a fate similar to the Egyptians.

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