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I am perplexed at these answers. I strongly agree that the Catholic Church does a lot of wrong doings, but I was never aware of anything like this. Last time I attended a Mass with my nan was about 25 years ago, I did not notice anything unusual. I think if this fact was public knowledge a lot of believers would turn away in horror maybe this is why it does not show openly.
If you are keen, you will notice several events during the Mass that points to this reality.
1. The prayers made by the priest declares the identity of what is being offered. "Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness, we have this bread to offer. It will become for us the Bread of Life."
2. Catholics kneel twice, both when the Eucharist is raised - first when saying "This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world", second when saying "Holy Holy Holy Lord God of hosts".
3. During communion, we queue to receive the Eucharist, the host is the raised in fron of our eyes and announced, "The Body of Christ". As a recipient, you agree with "Amen".
The doctrine of the Real Presence in the Roman Catholic Mass was an important test of orthodoxy during the Reformation and afterwards. Many Christian believers were burned alive in public in Europe because they refused to subscribe to this doctrine.
The Roman church was fearful of losing its members. Vast numbers were coming to understand the truth of Christ's words on the cross that his work was finished, once for all (John 19:30; Hebrews 10:10). Protestantism in its various forms was spreading through Europe and one of it's key truths was that eternal salvation is by faith in the finished work of Christ upon the cross, not by attendance at Mass or through the mediation of priest or pope.
Ultimately this doctrine is controversial because it is the difference between the authority of the Bible and that of the Roman church. Those who trusted the Bible turned their back of Romanism and entered into the confidence that it was Christ's work and not anything they or the church did for them that assured them of eternity with Christ in heaven.
Many still follow this pathway from human error into the truth of God's Holy and Infallible Word and find blessing in their souls.
Jesus hosted the last Passover with his beloved followers because He knew He would not eat it again with them on earth. His death was immenent and He wanted to leave them with a memory of sharing meals together as an example to them of how they could strenthen one another. He never intended for His actions to become controversial. He still wants we who love Him to fellowship together so we are strong holding each other up. Let's agree that the communion table is an opportunity to say to each other "I love Jesus and I love all of you my brothers and sisters".