Dr. Scott Hahn to Gaudium Press: “The Eucharist is the New Testament!”

From the Editor´s Desk (Monday, 05-04-2015, Gaudium Press) The following interview with Dr. Scott Hahn (Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville and professor at Mundelein Seminary), was conducted by Brett Sequeira on the 2nd of May 2015, at a conference ‘Mercy and The Kingdom’ organized in Toronto, Canada by Serviam Ministries.

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Gaudium Press: 
Readers would like to know if there is any factor that would summarize your journey to Catholicism and what particular trait did God choose to touch you?

Dr. Hahn – I would say the one thing was discovering Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, discovering Him in sacred scripture and then experiencing Him in the mass for the first time long before I actually decided to become Catholic. It was sort of like the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24), my heart was burning within me for years from studying the Bible and how the Old Testament is fulfilled by Our Lord in the New Testament. But only when I experienced the breaking of the Eucharistic Bread did I discover His real presence in the Holy Eucharist and that just hasn’t gone away, it hasn’t gotten old, it’s amazing.

Gaudium Press: You chose the biblical field as a way of finding Christ, and then you discovered Him in the Eucharist in the Catholic Church and that is the journey that got you to the Catholic church, so the question is why the biblical field as a way of finding Christ?

Dr Hahn. – In sacred scripture you have the inspired Word of God. I just did not know that in the Holy Eucharist you have the Incarnate Word of God. Both are fully human and divine, but clearly the book is ordered to the sacrament. I wanted to be a new testament Christian all of my life, but at one point I came to discover that the New Testament never refers to itself as the New Testament. The only time Jesus ever uses the phrase the New Testament or the New Covenant is in Luke 22:20 where He says ‘this is the cup of my blood the blood of the new testament, the blood of the new covenant’. The only time He uses this phrase, He says do this in memory of me. He does not say write this. This is the Eucharist, the Eucharist is the New Testament! So I discovered that the New Testament was a sacrament long before it started to become a document. So the document of the New Testament led me to the sacrament, which is what Jesus called the New Testament. He never said write this, He did not write anything. Most of the 12 never ended up contributing a single book to what we call the New Testament. Not because they were unfaithful or disobedient but because He said ‘Do this’ and they did that, they proclaimed the Gospel and they celebrated the Eucharist and they obeyed what He was doing.

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So what happened to me, to make a long story short, is that by following the New Testament I found the Eucharist, and I also discovered that the New Testament was the sacrament of the Eucharist long before it became the document we call the New Testament.

Gaudium Press: What would be the best approach for an average Catholic to delve deeper into Holy Scripture? And how would they be able to read The Bible so as to profit from reading it?

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Dr. Hahn – I would say since the mass is the only thing every Catholic must do throughout all their lives; and The Bible is the only book that must be read in all of the masses and invariably it is always the Old Testament and the New Testament. Read scripture from the heart of the church. That is, to really learn scripture from how it is proclaimed in the liturgy. Because at the liturgy of the Word our hearts ought to be burning, so that in the liturgy of the Eucharist our eyes ought to be open to the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist who is the New Testament in His own Blood.

But I think the best way to do it, is the way that every Catholic does it. That is go to mass, hear the Word of God, and prepare for mass by looking at the passages from scripture that are going to be read at mass. Take them to prayer, think about them, so that when they are proclaimed at mass, they (scripture) really find readiness in you.

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