Saturday, June 1, 2013

Heart of Our Faith: The Eucharist

Do I believe? On this Feast of Corpus Christi et Sanguine, it is good to remind ourselves of the deep reality that after the Epiclesis, during Mass, and at the words of Consecration, the Holy Spirit comes down upon these offerings of bread and wine and they become in reality the Precious Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Christ, our Lord. Although the appearance of bread and wine remain, the actual substance is changed. “The Holy Spirit's transforming power in the liturgy hastens the coming of the kingdom and the consummation of the mystery of salvation.” (CCC No. 1107)

Yes, we see with the eyes of faith, and we believe in the Word of Our Lord, who commanded us to “take and eat”, “This is my Body”. (Lk 22:19) He did not say, this is a symbol of my body, or represents My Body but, “This IS My Body”. (Lk 22:19) It is our privilege to come to the altar to be feed by His Body and Blood, to be transformed into Christ. And at the end of each Mass, to be commissioned to Go, and bring Him into the world. If all Christians knew and believed in the reality of Christ's physical presence among us, they would flock to His Church.

Just yesterday, three young children and their mother stopped by our parish Church to find a place to pray. Not Catholic but extremely interested, the young boy asked where the small white round wavers were kept. He had heard about this from a friend. When Sister showed him the tabernacle and said as Catholics we believe that Jesus is really present in the white bread, and that He lives in the tabernacle, the young boy responded: Oh, I have read about the tabernacle in the Bible. It is the Ark that contained the “holy of holies”? What a beautiful opening to explain why Our Lord has remained with us in the Holy Eucharist. This is what we are called to do, to invite, and instruct others in the truths of our faith so that all may be one in Him.

Catechism of the Catholic Church: No. 1374

  • The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend." In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained." "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."

Mary, Mother of the Eucharistic, who conceived in your womb God incarnate, nourished Him during life, washed His wounds on Calvary, and in the period subsequent to Pentecost, received in your heart the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of your Divine Son, grant us the gift of your faith, your confidence in God's plan, and your love and devotion to Christ present in the Eucharist.

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