One of the toughest challenges of being Catholic is the faith response that “the Real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist”.
EWTN has often played Bob and Penny Lord’s Miracles of the Eucharist. They tell about eucharistic miracles that have been authenticated by the Church. In 700AD during the consecration a host became flesh – that flesh is still available for adoration in a monstrance in Italy. Another miracle in 1263 where a host raised during consecration started to bleed. This miracle induced Pope Urban to institute the feast of Corpus Christi. And as a result of this new feast, St. Thomas Aquinas was asked to write the O Salutaris Hostia and Tantum Ergo.
We need to be humble and open to God performing miracles in our lives. He performs the miracle of the Eucharist at every mass by making it possible for bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Jesus while keeping the same appearance? The Eucharist is the gift of God’s love for each of us. Our faith tells us that when the priest in persona Christi (in the place of Jesus) pronounces the words of consecration the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, through transubstantiation. It is unfortunate that so many Catholics do not believe that this change actually takes place. The bread and wine look and taste the same. As St. Paul has written we walk by faith and not by sight. Transubstantiation calls us to activate our faith, our gift from God.
When we receive the Eucharist – Jesus becomes fully present in us and we in Him. In the Bread of Life discourse, Jesus said “He who eats my flesh abides in me and I in him.” (John 6:57). Faith is a gift from God. How blessed are we who recognize that the bread and wine are truly the Body and Blood of Christ?
To help us in our weak faith, from time to time, God has given us Eucharistic Miracles so that we may believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Come to Jesus in trust, surrender, believe, and receive his love. Say to Jesus that you believe he is really present in the Blessed Sacrament and gradually grow from merely believing, loving Jesus, and being loved by Jesus. Spend time in adoration before the Tabernacle in your church often for an opportunity to surrender, trust, and receive the love of Jesus.
The bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, which are, in turn, meant to transform us. We constantly hear our separated brothers and sisters talk of accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Every time we say Amen to the Body and Blood of Christ we are accepting Jesus as our Lord Savior as well as his love. We are to become what He is.
We are constantly reminded of the word from Lumens Gentium that the “Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life”. We can pray in any church or hear the Word in any church. We can only receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. In other words, the Eucharist makes us Catholic.
Let us never forget that Jesus in the Eucharist is the center and heart of our faith and of our church. Jesus in the Eucharist needs to be the center and heart of our lives. Like the canonized saints let us learn to recognize Jesus in the Eucharist and thereby love the Eucharist – devote our lives to the Eucharist – and become Eucharist.