A human being can only survive for about 3 weeks without food. Babies who are not hugged actually stop growing and will eventually die if deprived of all human contact.
Just as the body needs food and water and physical contact to thrive, our soul needs the Eucharist for nourishment and to connect us to the source of all graces and holiness.
On a recent episode of Catholicism Live!, Fr. Ed Hauf, OMI said that through the Eucharist God physically embraces us…a physical union takes place in which Christ deposits his life within us. Wow! As I heard these words, my immediate reaction was to give thanks for the gift of Christ’s body and blood.
For Catholics, the Eucharist is the necessary food for our spiritual journey to our heavenly homeland.
I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever, and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh (John 6: 51).
By receiving the Eucharist regularly, we are able to renew our commitment to the journey of transformation. The Catechism tells us that the Eucharist preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace… and preserves us from further mortal sins (cf. CCC 1392-1393, 1395).
The same flesh Jesus gave us at Calvary through his sacrificial death is what we receive in the Eucharist. At that moment of consecration Our Lord offers himself on the altar of the cross, we are there!
Jesus Wants To Hold Each of Us, To His Heart
Now is a good time to remind everyone that Jesus offered himself up for all of our sins. We are all worthy to receive him in the Eucharist. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are restored to a state of grace that affords us the privilege of receiving the whole Jesus; body, blood, soul and divinity.
Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium tells us the following:
The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak (cf. #47).
Hopefully this meditation reminds you of why the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ and also why we gather on the Feast of Corpus Christi for processions with the Blessed Sacrament.
Because Our Lord comes to us in the form of bread and wine, there remain skeptics out there who don’t believe in the Real Presence. For anyone who may still have a doubt about what actually happens at the moment of consecration, I offer the following:
What the Saints Have to Say
St. Gregory: “The Heavens open and multitudes of Angels come to assist at the Holy Sacrifice.”
St. Augustine: “The Angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass.”
St. John Chrysostom: “When Mass is being celebrated, the Sanctuary is filled with countless Angels, who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.”
We read in the revelations of St. Bridget: “One day when I was assisting at the Holy Sacrifice, I saw an immense number of Holy Angels descend and gather around the altar, contemplating the priest.
They sang heavenly canticles that ravished my heart; Heaven itself seemed to be contemplating the great Sacrifice. And yet we poor, blind and miserable creatures assist at the Mass with so little love, relish and respect!
Close your eyes and think about this for a moment. Visualize the legions of angels, communion of saints and Mary & Joseph all bowing down in adoration from the moment of consecration until the conclusion of Mass!
The Greatest Eucharistic Miracle of the Catholic Church
Thirteen-hundred years ago, in the year 700 A.D., a priest had doubts about Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist, while celebrating Mass. At the moment of consecration, the bread became live Flesh and the wine became live Blood. Other clergy at the church of St. Legontian confirmed the miracle as did Church authorities in the community of Lanciano, Italy.
The Body and Blood were preserved. At various times during the Twentieth Century, prominent pathologists have conducted scientific studies on the Flesh and Blood, which have remained intact. The Flesh has the characteristics of the tissue from a human heart. The Blood, which coagulated into five globules, was determined to be type AB, which is the same blood type as that found on the Holy Shroud of Turin.
There is no greater gift in this life than the gift of the Eucharist! He gives us the gift of himself so that we may enjoy the fullness of life!