Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”
Christians often speak of the presence of God. We typically mean that God is present in a spiritual sense. As Creator of the universe, He sustains our physical existence and comforts, challenges, and inspires us as He sees fit.
However, as Catholics, we are privileged to enjoy God’s presence in another manner–for in the Eucharist, Jesus enters the physical realm. Through the power of the words of Christ spoken by the priest at the consecration (“Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my body…”), the bread and wine on the altar undergo a supernatural transformation. Although the physical characteristics remain the same, the inner substance of the bread and wine changes into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. In the Eucharist, Jesus is truly, fully present.
It is no accident that the Church teaches that the Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium 11). Attending Mass and partaking of the Eucharist is the central act of worship for a Catholic, and will empower every other aspect of life. For more information about Mass, click here.
Partaking of the Eucharist, we unite ourselves as members of the Body of Christ–hence, the Sacrament is also referred to as Communion, because it is a sign of unity among believers, and the place in our human experience where God meets man most concretely. Since the Eucharist is literally the physical presence of the God of the universe, it is regarded as the most important of the seven Sacraments. This itself is an amazing fact—and if accepted in faith, a life-changing awareness.
At Our Lady of Ransom, daily Mass is celebrated Monday-Friday at 6:30 AM and 8:15 AM, and Saturday at 8:15 AM. Sunday Mass is celebrated on Saturday evening at 5:00 PM, and on Sunday at 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:45 AM, 12:15 PM, and 5:00 PM. On the first Friday of each month, the consecrated Eucharistic host (often referred to as “The Blessed Sacrament”) is displayed in the Church for worship and adoration, ending with a Benediction service at 7:00 PM.
The more reverently you honor the Eucharist, the more enlivening and transformative a difference it will make in your life.
Do you experience the wonder? Do you sense the mystery and power of receiving and consuming your God in the Eucharist? Do you marvel at the fact? If we do believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, then the power unleashed within us by the consumption of the Eucharist is unfathomable.