Our belief in the real, true, substantial Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is central to our faith, and especially to our celebration of the Holy Mass. We take Jesus at his word when He says, “This is My Body…This is the Chalice of My Blood.” Our celebration of the Eucharist is, in the words of St. Paul, “a participation in the body of Christ.” We re-present ourselves to the one Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We enter into the eternal moment of the Last Supper and the outpouring of Jesus’ Blood on the Cross. Similarly, we enter into the eternal now of heaven and receive the foretaste and promise of the divine banquet feast. Words cannot convey the fullness of this mystery, but our Sunday Sequence gives us a glimpse:
Sight has fail’d, nor thought conceives,
But a dauntless faith believes,
Resting on a pow’r divine.
Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things are all we see:
What we see in the Eucharist is the visible, tangible, mangible (chewable) Presence of Jesus. The Incarnation of Christ is brought to its climax as the Body He assumed for our sake is offered to the Father in perfect sacrifice and received by the Church, and we become what we receive: His Body. May our joy at receiving this most precious gift infuse all our thoughts, words, and actions with a deep desire to pursue Him all the way to our heavenly goal. Let us rejoice at this intimate gift from the God Who loves us! Again, our Sequence conveys this in better words than mine: