Monday, September 22, 2008

The Lord's Eucharistic Presence

The Catholic Church teaches that when a priest repeats the words of Christ at the Last Supper (in the celebration of the Mass) over bread and wine - that these become truly the Body and Blood of the Lord, even though the appearance of the bread and wine remain.

...On the night he was betrayed our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples and said: ``Take, eat: this is my body.'' He took the cup, gave thanks and said: ``Take, drink: this is my blood.'' Since Christ himself has declared the bread to be his body, who can have any further doubt? Since he himself has said quite categorically, This is my blood, who would dare to question and say that it is not his blood?
(St Cyril of Jerusalem)

``Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.'' (John 20:29)

In the gift of the Eucharist, Jesus gives us Himself.
He offers his own body and pours out his own blood.
In giving to us the totality of his life at every eucharistic feast, we continually acknowledge his true presence. Jesus draws us into Himself. (Pope Benedict XVI)

"He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." (John 6:56)

Thus it is through the working of the Holy Spirit that Christ himself continues to be present and active in his Church, starting with her vital center which is the Eucharist...

The Eucharist is Christ
who gives himself to us
and continually builds us up as His Body - the Church.

We must humbly ask God for the faith to believe in this truth beyond all expectation, tradition and sense. ``Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.'' (Mark 10:15)

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