Corpus Christi: The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

(repost)

Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

Image by Icb (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

I will never forget watching an episode of Women of Grace  on EWTN a while back where the guest speaker said that only 30% of Catholics believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. This statistic shocked me. Belief in the Real Presence is a central and essential doctrine of our Catholic faith. Truly, the Real Presence is part of the foundation of our Catholic faith. In fact, it is a non-negotiable article of faith; to be Catholic one must believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. However, the doctrine of the Eucharist remains a source of confusion and misunderstanding among Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

There are many passages in the Bible that deal with the Eucharist. Most of us are aware of the words of Jesus at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:26-30 and in all the gospels) and the “Bread of Life” discourse (John 6:22-69). The Catechism of the Catholic Church has whole sections that deal with the Eucharist (See Part 2, Section 2). Additionally, the Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist has been spoken about by many saints. I highly recommend that you take a look at these references for yourself and pray about them. For now, I just want to do is give you, in a nutshell, is what it means to believe in the Real Presence:

Believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist means that at the consecration at Mass the bread and wine is transformed into the very real body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. Although the physical appearance of the bread and wine do not change, they are no longer bread and wine but Jesus Himself.

This is hard for many people to accept. That is why so many walked away from Jesus (see John 6:66-67) when He said those words and why many are still walking away from Him in our own time. How is it possible that Jesus can be contained in the Eucharist? How can this happen? Those are valid questions. However, it is a sublime mystery and we trust Jesus at His word. The mystery of the Eucharist is a miracle. It is a gift from God Himself out of love for us. With God, all things are possible – including Jesus making Himself present in the Eucharist!

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Comments

  1. I wonder where those statistics come from. I think we have a hard time with something so contrary to our senses; I think this is one of those “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief” moments. People may have trouble forcing their rational minds to accept something like that, and yet they come, they hunger for the Eucharist–you can see it in people’s eyes when they come up for Communion–so I can’t help thinking their hearts believe, no matter what they tell pollsters.
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    • SimpleCatholic says:

      I hope you are right. I hope the statistic is wrong. I don’t know, though, judging by my experience in the local parishes around me. There are some who approach the Eucharist, hungering for Christ; however, more often than not, I see (mostly hear) people coming up to receive communion chatting over the music with those around them like they are in a party or something or looking all around. They don’t seem to understand or care whom it is that they are receiving in the Eucharist. And I’ve talked to people who don’t see the point of the Eucharist or going to mass in general.

      Of course, I realize that my local parishes are tiny parts of a larger church community and it might not be like that in other places and parish communities. I have been to some parishes that are “alive” and you can almost feel the faith of those who belong there, it just has been rare.

      Now, having said all that. I do agree and believe that people are hungering for Jesus, even if they don’t realize they can find Him right in the Eucharist!

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