“This is My Body”
John 6: 1 ff; the precursor to many scriptures proclaiming the Bread of Life, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Two that I wrote “The Eucharist, Real Presence of Christ”, and “The Holy Eucharist Absolutely Real Flesh Absolutely Real Blood” along with others allude to more than a symbol.
There are too many who refuse to learn the real understanding of what Jesus did for the thousands as he took pity on those who had followed him and were hungry. This occurred right before the Feast of Passover, where the reality of the Eucharist would become history without symbolism. In essence, two fish and five barley loaves fed thousands and filled 12 baskets with what was left over. By human standards this is not possible. The same as the meaning of the Trinity, three distinct persons is one God. If we could discern these mysteries we would be like God.
The miracle of God’s abundant countenance on his people and the unending expression of his constant relevance to share his life through the Son’s Sacrifice at Calvary fulfills the Father’s promise during the Last Supper.
Picture the events of that night in Egypt. The Angel of Death would pass over the Hebrews’ dwellings when he saw the blood on the door jambs and lintel as representing the cross on which we were redeemed by Jesus’ death. Was this a symbol? Absolutely not. At the Last Supper the institution of the Holy Eucharist became the reality of our redemption which was real flesh and real blood as Jesus prepared for the meaning of the blood on the door jamb and lintel as our entrance into life without end. Symbols become a way to express to the eye an image we cannot see but allows our imagination to paint something on our brain. It takes faith to believe without symbols. However, when Jesus fed over five thousand men including women and children, the reality of a miracle that couldn’t be explained is what fed a multitude with 12 baskets of food left over defies any fallacy.
As in the many scriptural accounts of predictions from God which are fruition for truth the Eucharist is not just happenstance. Like the rest we have the opportunity to partake of a miracle and receive absolute real flesh that has bled in history, and real blood that has human DNA.
Throughout history God has allowed us to experience instances where the Holy Eucharist has actually bled, and what about some saints’ human bodies still exist in their human form, while dead. In the church of St, Clair in Assisi I saw Clair’s lifeless remains appearing as a teen-age girl. It is astounding, but one of many saints bodies who never went through the process of decomposition.
With these and other unbelievable occurrences with God’s interactions, why is it so difficult to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist via transubstantiation? Faith is great when we receive it until a real test confronts our challenge to accept it.
During the consecration, at the elevation of the patten with the bread I envision the crucifixion of Jesus as he is nailed to the cross. At the lifting of the Chalice my mind sees the last drop of Precious Blood fall from the lifeless body of our Lord. Herein the elements become Jesus Christ. That is not symbolic; it is a real happening
Ralph B. Hathaway, This is My Body; October 2021