At Mass, the priest elevates the host for all to see, and says the words of our Salvation: “This is My Body”! Similarly he does the same with the Chalice of wine saying, “This is My Blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many”. (Mark 14: 22-24)
How many hear these words and take them for granted, without ever contemplating their real meaning.
Have you heard of the “Collapse of Time” that occurred/occurs during the moment these words are spoken? First, at the Last Supper, as Jesus lifted the bread before His Disciples saying those words; time collapsed into the future when He became the Sacrifice on the Cross, and at that moment died; time is “transposed” into the moment of Him saying to his disciples; “This is My Body”.
The second time this occurs is the very moment the priest elevates the bread and says these words; “This is My Body” the past emanating from the Last Supper, when Jesus’ words to His Disciples “This is My Body” transpose into the future, during the Consecration, and the words “This is My Body” spoken by the priest, becomes the living Body of Christ.
This theme was taken from the words of Father Spitzer PHD, a regular contributor on EWTN Wednesdays. This is what makes the Eucharist real and complete as being the Living Body and Blood of Christ. Those who only see their type of communion as just a symbol have not understood this concept.
Sound like a futuristic occurrence that may not be understood to the average parishioner? Perhaps! But, let’s take a moment to look into another occurrence that also may be strange to comprehend at first glance. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him as he ascends the mountain, and is Transfigured before their very eyes. As they look in amazement they see Jesus standing in all His Glory, with Moses and Elijah. The incident places Jesus in a vision after His Resurrection, before He and His disciples enter into Jerusalem and before His Passion.
Do not forget with God and eternity there is no past or future. Jesus responding to the queries regarding Abraham saying, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I Am” (Jn. 8: 58). Or, in another place, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jer. 1: 5). It is no mystery that each of us lives in a world that already is in God’s realm. We live a future that is already past.
There is no mystery then that this “collapse of time” is actual and happens at each Eucharistic Concentration. It is deep and mysterious, but not incomprehensible. The essence of this makes all the sense in the occurrence of the past and future coming together (thus collapse of time) and therefore becomes the essential reason why those of other denominational persuasions should not partake of the Eucharist in the Catholic Mass.
When those good meaning people ask why since they share the memorial with each other, our response must be the Communion we partake of is real Flesh and real Blood, indeed. Yes, the species is under the appearance of bread and wine, but it is not bread and wine in the most judicious sense. What Catholics receive is the Body and Blood of Christ! Symbols are not real. The Living Christ is!
Ralph B. Hathaway, January 28, 2019