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Ever hear the phrase: you are what you eat?

anima-christi (1)

The Catholic Church teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation, namely that in the Eucharist, the communion wafer and the altar wine are transformed and really become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  Have you ever met anyone who has found this Catholic doctrine to be a bit hard to believe?

When Jesus spoke about eating his flesh and drinking his blood in John 6, his words met with less than an enthusiastic reception.  How can this man give us his flesh to eat? (V 52).  This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it? (V60).  In fact so many of his disciples abandoned him over this that Jesus had to ask the twelve if they also planned to quit.  It is interesting that Jesus did not run after his disciples saying, Don’t go, I was just speaking metaphorically!

How did the early Church interpret these challenging words of Jesus? One charge the pagan Romans lodged against the Christians was cannibalism. Why? They heard that this sect regularly met to eat and drink human blood.  Did the early Christians say: wait a minute, it’s only a symbol?  Not at all.  When trying to explain the Eucharist to the Roman Emperor around 155 AD, St. Justin did not mince his words: “For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Sav­iour being incarnate by God’s word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the word of prayer which comes from him . . . is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus”.

St. Justin Martyr

St. Justin Martyr

The bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ which are, in turn, meant to transform us.  Ever hear the phrase: you are what you eat? The Lord desires us to be transformed from a motley crew of imperfect individuals into the Body of Christ, come to full stature.

CalvaryMass-1024x713

Corpus_Christi_Pic

I look forward to participating in the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christ (The Body Of Christ) and giving thanks for the wonderful gift of Christ Himself in the Eucharist.

After this Mass we will be joining a short procession in adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ next week.

“Adoration outside Holy Mass prolongs and intensifies what has taken place in the liturgical celebration and makes a true and profound reception of Christ possible. I . . . warmly recommend, to Pastors and to all the faithful, the practice of Eucharistic adoration. “

– Pope Benedict XVI

 

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