The Catholic Defender: The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
"Jesus said to the Jewish crowds: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."
The Catholic Church from the beginning have always taken the above text of Scripture coming from the Gospel of St. John to be literal. The entire chapter of John 6 is central to the sign the Jews asked for in verse 30:
"So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform?"
What would YOU say to Jesus especially after He walked on the water and as He stepped into the boat, the Apostles instantly found themselves on dry land (John 6:16-21)?
Would you ask for a further sign?
Each Wednesday night, Dr. Gregory Thompson and I team up to discuss the many Eucharistic Miracles that have happened the past 2,000 years. Jesus continues to give us signs of His Real Presence.
The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ is a major Feast Day on the Church Calendar two Sundays following Pentecost. It is interesting that the first major sign that Jesus gave after the Resurrection to His Apostles was giving the Eucharist to Cleopas and his companion (Luke 24:30-31).
As a side note, it was Jesus who consecrated the Eucharist first on Sunday!
It is always easy to judge those of the past who made huge mistakes, but are we much different? Yes, many did turn away from Jesus on that Passover day when Jesus gave His Bread of Life Discourse (John 6:66), but what about today? The denial of the Eucharist is the first and most important step out of the Church.
It is wise for the Church to reinforce the importance of the Eucharist following Pentecost on the Church Calendar. I also believe it is important to share the many Eucharistic Miracles that have occurred usually with an important teaching.
These instill faith and belief. The foundation of these events are not in themselves the basis for such belief, but the importance given in scripture, the liturgy, tradition, the Eucharist is central in the Mass.
I am reminded of the story of the Angel of Portugal appearing to the Children of Fatima before Mother Mary appeared to them:
The angel first appeared either in the spring or summer of 1916 at Loca do Cabeço, a rocky outcrop near the top of a knoll called Cabeço, not far from Aljustrel. This is Sister Lucia's account of the apparition:
"We had been playing for a while when a strong wind shook the trees. Since it was a calm day, we looked up to see what was happening. Then we began to see, well above the trees that covered the stretch of land to the east, a light whiter than snow in the shape of a transparent young man who was more brilliant than a crystal struck by the rays of the sun.
"As he approached, we began to see his features. He was a young man of great beauty about fourteen or fifteen years old. We were surprised and ecstatic. We did not utter a word.
"Once he drew near us, he said: 'Fear not. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.' "Kneeling down, he bowed until his forehead touched the ground.
Led by a supernatural inspiration, we imitated him, and repeated the words we heard him say: 'My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee. I beg Thee forgiveness for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.'
"After he had repeated this twice, he rose and said: 'Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.' Then he disappeared.
"The supernatural atmosphere that enveloped us was so intense that we were almost unaware of our own existence. For a long time, we remained in the same position repeating the same prayer. The presence of God was so intense and intimate that we dared not speak to each other. On the following day, we felt our spirits still enveloped in that atmosphere, which was but slowly disappearing.
"None of us thought of talking about this apparition or of recommending secrecy, for the incident itself demanded it. It was so intimate that it was difficult to utter a word about it. This might well have been the apparition that impressed us the most, because it was the first one thus manifested."
Let all the world praise the Lord for He is truly risen and truly present in all the Catholic Tabernacles all over the world.