The Real Presence of Jesus Christ

08-01-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

I recently attended a funeral for yet another former youth group teen. They are always difficult, but I find some comfort and solace when it is a young person who has given their lives to the Lord.

You’ve probably felt what I often feel when someone passes away: I cannot imagine the grief of people who have no hope of seeing their loved one again. What a bitter, final, and utterly hopeless farewell. How does the heart cope?

I have to be honest with you - I feel much the same way about my friends, family, and even some of you who do not know (or believe) in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. They are missing Jesus in the Flesh, here and now.

Some don’t think God is able. I would contend this means they do not actually believe in God. After all, what kind of God is God if He cannot do as He wills?

Some don’t think He would do such a bizarre thing as handcuff Himself within the matters of unleavened bread and wine. I would contend this means they do not understand what a monumental and bizarre thing it was to handcuff Himself within mortal flesh—the God of the universe allowing Himself to be ridiculed, questioned, tortured, and killed as a common criminal.

Some don’t understand why He would do such a bizarre thing as “reduce Himself” to the matters of unleavened bread and wine. I would contend this means they don’t fully grasp either the tremendous sacramental help God knows we require or the astonishing desire God has for intimacy with us—full physical union with His beloved.

Today’s Gospel (along with the next few weeks) spells out the blessing of the Eucharist:

Jesus said, “For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives light to the world.”

So they said to Him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

Tragically and eventually, many of His followers couldn’t take the teaching and left. (We’ll get there in three weeks.)

Questions? Comments? Reach David at dlins@oloj.org.

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