The Real Presence
May 21, 2017
Jesus said to them, ”Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink” (John 6: 53-56)
Doubts about the Real Presence have been around since Christ preached this seemingly impossible command . . . in fact after he said the above words many of his followers left him.
One thing that distinguishes Catholicism from other Christian denominations is our belief in Christ’s “real presence” in the Eucharist. Yet, in the 2010 Pew survey, 45% of Catholics said they were not familiar with Church teaching that the consecrated bread and wine used during communion are not mere symbols of Christ’s body and blood, but the real presence.
At the end of mass, we are asked to go out into the world and be bread for others. Christ stays with us. The great Evangelizer asks us to evangelize in our homes and parishes by forming communities of faith where we can nourish each other in the faith and then can reach out to those not actively participating in the life of the Church. Remember we are carrying the “real presence” with us as we encounter others. What a great gift we have to share with them.
John Paul II, in his encyclical on the Holy Eucharist, recommends spending regular amounts of time in Adoration of the Holy Eucharist. We are so fortunate to have the Adoration Chapel here in our parish at St. Josephs Church. Here the consecrated host is present in the monstrance and you can spend an hour or more each week to strengthen your relationship with Christ. Please consider signing up for an hour with the Lord.
The Church will be celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi on June 18th. Here is a great opportunity for all of us to renew our love and devotion to Jesus Christ who is truly present in the most Holy Eucharist.
Christ promised to remain with us always and that promise has been kept.
Yes, he is for real!