"Why Did You Do This?"
Some Reflections on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi
Whenever I open the tabernacle at Mass to get the ciborium containing the Sacred Hosts, I often talk to Jesus and ask Him: "Why did You do this?" -- that is, making Himself present in the form and appearance of pieces of unleavened bread (wafers) to be received by the people, and staying there in the tabernacle night and day.
I ask Him the same question whenever I open the tabernacle and put a Host in a pyx to bring to a home bound parishioner or distribute Him to the people, or receive Him myself at Mass.
The question does not imply a doubt in the Real Presence at all but is an expression of awe, amazement and gratitude for what God's love has done to make us have the most intimate relationship with Him, bodily and spiritually.
When most of the people following our Lord Jesus went away after He gave His Bread of Life discourse, recounted In the 6th chapter of the Gospel of John, they understood Him literally but they found this teaching hard to believe. If He had meant His Body and Blood to be mere symbols, Jesus could have said so and called them to return, but He did not.
Only Peter and the rest of the 12 stayed and acknowledged faith in what the Master had said although they did not understand how this could be.
Had the former disciples only waited until the Passover meal when Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist, with the same words His priests later on would say to consecrate the bread and wine into His Body and Blood in obedience to His command, and died on the cross the next day, they would have understood what Jesus meant and how He planned to carry it out. They would then have had the same faith of the Twelve and probably become ardent evangelizers, too.
For more than two thousand years, the Church established by Christ has believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist -- Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, and celebrated it at the Breaking of the Bread (the Mass). It was only in the early 16th century that Martin Luther and the other reformers following him rejected this long-held faith of the Church and developed their own ideas and propagated this among many. Now there are at least 30,000 denominations who do not believe in the Real Presence that the Catholic Church has always professed from the very start.
It is worth noting that many of those Christian denominations profess the same faith in the Blessed Trinity (One God in 3 Divine Persons) and in the Incarnation (the taking on of human flesh by the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity in Jesus Christ) although these are both mysteries which we human beings cannot fathom. Can they not also believe that Jesus, Who is Divine, has the power to give Himself to us in the form of ordinary bread and wine as food for our souls as He declared in very clear terms?
By the way, this denial explains why members of those other Christian denominations may not receive Holy Communion in the Catholic Church. They do not believe that after the priest pronounces the words of consecration what appears to be bread and wine become actually the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.
Many leaders and members of those denominations, after making an extensive and in-depth study of Holy Scriptures and the Faith as taught by the early Fathers of the Church, have hungered for the Eucharist and embraced the Catholic Faith.
Catholics, fallen away Catholics, and non-Catholics have profited from the resources (videos) that explain the Biblical Roots of the Eucharist. For those who wish to learn why Catholics believe what they believe about the Holy Eucharist, two of these video resources will surely be of help. #