Newsletter for Sunday 6 June 2021

4 Jun

The Miracle of the Holy Eucharist

When God is about to do something extraordinary, generally speaking He announces it beforehand. So when He intended to destroy the world by the Flood, He had Noah announce it some years before. When He became man at the Incarnation, He had John the Baptist announce it in the wilderness. Similarly, when Our Lord was going to announce the Holy Eucharist, He prepared people for it by the stupendous miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand with five loaves and two fishes. Then He said, “Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you” (John 6:27). Then He announced that He would give them the true Bread from Heaven – not like that with which God fed their fathers in the desert at the time of Moses. He Who called Himself ‘the Bread of Life’ then said that the bread He would give would be His true Flesh and Blood and that whoever eats of it will live forever (John 6:53). Many walked away after this because they could not take it, but Our Lord let them depart and repeated several times what He had just said. The disciples believed Him even though they did not fully understand, but they waited for the day when He would fulfil His promise.

That day came at the Last Supper when JESUS took bread and blessed it and gave it to them saying, “This is My Body”. Then He took the chalice and gave it to them saying, “This is My Blood of the covenant which is to be poured out for many” (Mark 14:22-24). JESUS is God, and what God commands is done in an instant. Creation came into being by His word. Similarly, by His word He changes bread and wine into His Body and Blood. The Church has taught this from the very beginning. St Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians says, “Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord” … “and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Body of the Lord” (11:29). Paul would never say such a thing if it were not really the Body and Blood of the Lord. So we should not receive Holy Communion if we have any unconfessed serious (mortal) sins.

Many miracles throughout history have testified to the truth of the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. In recent decades when faith in the Real Presence is diminishing rapidly, Our Lord is once again giving us many new signs of this truth through Eucharistic miracles. One of these took place in Tixtla, Mexico on 21st October 2006. Holy Communion was being distributed at Mass, and in the ciborium a red liquid began to come from a Host. Upon scientific analysis, it was shown that the tissue was alive and the blood was type AB, the same as is found in other Eucharistic miracles and also on the Shroud of Turin. This blood type is very rare with less than 7% of people having it. Using electron microscopy it was discovered that the blood came from inside the Host, an extraordinary phenomenon in itself. The doctor performed the same tests on an unconsecrated host and it disintegrated.

Although we cannot fully understand how bread and wine can become the Body and Blood of Christ, we trust that it does, because JESUS said it and He is the Truth. And neither are these Eucharistic miracles unique. It happens every day throughout the world whenever a validly ordained priest celebrates Mass. It is at the Consecration the miracle takes place. We don’t see it visibly, but rather through the eyes of faith. O Lord, increase our faith in Your Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist.

Fr Paul Gillham, IC

Click here to view/download the complete newsletter 

Click here to view/download the Liturgy for Corpus Christi