“Take, eat, this is my body. Take, drink, this is my blood.”
I recently researched the number of Catholics who believe in the Real Presence, as opposed to believing the Eucharist is a symbol or a simple remembrance of Christ’s farewell words on Holy Thursday. It seems about 60% believe in the Real Presence. However, 17% of that 60% do not know the official teaching. In other words, they believe without having been taught. That says something about faith being a gift.
Several times in my life I did not believe in the Real Presence, didn’t care, or was ambivalent at best. Yes, I received communion anyway. Some likely would say I “brought condemnation” on myself because I did not “discern the body” and it was a good thing I didn’t die at that time. I don’t see it that way. I know others believed for me as we celebrated together at mass.
Jesus prayed we would all be one as He and the Father were one. Then came the Holy Spirit to make that a reality. It was God Himself working as one with believers that effected my awakening. No one taught me. No one convinced me. No one chided or shamed me into belief. There were no ah-ha’s or lightning bolts of insight. Believers believed for me until I could come to a place of belief. Even now when I go through periods of doubt I know that those around me who are not doubting have faith for me. Their faith gives me the heart to say, “I believe Lord, please help my unbelief.”
17% of believers in the Real Presence don’t know the official teaching. God did that, and likely He did it through us. That is the power of the Real Presence.
This Sunday is the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s take the time to reflect on this wonderful gift and our mandate to become what we eat.
Picture: Eucharistic Adoration by Perfectunityorg, Creative Commons, September 2012 Attribution-share alike 3.0. The creator does not necessarily endorse this website or the contents of this blog post.