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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Holy Eucharist the Source and Summit of Christian Life - Eucharistic Miracles of the World

The Eucharist is the source
 and summit of Christian life. 

Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion) is the Catholic sacrament in which Christ is really and truly present under the appearances of bread and wine.  Although it does not look like the Body and Blood of Jesus, His Real Presence is hidden within the consecrated Host.  This is a great miracle and a great mystery.

Jesus offered an explanation of the Holy Eucharist as the Bread of Life in His discourse to the crowds in John chapter 6:22 - 59. "I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you...For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink." (John 6:48 -51, 53, 55) 

After Jesus spoke these words, “The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”  (John 6:52)

These words were very difficult for the first century Jews to comprehend.  In fact if taken literally they would have understood this as a form of cannibalism, a theologically objectionable act.  If Jesus had been speaking metaphorically here he could have easily stopped their quarreling with a simple explanation.  But he didn't.  Instead he amplified his command.  

The sacrament of the Eucharist was first given to the apostles by Jesus on Holy Thursday during which Jesus and His apostles celebrated the Jewish Passover.  Jesus offered the first Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which became known as the Last Supper (the last meal Jesus shared with his apostles).  At this Last Supper, Jesus took bread and wine and by His power as God He prayed a prayer of consecration over the bread and wine, changing it into His own Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

After Jesus changed the bread and wine into His Body and Blood, He gave it to His apostles to eat and drink.  The bread and wine, changed (transformed) into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus, which is what we consume during the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.

"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, "Take and eat; this is my body,"  Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins."  (Matthew 26:26-28)

Jesus conferred upon the apostles the power of the priesthood and commanded them to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in memory of Him.  By this power, Jesus gives every priest, on the day of his ordination, during the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the power to change bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

Miracles of the Holy Eucharist 

"Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen."  (Hebrews 11:1) 

As Catholics our faith teaches us that Jesus is really truly present in the Holy Eucharist, but it is still very difficult to believe.  Over the centuries even priests have found themselves doubting the Real Presence.

If only we could know without a doubt that Jesus was truly present.  If there was no doubt, would people line up for the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving the Eucharist because they would not want to profane the Body and Blood of the Lord by receiving Him in an unworthy manner? (1 Corinthians 11:27 – 28)  Would they pack the pews every Sunday at Mass to adore the Creator of the World?

It would be nice to be one of those blessed who have not seen yet have believed. (John 20:29)  But let's be real, many of us need help in order to believe.  I know that I do. 

Though Jesus is not going to prove to each and every one of us individually through a blatant Eucharistic miracle - there are many existing Church approved Eucharistic miracles we can look to that will give us a reason to know our faith is true. And Our Lord is present in the Eucharist whenever the Sacrifice of the Mass is proclaimed. 

For the next six months I will be posting a blog on a Church approved Eucharistic miracle once a week.  A reminder to my husband and I that the Real Presence of Our Lord is there every time we take the Holy Eucharist - and to comfort to us during times of trial, knowing our faith is real, and our God is the Creator of the Universe, He is all powerful and all merciful. Thanks be to God.  

Eucharistic Miracles 

Lanciano, Italy 750 A.D.
Offida, Italy 1273
Bolsena, Italy 1263
Siena, Italy 1730
Cascia, Italy 1330
Bagno di Romagna, Italy, 1412
Florence, Italy, 1230 and 1595
San Mauro La Bruca, Italy 1969
Rimini, Italy 1227
Ferrara, Italy 1171

Faverney, France 1608
Blanot, France 1331

Douai, France 1254
Santarem, Portugal 13th Century
Alkmaar, Netherlands 1429
Boxtel, Netherlands 1380
Meerseen, Netherlands 1465
Boxmeer, Netherlands 1400
Seefeld, Austria 1384
Bois-Seigneur, Belgium 1405
Herkenrode-Hasselt, Belgium 1317
Augsburg, Germany 1194
Poznan, Poland 1399
Cimballa, Spain 1370
Onil, Spain 1824
Silla, Spain 1907

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