Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

WE have to make sure that our faith in the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is always kept alive and strong. Let’s take advantage of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord (Corpus Christi) to check our faith in this most crucial truth. We know that we never do enough in this regard, since what we have before us is truly tremendous and overwhelming a mystery.

In the gospel of this year’s celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, we are presented again with that story of the multiplication of the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. (cfr. Lk 9,11-17) We are made to understand that the mystery of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist goes far beyond what we can see and understand. We have to go strictly by faith.

It’s when we can capture this truth of our faith that we become Eucharistic souls. To be Eucharistic souls means to be a real person who is both grounded and oriented properly. Yes, we need to be Eucharistic in mind and heart, because the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is where we have our most precious treasure, our everything, our light, our purification, our salvation.

That’s where we have Christ not only in real presence, as in the Blessed Sacrament, nor as spiritual food, as in the Holy Communion, but primarily as our savior who continues to offer his life on the cross for us, as in the Holy Mass.

We need to be theological in our thinking to capture this reality and live in accordance to it not only from time to time, but rather all the time and everywhere, whatever our situation is.

We have to overcome the very common phenomenon of treating the Holy Eucharist as just a special part of our life that we may attend to in some special moments of the day or on Sundays and holy days of obligation only.

If we believe that God is everything to us, then we have to believe also that Christ, the son of God who became man, is also everything to us. That’s why he said he is “the way, the truth and the life, no one goes to the Father except through me.”

Now, if we believe in Christ as everything to us, then it follows that we have to believe in the Holy Eucharist also as everything to us, since it is the Holy Eucharist where the whole redemptive life of Christ is summarized and sacramentalized, that is to say, made present to us through time.

With the Holy Eucharist, we become contemporaries of Christ in his most supreme act of salvific love for us. But, alas, how many of us realize this, and among those of us who do, how many have the skill to turn this realization into a living reality?

We need to do a lot of catechizing and discussion if only to air out the many possibilities and practical considerations we can have to make the Holy Eucharist everything to us not only in theory and aspiration, but also in practice in our daily grind.

We therefore need to enkindle our Eucharistic amazement and to intensify our Eucharistic piety. In this matter, we can never overdo things. We should try our best that our Eucharistic piety continues to grow strong and deep.