The Body of Christ

Amen!

That simple response says a great deal when we present ourselves to receive the Holy Eucharist. The priest holds our Lord’s most holy body or most precious blood and says to us “the Body of Christ” or “the Blood of Christ.” Our response affirms many things, all expressed humbly and fully by “Amen.”

Amen – *I* believe. This is the real presence of Christ. This is not a symbol. Jesus told us “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”   (John 6:53-56).

Amen – this IS the body of Christ. It is His body, blood, soul and divinity. It is all of Him, just as He said at the Last Supper in which we participate at every Sacrifice of the Mass.

Amen – in receiving the Eucharist I am joining my flesh to His, not to consume Him but to be consumed BY Him in order to share in His divine life. Through his grace, He will increase my holiness and lift my very nature to God.

Amen – I submit to you Lord Jesus, your true Church and all that she teaches. I am a faithful Catholic without qualifiers, exceptions or modifications. I profess the creed, the faith and beliefs expressed by Holy Mother Church…   not my own prideful, arrogant and sinful will.

Amen – I humbly present myself to receive in a state of grace. The words of St. Paul ring in my ears: Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.   (1 Corinthians 11:27,29)

Amen – through the Eucharist, I am joining my brothers and sisters in Christ – in this place and elsewhere. I am joining them at this time, at all times past and at all times future. This is the Body of Christ.

Amen!

Thank you Jesus, my Lord and my God.

Please, in the presence of our Lord, dress appropriately if at all possible. You are visiting and receiving God Himself. Wear tasteful, modest clothes which reflect that reality.

Be humble and acknowledge Who He Is. Bow deeply from the waist or kneel.

Our Lord is in every particle of the Holy Eucharist. Consider receiving on the tongue in order that you do not “handle” Him or risk leaving any part of Him in your hand. For a short time in the early Church, reception was in the hand but the hands were first washed and the fingers did not touch the Eucharist. Since then, reception has been on the tongue and that remains the universal norm of the Church. That is the only way in which the Holy Father offers the Eucharist. Fr. John Hardon observed “Whatever you can do to stop communion in the hand will be blessed by God.”

Finally, when you return to your pew, reflect on the awesome gift you have just received…

When you have received Him, stir up your heart to do Him homage; speak to Him about your spiritual life, gazing upon Him in your soul where He is present for your happiness; welcome Him as warmly as possible, and behave outwardly in such a way that your actions may give proof to all of His Presence.

St. Francis de Sales

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Comments

  1. Stopping by from Saturday Evening Blog Post. As a fellow Catholic convert I look forward to reading more of your blog!

  2. Beautifully written, George. I’m a life long Catholic and love everything about the faith. But the Eucharist is the central mystery around which everything else revolves. It’s the source and summit of our Christian Catholic life. Now that I am retired I cherish the opportunity to receive Holy Communion daily.

    I don’t get how anyone could give up such intimacy with Christ. Yet, I have family members who have done just that!

    Today I finished reading a little book by Paul Whitcomb called Confession of a Roman Catholic. It’s is not about the Sacrament of Reconciliation; rather, it is a conversion story. Mr. Whitcomb, a Protestant clergyman, learned all about the Catholic faith on his own and was convinced of its truth, but habit—the habit of being a life long Protestant—kept him from actually making the move—until he read, and was convinced of the Scripture passages about the Eucharist. Then he could no longer resist and became a Catholic.

  3. Enjoyed the reverence in this post, George.

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