Last week’s morceau outlined the key truth of transubstantiation, which explains that the bread and wine at Mass is actually changed into the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It may look like ordinary food and drink, but after its consecration it is not ordinary at all: it is our Savior in a most perfect way.
I think it is also important to expand on this a bit by pointing out that in the Eucharist the whole Christ is present. He is not partially present, or contained in Holy Communion only in some merely spiritual sense. “The body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . is truly, really and substantially contained” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, art. 1374).
Sure it’s hard to understand how the same Jesus who walked the dusty roads of the Holy Land 2,000 years ago – and died there – is present in our Eucharist. Certainly it’s difficult comprehending how the eternal Second Person of the Holy Trinity is there in our Sacrament. Absolutely it challenges the mind to grasp the fact that the Son of God makes Himself present to us in such an accessible way. But that is the very essence of mystery: God’s ways are not limited by human ignorance or experience, and we can only marvel at it all.