The Mystery of Transubstantiation




The words of the Lord cannot be mitigated: the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. "This is the mystery of our faith," is proclaimed immediately after the Consecration at Holy Mass. It has been and is the touchstone of the Christian faith. By transubstantiation, the species of bread and wine "are no longer the ordinary bread and the ordinary drink, but the sign of a sacred thing, the sign of a spiritual food; but they acquire a new meaning and a new purpose inasmuch as they contain a 'reality', which we rightly call ontological; for under those species there is no longer what was there before, but a completely different thing (. ...), since the substance or nature of the bread and wine having become the Body and Blood of Christ, there no longer remains anything of bread and wine, but the species alone: under them Christ is present in his whole physical reality, even corporeally, though not in the same way as bodies are in a place "6.


We look at Jesus present in the tabernacle, perhaps just a few meters away, or our hearts go out to the nearest church, and we tell him that we know, through faith, that he is present there. We firmly believe in the promise he made in Capernaum and shortly afterwards in the Cenacle: Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius: nihil hoc verbo veritatis verius: I believe all that the Son of God has said: nothing is truer than this word of truth.


Our faith and our love should be particularly evident at the moment of Communion. We receive Jesus Christ, the living Bread that came down from Heaven, the absolutely necessary nourishment for reaching the goal.


In Holy Communion Christ himself is given to us, perfect God and perfect Man, mysteriously hidden, but desirous of communicating divine life to us. When we receive him in this Sacrament, his Divinity acts in our soul, through his glorious Humanity, with a greater intensity than when he was here on earth. None of those who were cured: Bartimaeus, the paralytic of Capernaum, the lepers... were as close to Christ - to Christ himself - as we are in every Communion. The effects that this living Bread, Jesus, produces in our soul are countless and of infinite richness. The Church sums it up in these words: "all the effect that material food and drink have on the life of the body, sustaining, repairing and delighting, this sacrament has on the spiritual life.


Hidden under the sacramental species, Jesus is waiting for us. He has stayed for us to receive him, to strengthen us in love. Let us examine today what our faith is like; in the face of so much abandonment, let us see what our love is like, how we prepare for each Communion. We say with Peter: we have come to know and believe that you are the Christ. You are our Redeemer, the reason for our life.













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