Bread of Life

 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. (john 6: 50)
The miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him. Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded. Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church—with the whole community of Catholics around the world…and in heaven.


Why does the Catholic Church believe Christ is really present in the Eucharist?
The Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence is the belief that Jesus Christ is literally, not symbolically, present in the Holy Eucharist—body, blood, soul and divinity. Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist because Jesus tells us this is true in the Bible:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them,

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” - John 6:48-56
Furthermore, the early Church Fathers either imply or directly state that the bread and wine offered in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is really the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In other words, the doctrine of the Real Presence that Catholics believe today was believed by the earliest Christians 2,000 years ago!

This miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him.

Monday, July 5, 2010


By Mary Sharon Moore

Some days I daydream about what it would be like to have a job defined by tasks that have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Or maybe a job that yields a product that I can see, touch, wrap my hands around, measure, even package and sell. My line of work, vocation development, can oftentimes seem a lot like planting seeds, perpetually planting seeds for some hoped-for but often elusive harvest.

No wonder my mother still doesn't know what to say when her friends ask, “So what does your daughter do?” Well, I explain, I do some listening. I do some writing. Now and then I teach or talk. Now and then some money floats in. I can't explain, but it all seems to work.

Add to this rather vague “job description” my recent realization that the current economic drought has slowly dried up the many little tributaries that make up my income stream. I am not alone in awakening to the new world of economic angst, and as you too no doubt have noticed, the pain is personal.

So imagine my surprise as I prayed the Magnificat — Mary’s hymn of praise—at the close of Evening Prayer one evening, and this phrase came out of my mouth in the present tense: “The Almighty is doing great things for me!” I stopped. I was suddenly confused, and I fumbled through my book to find the right words. Sure enough, the text was in the past tense: “has done great things for me.” But my imagination was still hearing this phrase in the present tense. The Almighty is up to something in my life right now, exactly when I think there’s nothing going on. This must be a vocational moment!

In the Book of the Prophet Isaiah God says, “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19). I’ve always felt slightly irked by that exclamation point with the words “something new!” Why does God have to be so mysterious, so cryptic, so elusive with my life? Why can't God just be obvious? “Do you not perceive it?” God asks. Frankly, no.

That’s where I was, in that “frankly, no” state, on the evening when the Magnificat turned to the present tense: “The Almighty is doing great things for me.” There I was. I had to admit what I cannot perceive, that God’s movement in my life is vocation in the present tense.
It’s easy to think of vocation in the past tense — what God has already done in someone else’s life, or in the future tense, as something I hope God will do in my life. But I risk missing God’s work in my life here and now, unglamorous as that may be. Despite the evidence, I am still God’s anointed, and God’s purpose for my life will be fulfilled.

God’s calling is just as real and present even in the moments when the best I can do is to sit in the water and hope for a wind to fill my sails. Sitting and waiting in faith, facing into God with radical trust in the mystery of God’s plan, is authentic vocational response. To say “I can't see what God is up to but I give my Yes in faith anyway” is far more honest than threshing around in desperation to beat my way out of the doldrums.

The young Virgin Mary had no idea what she was saying Yes to, but in radical trust she sang forth her hymn in praise of God’s faithfulness. So I invite you right now to say these words with me: “The Almighty is doing great things for me.” I invite you to reflect in the coming days on what these words mean, vocationally, in your life right now.

God engages us in the ever-changing present tense of our lives. Holy is his name!

Mary Sharon Moore is founding director of Awakening Vocations and author of Touching the Reign of God and Living in God’s Economy. This column first appeared in the Diocese of Dodge City Southwest Kansas Register. Her article “Four Steps to Divine Carelessness” appears in the July 2010 issue of St. Anthony Messenger. Mary Sharon may be reached at; on the web at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, "My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live."

Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak.

She said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured."

Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, "Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you."

And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official's house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping."

And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose.

And news of this spread throughout all that land. (Mattew 9:18-26)