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.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


by Mary Sharon Moore, M.T.S.

I have a heart for lay celibates in the Church. For the most part, their vocational state in life is uncelebrated and overlooked. Christian community lacks a convincing way of speaking of the power of this vocational lifestyle. A lot of potential, sadly, goes to waste, and many just drift away.

Yet with so many lay celibates in the Church today we have to wonder: What is God up to? In the 1920s Dorothy Day had a heart for lay celibates, and directed their passion for justice and availability for apostolic works into Catholic Worker houses which still bear good fruit today.

Among the celibate men and women I’ve met, I think of John, an accountant who quietly gives financial support to religious institutions. I think of Mollie, working tirelessly in social services in foreign posts. And Guy who works with high-tech companies and is active in parish ministries on the weekends. I think of Dorothy, in her 80s and immersed in projects to help new mothers, homeless families, and the homebound. And Tim, working a day job to pay the bills, and coming alive in teaching and guiding catechumens. And Paul who sits with the dying. And I think of Celina, divorced five times and weeping at the discovery that she never was called to married life, and now lives with all her heart for God and the consolation of others.
One priest said of his celibate life: “We do not get married for the same reason other people do get married. It’s all about relationship. The celibate life is a way of belonging.”
Celibate men and women today have enormous capacity to touch their world in healing and life-giving ways, and an unusual availability to God’s purposes. All are anointed, or are just now awakening to their anointing.

Bringing it home
1. Who do I know who is celibate and deeply engaged in doing good in this world?
2. How does their dedication touch or help to shape my life?

Hold this thought
I am coming to value the unique calling of the celibate state in life.