At last, the long-looked-for day has come when Our Lord is to fulfil the promise He made to the Jews that He would give us the living bread… of God (cf., Jn. 6.26-59 in our post “The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of theHoly Eucharist”): His Flesh – Meat indeed (Jn. 6.56). At the Last Supper, Our Savior took bread and blessed and gave to His disciples and said: “This IS My BODY.” Then taking the chalice, He gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: “…This IS My BLOOD…” (Mt. 26.26,28). Now in these words of the ‘consecration’ it is the same Almighty God, Jesus Christ, Who, in the beginning (Jn. 1.1; Gen. 1.1; cf., Col. 1.16), SAID: Be light made (Gen. 1.3); Who once changed water into wine; Who gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and life to the dead. When God speaks, whatever He commands does not entertain any impossibility and it is done in an instant. For He spoke and they were created: He commanded and they were made (Ps. 32.9). At the Last Supper, by the almighty power of His words alone, He instantaneously changed the substance of the bread into His Body and the substance of the wine into His Blood (the Catholic dogma of Transubstantiation) but without changing the sensible qualities or appearances of the bread and the wine. “In a word,” says Fr. Michael Muller, C.S.S.R., “whatever [the ACCIDENTS] is capable of being perceived by the SENSES remains, but the SUBSTANCE, which is perceived by the UNDERSTANDING alone, and NOT BY THE SENSES, is changed.”
The Protestants confess, as Catholics do, that in God there are three Divine Persons; but, only Catholics truly believe and confess that the power of the Son of God is “supreme over all things… that His omnipotence can accomplish the great work which we admire and adore in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist” (the Roman Catechism or the Catechism of the Council of Trent). They also confess that he who believes in Jesus Christ hath everlasting life (Jn. 6.47) but only Catholics go as far as Jesus Christ would bid them: He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, HATH everlasting life (Jn. 6.55). Calvin said: “The bread signifies only the Body of Jesus Christ.” Luther said: “No, the bread and the wine, in the moment of their reception by the faithful, becomes, by the faith of the communicant, the Body and Blood of Christ.” But, according to the Protestants’ own criterion of “sola scriptura” (only what the Bible says) by which they acknowledge a teaching to be divine, nowhere in the Sacred Scriptures do we read “signifies” and nowhere do we read also that it is “in the moment of their reception… by the faith of the recipient.” The Eternal Word of God pronounces over the bread: This is My Body – and the same the Catholic Church affirms; St. John Chrysostom, a great Father and Doctor of the Church: “Let us obey, not contradict God, although what He says may SEEM contrary to our reason and sight.His words cannot deceive, our senses our easily deceived.”
The sensists or the materialists object simply because they pretend that the world of reality encompasses only what their five senses could perceive and that the mind can rise no higher than the physical. And the Savior, after that He has already worked many incontrovertible miracles to prove that He is really present in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, is not going to win them to His love according to the diabolical demand that He prove Himself to be the Almighty by openly displaying, every time that the priest pronounces the words of consecration of Our Lord, His awesome and ‘cool’ miraculous powers – manifesting on the altar the sensible qualities of His glorious Body, bearing the marks of His wounds, His merciful countenance, and His radiant majesty. They are asking for that reward which God reserves for the blessed alone! Blessed are they that have not seen and yet believe (Jn. 20.29).
Moreover, it is written of Our Lord Jesus Christ, being a High Priest over the house of God (Heb. 10.21): Thou art a priest for ever, ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDECH (Ps. 109.4; Heb. 5.6). This day we see the fulfilment of this prophecy. Our Savior offers the sacrifice of Himself in an unbloody manner by means of the consecrated Bread and Wine which were prefigured by the bread and wine offered by Melchisedech, the Priest of the Most High God (Gen. 14.18). And since He is a priest for ever, this His unbloody offering of Himself is therefore a perpetual sacrifice. For this reason, Christians, according to the testimony of St. Paul the Apostle, have an altar (Heb. 13.10) on which the most holy of the sacrifices of the Lord by a perpetual right (Lev. 24.9) – the Living Bread, the Body of Our Savior Jesus Christ, prefigured by the loaves of proposition of Old – is continually offered, from the rising of the sun to the going down… in every place even among the Gentiles (Mal. 1.11), up to this our age through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The chalice of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the Blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the Body of the Lord? Therefore whosoever shall eat this Bread, OR drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself… for he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not DISCERNing THE BODY OF THE LORD (St. Paul the Apostle, 1 Cor. 10.16; 11.27-29).