Did you know that a miracle occurs at every Mass? During the consecration, through the priest, Jesus changes the bread and wine into His body and blood. This is no mere symbol. It truly is Jesus—body, blood, soul, and divinity.
In the Church this year, we are celebrating a Eucharistic Revival—an effort to help Catholics understand the beauty of the Eucharist and to encourage them to become closer to Christ and to receive Him worthily.
One millennial understood this better than most, and before his death he compiled a list of the Church’s approved Eucharistic miracles. Blessed Carlo Acutis, whose feast day we celebrate on October 12, held a special devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist. Now, the Eucharistic miracles he catalogued tours the world showing how many times Christ has proven that the Eucharist is His body.
I recently attended this exhibition. There are over 100 of these miracles, and truly it was an amazing experience. Throughout this display, people can read the miraculous stories and see pictures of the Eucharist with blood stains and with images of Christ. They can also read about the scientific studies conducted on one of the hosts that showed that the fibers came from the heart muscle and that the blood type was AB—the blood type found on the Shroud of Turin.
What an immense gift we are given in the Eucharist!
It’s no wonder that young Carlo Acutis was so devoted to the Eucharist. And we have to wonder why so many today are not.
Think of it this way, if your best friend gave you a special gift, would you receive it with gratitude, or would you dismiss it and throw it away? Christ is infinitely more important than any earthly person, and He gives us the most precious gift possible—Himself. How can we not cherish it? How can we not long to receive Him?
This is why events such as the Eucharistic Revival and the traveling Eucharistic miracles are so vital today—they help us understand the depths of Christ’s love for us. He gave Himself to us, and He does so every day.
In Matthew 26, we read, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’”
This wasn’t the first time He said we must eat of His flesh. In John 6, He told the crowd: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”
This was a difficult teaching, and many of the people in the crowd walked away because they did not understand or were unwilling to believe. Jesus asked His apostles if they too would leave; they responded, “Master, to whom shall we go?”
If those people who had left had misunderstood Christ or if He meant His words metaphorically, He would have called them back and said so. But He did not mean His words metaphorically, and He let the people walk away.
So let us ask ourselves: Are we thankful for Christ in the Eucharist? Do we look forward to the Mass, or do we find it to be a chore? Do we skip Mass for something far less important? Can we not give Him just one hour a week?
As we contemplate what we give importance to, and as we approach Carlo’s feast day, let us take the time to examine our own lives and to educate ourselves and our children about the Eucharist. And let us resolve to receive Him worthily and often, for truly we have life in Him.
The Eucharist truly is Jesus. This is our faith. This is what sets us apart.