In the Bible, every act/miracle that Jesus did or performed came with some outward visible sign. Even when Jesus told a recipient that his/her sins were forgiven, there was usually some other tangible outward sign that went along with it, for example, blind person seeing, raised from dead, lame walking, multiplication of loaves and fishes, etc. Jesus’ only miracle performed truly without a physical transformation was at the Last Supper when He created the Eucharist – broke bread and said, “This is My Body”. This miracle was one needing true Faith to take fully to heart.
I cannot physically see anything but bread and wine during and after the Consecration at Mass. It is with my eyes of Faith that I need to see that miraculous transformation. I can see where my Protestant brothers have problems as well. They, as well, do not see anything different other than a bunch of wafers of bread and normal wine in a cup. Jesus told Thomas after His Resurrection, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” That is what is happening during the Eucharist. I need to “not see yet believe” more completely.
The Eucharist, along with the other 6 Sacraments as well, all have that major element if “unseen Faith” required to fully participate and embrace the true miracle that is actually happening. From the mitigating of sins during Baptism, Confession and Anointing of the Sick, to the receiving of the Holy Spirit during Confirmation, one’s physical sight and other senses are not sufficient to gain a belief of the miracle that is in process and being conveyed by the Sacrament.
Again, the first point of Faith is to believe that Jesus is capable to have instituted these Sacramental miracles, whether I can see the deliverable outcome or not. Thomas did not believe his fellow brothers when they told him of Jesus’ visit after His death and resurrection. There was still an element of doubt in Thomas’ mind and heart that Jesus was God and was quite capable to resurrect from the dead as well as come for a visit. Thomas was then reborn in his Faith after Jesus visited a second time and later gave his life for Christ as a martyr.
But Jesus is challenging you and me to believe right now; have Faith right now that Jesus is indeed God. He not only is capable to, but has instituted a Sacrament where He takes an ordinary person, a priest, and during that Consecration process, envelops this ordinary man to then be in persona of Christi, who then takes ordinary bread and wine and miraculously changes that ordinary bread and wine into Jesus’ Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. All this is done and the priest physically is unchanged, Fr. John still physically looks like Fr. John, and the bread and wine still looks the same as it did before.
On first sight, it is easy for anyone, ones in the Faith or outside lookers looking in, to wonder what the heck is going on here? It is easy for one to not believe one’s brothers when they tell you, “That bread is really the body of Christ”. It is easy to say, “When I see some physical change to that bread, then I will believe that this miracle/transformation from bread to Body of Christ is real and has happened.” Although this has happened in the past (e.g. Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, Italy), Jesus asks us to believe our brothers, and His Church, by believing, not just as a point of intellectual Faith, but deep seated Faith of true Spiritual belief. It happens!
Do you believe? Do you feel Jesus’s presence when you receive the Eucharist? That is my goal, and hope it is yours as well. Let us truly find Jesus in His Eucharist. Let us not see yet believe. Amen. God bless.