THE EUCHARIST FULFILS
Forty days after his Resurrection, Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven;
every year we celebrate that event on the Feast of the Ascension.
But before he ascended, our Saviour promised to remain with his Church
"until the end of time" (Matthew 28:20).
The most remarkable way in which he has fulfilled this promise,
is the Holy Eucharist, which we celebrate during every Mass,
and receive through Holy Communion.
To keep our human nature alive, we need natural food;
to go without eating is to languish and die.
But by our baptism we are no longer merely children of natural parents;
we are also sons and daughters of God himself, sharers in his divine life.
To sustain that supernatural life, then, we need supernatural food.
Christ himself is that food.
Just as children receive life and existence from their parents'
flesh and blood at the moment of conception, so we receive Christian life
and existence from Christ's flesh and blood in the Eucharist.
During the Mass, when the ordained priest, in obedience to Christ's
own command to "do this in remembrance of me," pronounces
the words of consecration, "this is my body... this is my blood",
over the bread and the wine, those humble substances are
changed into Christ's own body and blood.
This change is known by theologians as ‘transubstantiation,’
the transformation of the substance of bread and wine
into the substance of Christ's body and blood.
And since Christ is alive today, residing physically in heaven,
wherever his body and blood are really present, He himself must also
be present. Thus, the Church has always taught,
and the faithful have always believed, that in the Eucharist,
under the appearances of bread and wine, our God is truly
and sacramentally present in His body, blood, soul, and divinity.