• In this 2014 file photo, Pope Francis elevates the Eucharist as he celebrates Mass on the feast of Corpus Christi outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.

    In this 2014 file photo, Pope Francis elevates the Eucharist as he celebrates Mass on the feast of Corpus Christi outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. (CNS photo by Paul Haring)

Recognize, receive Jesus in the Eucharist

Catholic Courier    |    09.30.2019


To the editor:

In July of this year, the Pew Research Center published a report “What Americans Know About Religion” that found that half of Catholics in the United States don’t know that the Catholic Church teaches the Eucharist is the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. This has been part of a disturbing trend these last several years.

As Bishop Matano states in his Pastoral Letter on the Eucharist (May 25, 2017): “The sad and continuing decline of those faithfully attending Mass each week gives evidence that a significant number of Catholics do not understand or have not been taught the reality of the union of Christ and the Church and of Christ’s Real Presence at every celebration of the Eucharist.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear that “he [Jesus Christ} is present most especially in the Eucharistic species.” The Catechism also mentions the presence of Christ Jesus “in the poor, the sick and the imprisoned” (no. 1373).

Social activist and writer Dorothy Day was a daily communicant with a strong devotion to the sacramental presence of Christ, but she also recognized Jesus’ presence in the marginalized. These two modes of God’s presence enriched and sustained each other, both experienced in faith – in the Eucharist, and in living the Beatitudes.

In acknowledging and receiving the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, may we as St. Augustine describes, become what we receive: blessed, broken, poured out and shared for those most needing to experience Jesus’ compassion and concern.

Rev. Kevin E. McKenna

Flower City Park

Rochester

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