To the editor:
A recent survey found 69% of self-identified Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence. This is an incredible tragedy!
The church’s catechism teaches that Jesus’ presence in Holy Communion is the very heart and summit of our Catholic Faith. This is not an optional teaching, but abundantly supported by Sacred Scripture. At Mass, the priest follows Christ’s command to “Do this in memory of Me,” as he re-enacts the Last Supper. When he blesses the bread and wine, they miraculously become the Body and Blood of Christ. Yet the Transubstantiation is now being treated by many Catholics as if it were a myth.
In the Gospel of John (6:51), Jesus clearly teaches: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
The Real Presence is our pride and joy as Catholics. In Holy Communion, we intimately receive Almighty God! It is profoundly sad that Holy Communion today is being considered by many as simply blessed bread, a metaphor of Christ, or perhaps a good luck charm.
This problem is nothing new. During Our Lord’s ministry, some of His disciples also questioned His Real Presence. They said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” (John 6:60) and started walking away. Finally, Jesus asked the Apostles if they also wanted to leave.
I pray that today’s doubting Catholics reconsider Jesus’ tremendous love in giving us the gift of His very Self! May they respond as Peter did, when he said, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).