Today, we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, which confirms His presence among His people as the loving God - the Emmanuel, the God who is with us, amongst us, in the midst of us. The belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist dates back to the beginning of the Church. The early Christians celebrated the Eucharist in the midst of persecutions against them. They hid in the catacombs in order to gather every Sunday and share the Body and Blood of Christ. No wonder the catacombs in Rome bore witness to this, with carvings and writings on the walls, so that we, and the generations to come, can preserve the doctrine of the Real Presence.
Perhaps, after the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, the Real Presence is the other dogma of the Church that is quite challenging to explain. Indeed, it is a mystery. Theologians try to explain this mystery using the Aristotelian philosophical term "transubstantiation", which could be understood as changing the substance of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ by the action of the Holy Spirit.
When Jesus instituted the Eucharist, He intended it to be both sacramental and sacrificial in nature. It is a sacrament that gives grace to those who receive it, and it is a sacrifice both by Jesus and by the Church as sharer to His divine mission. As a meal, the Eucharist gathers us as a family. As a sacrifice, the Eucharist becomes our thanksgiving. As a vocation, the Eucharist becomes our mission to be bread to others - broken and shared.
Let us examine again our faith. How do we approach the Eucharist every time we attend Mass? Do we prepare ourselves for such a great encounter with Jesus? Do we fully believe in Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist? May we become Christ-bearer as Mary was; in our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our places of work, in our communities, and in the world. Amen.