Do you really Believe?


Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare′a Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli′jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. Matt 16:13-18

In the Late 1990's I was a seminarian studying at a Benedictine Monastery on the top of a mountain. In my 3rd year I was assigned the charge of giving tours of the Abbey Church. One Saturday Morning I was giving a tour to a group of pilgrims. We toured the Abbey and the residence, and finished at the Adoration chapel. I instructed the group to observe silence at all times in the Chapel.

I let them pray for a few minutes then we exited the Chapel. A young Muslim man asked me what that was in the gold vessel on the alter. I said that as Catholics we believe that Jesus gave us his real body and blood at the Last Supper to the 11 apostles in the upper room on Holy Thursday and that Jesus was truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. He stared at me for a few moments and finally said, "If I truly believed that My God is truly present in that room, I would NEVER leave this room!" I had no response.


I believe St. Augustine summed it up best...  "

"Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, ‘This is my body’ [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands" (Explanations of the Psalms 33:1:10 [A.D. 405]).

"I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord’s Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ" (Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]).

"What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ. This has been said very briefly, which may perhaps be sufficient for faith; yet faith does not desire instruction" (ibid., 272).




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