Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Aug. 19, 2012

Reflection for Aug. 19, 2012

The Real Presence of Jesus in Eucharist is source of faith

by Sister Elise Cholewinski

In our parish we have a summer school program for our high school students.  Recently I finished teaching a course on world religions.  The question I kept asking the students as we completed our study of each of the major religions was, "Knowing what you now know, why would you choose to be a Catholic?"  Then I would remind them that a great spiritual writer, G.K. Chesterton, says in his book, "The Everlasting Man," that religion has to be real.

During the past few weeks we have been listening to Jesus' Bread of Life discourse.  In the first part of that discourse He invites us to believe in Him as the One sent from the Father.  We are to come to Him not only for what He does, but especially for Who He is, the very substance, meaning, nourishment of our lives.  If we believe He is real, then we know why we are Christian.

In this Sunday's Gospel we are at the heart of what it means to be Catholic.  Jesus speaks about His flesh as real food and His blood as real drink.  Eating and drinking are the most intimate things we do; what we receive actually becomes part of who we are.  If we believe in Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist, then we know why we are Catholic.

Religion is about what is real.  Is Jesus a real living Person, the Son of God, or is He simply a great prophet from the past?  Is the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist His real Body and Blood, or a symbol or representation?   Catholicism is about what is real.  Let us believe.  Let us enjoy the intimacy.  Let us treasure the Gift.

Well formulated and excellent connections made with Scripture, our daily living, and Chesterton. Thanks for making your point in such a succinct way. You live what you speak, Elise.

Elise, Thank you for sharing your giftedness with us! You are a gifted teacher and are able to make connections and present questions that bring help to make our faith real and alive!


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