Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity … all in one, little, white wafer. This is what I believe.
As a Catholic, one of the most important beliefs is the real presence of Jesus in the consecrated host. He is truly present in both his human and divine natures. There are lots of books that can describe the belief in much greater detail, but no matter how much one learns about it, the one question remains. Do you believe?
As a college student I took a class called “Jesus: History or Myth,” and it was my first real experience where I had to ask myself what I believed. Hearing other students scoff at the notion of Jesus was shocking for a girl who spent 12 years in Catholic education. But almost more troubling were those who believed Jesus as a prophet or some sort of great person, but not as the Son of God. It was during those college years that I first began to own what I had learned as a child—Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior who died for our sins and rose again.
At Easter, we celebrate the three events that make the real presence of Jesus possible: the Last Supper, Good Friday and the Resurrection. When Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to His disciples to eat, He asked them to repeat those actions (Lk 22:19). But they would have had little meaning if He continued amongst them as He was. Those actions would have been a memorial if Jesus had only died on the cross. But Jesus rose from the dead, transforming the meaning of those actions into the bread of life. In a way, Jesus at the Last Supper took what He was going to do in the future and brought it to the disciples in that moment. At every consecration of the Eucharist since then, both the crucified and resurrected Jesus are present. Jesus, the Son of God, is the master of all time and space. How can I not trust Him to be able to perform such a miracle? Each day that miracle occurs at each Mass all around the world.
I cannot claim that I understand how it is possible. It is a mystery and defies logic. But that is what faith is about. It is believing that God so loves me, that He wants to very much be a part of me, so that by consuming the consecrated host, we are one. No, it does not make me divine, but it does bring me closer to God. It opens me up to trust in Him more each time I receive. But first, I have to believe.
Note: While this was written only speaking about the bread, the same is true for the wine at consecration. Each is considered to be fully Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus.