While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.”Matthew 26:26-29
We must always see – and never forget – that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is an act of perfect love that lies within His Divine Power. Jesus did not just leave us with a symbol or some physical token to remember him by. He gave us his very self. What human being, after all, in love with another would choose a merely symbolic contact, instead of a flesh and blood relationship? Probably none, if we are being honest. One would be hard pressed to find a better expression of God’s love for us and of ours for Him. The Words of Institution are words that echo those of Jesus himself. What a significant and powerful moment of the Eucharistic celebration this is! Not only is it efficacious in bringing about transubstantiation – a change we can all believe in – we also become united with Him and incorporated into his body as we take and eat the life-saving bread and saving cup he offers to us out of pure love.
By Fr. Larry Basbas