Jesus said to him (Thomas), “You have believed because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” John 20:29
Many of us would have been in the same boat as Thomas. We too have trouble believing sometimes. Sadly, in the church today, many people don’t believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. A 2008 CARA poll showed that 43% of Catholics believe that the consecrated host is merely bread which symbolically represents Christ’s spiritual presence.
Following is one of my favorite “Eucharistic Miracle” stories. Maybe you can share it with family and friends who don’t believe in the True Presence. (You can also Google “Eucharistic Miracles” for more stories.)
“There was a man in Italy who refused to believe the doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. St Anthony could not convince the man by his words would. The unbelieving man would starve his mule for three days, then bring his mule to the town square. Anthony would bring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. If the hungry animal would come to Jesus in the monstrance rather than a bucket of food, then the man would accept the church’s teachings and believe that Jesus was truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.”
“On the third day the man came into the town square with his very hungry mule. St. Anthony approached from the other side of the square with the Sacred Host. Many people, both believers and unbelievers alike, watched to see what would happen. A large bucket of oats and a bundle of fragrant hay were placed before the hungry animal. But all this was ignored by the mule. Instead, the mule approached Saint Anthony and fell on her knees before the Blessed Sacrament to adore Jesus. True to his word, the man made a profession of faith in the Real Presence because his mule had believed first.”[i]
I pray that we would recognize the awesome treasure we have in the Blessed Sacrament, and go as often as possible to receive Jesus – body, blood, soul and divinity.
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 6. Janice also leads women’s retreats and recently published her second book: God IS with Us. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.janicecarleton.com/ or email her at [email protected].