This really is the whole ball of wax, isn’t it Lord? Even your disciples said it was a tough nut to crack ~ so very hard to accept. Transubstantiation ~ the change of something elemental into something completely different.
We know the transubstantiation at consecration is real, is truly You. It’s not a simple symbolism of your presence, but your true body and blood. It’s the reason that unconsecrated hosts are not called “The Body”. Only after consecration do we speak of “The Body of Christ”. The Church Fathers believed, and the early martyrs died for believing that the Eucharist is truly your body and blood.
You lost many of your followers that day on the shoreline in Israel, as you spoke of giving us your body and blood to sustain us. It was too hard for many to accept. If those who walked with you, supported you, believed in You, still walked away unable to accept or understand Your words, how much harder it is these 2000 years later to believe. But then I think of the Communion of Saints, especially those early martyrs who knelt in the colosseums and died for believing that the Eucharist is Your body and blood. I stand with Peter and say, “Where else would I go?” Only in You do I find the way to, the truth of, and the light of eternal life.
Still, at times, I cry out, like the father of the sick child; “Lord I believe, help my disbelief” (Mark 9 20-22). Only because I believe in you can I reach out for help and understanding.
Ray Alonzo is the father of three children, grandfather of two, and husband to Jan for 45 years. He is a USN Vietnam Veteran, and a 1969 graduate of Mother of Good Counsel Passionist Prep Seminary. Ray currently serves on the Passionist Alumni Council.