The Eucharist: A Mystery that Continues to Puzzle and Guide Us
By Bishop David J. Malloy
This Sunday is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. We celebrate with joy and in mystery the gift of the Eucharist. We take to heart that the promise of Jesus made at the Last Supper — “This is my body. … This is my blood” (Mt 26: 26, 28) — has been fulfilled once more.
That means that the bread and wine, after being consecrated at Mass at the hands of a priest, ceases to be bread and wine even as its appearance to our senses remains the same. Instead, by the working of the Holy Spirit, the bread becomes exactly what Jesus told us, His body. And the wine becomes His blood.
In the words of the Council of Trent, which pondered this mystery in the 1500s, in the Eucharist, “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.” 
Given our unity with the faith of the Church through all time, this articulation of the meaning of the Eucharist is true for us today as well.
Obviously then, the Eucharist is one of those sacred mysteries that puzzles us but also guides us in our search for eternal life. 
It puzzles us precisely because we have Christ’s word about the change in the substance of the bread and wine. But because we cannot perceive this change by our senses, and because there is no other such phenomenon in our human experience, we cannot understand how this is possible. We are left simply to trust Jesus and to believe.
However, the Eucharist also guides our way. Jesus told His disciples, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (Jn 6:53). 
Our time now is a search for the eternal life in heaven that we were made for. Jesus told us that to eat His flesh and drink His blood is an integral part of gaining eternal life.
To believe in the Eucharist is a gift from God. Not everyone has that gift. The author Willa Cather, for example, after writing a number of novels with very Catholic themes, was supposed to have said that she was never able to become a Catholic herself because, try as she might, she could not come to belief in the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Even in the Gospel of John we are told that because of Jesus’s teaching about the Eucharist, “… many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him” (Jn 6:66).
How precious then is faith in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. To have that faith is to recognize the existence of the infinite and all powerful God, and that, sacramentally, He is truly here among us. Because of the Eucharist, we are already joined in this world to Him who has made all things.
We need to protect and foster the gift of faith in Jesus’s words and His presence in the Eucharist. How? 
First, by going to Mass, each Sunday and more often if possible. Our presence before Jesus at Mass is the most powerful witness to Him and to ourselves about our faith.
We need to approach the Eucharist with awe and reverence at the moment of Communion. In doing so we must struggle to avoid any thoughts that the Eucharist is simply a symbolic memorial, or that reception of holy Communion is merely an act of hospitality open to any and all regardless of their faith. 
And of course, we need regularly to confess our sins, especially as a means to seek worthiness to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.
Corpus Christi is Latin for the Body of Christ. That is the truth about the Eucharist. It is even truer than we know.