“It is God who does it, the same God who fed so many thousands with the little barley loaves and little fishes, multiplying them, of course, in the hands which distributed them.” — St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus takes the loaves and fish offered to him. He then blesses them, breaks the bread, and distributes the food. The evangelist records the same pattern at the Institution of the Eucharist. Jesus takes bread, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it to his disciples. The miracle of the Eucharist is possible because it is God who effects the change of bread into his body and wine into his blood. This is the same God who multiplies loaves and fishes; the same God who cures the sick and raises the dead; the same God who forgives sin. God makes bread his flesh and wine his blood. For St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, this miracle is so marvelous that God makes less sense if Catholic teaching about the Eucharist isn’t true. She believes the consolations of the Blessed Sacrament are so rich that if they are the mere contrivance of men, “then God seems not as earnest for our happiness as these contrivers.”
LET US PRAY
Lord Jesus, you who take the loaves and fish, bless them, break the bread, and give to the hungry to eat, fill my heart with food that satisfies. May I marvel at the miracle of the Eucharist, made present by the power of God. Amen.
PRAYER TO THE EUCHARIST
O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
-Collect for the Feast of Corpus Christi, composed by St. Thomas Aquinas