The Mystery Of
This is My Body. This is My
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,
and when the dew evaporated,
there on the surface of the desert
were fine flakes like hoar frost on the
On seeing it the Israelites asked one another, "What is this?"
they did not know what it was. But Moses told them,
"This is the bread which
the Lord has given you to eat."
What sign, then, do you, that we may
see and believe you?
What work will you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in
even as it is written, Bread from Heaven He gave them to
Jesus then said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
Moses did not
give you the bread from Heaven,
but My Father gives you the true bread from
For the bread of GOD is that which comes down from Heaven
gives life to the world."
But Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life.
He that comes to Me
shall not hunger,
and he who believes in Me
shall never thirst."
"I am the bread that has come down from Heaven."
1. The Israelite
community grumbled against Moses that they might die
famine. Exodus 16:1-3
2. GOD provided 'manna' from Heaven to feed their
bodies. Exodus 16:4-18
3. This prefigures the Holy Eucharist.
Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist when He said, "This is
My Body and this is My Blood." This 'Last Supper' was the
5. Jesus Christ said that
He was the Bread come down from Heaven.
6. He said, "The Bread that I will
give is My flesh." John 6:51.
7. Jesus repeated Himself over and over that we
must eat His flesh and
drink His Blood in John
6:51,53,54,55,56. Why did He repeat Himself?
8. Name another area in the
Bible where Jesus repeated Himself anywhere
number of times? Why does anyone repeat himself? To
home a point, that's why. This 'Bread' is His
Body and this 'Cup' is His
9. GOD gave the
Israelites food for their bodies. Jesus Christ gave all
His Body and Blood as food for their
Jesus Christ ordered the Apostles to
perpetuate the 'Last Supper'
when He said to them, "This is My Body which is
given for you:
do this in remembrance of Me."
Did you notice
that as Jesus said these words, He was holding His own body in His hands?
Psalms 119:109 and Job 13:14
This 'Last Supper' is recreated at every Mass, as the priest acting
Persona Christi' or in the 'Person of Christ' (2Cor 2:10),
draws down 'The
Word' by his word, 'This is My Body',
and 'This is My Blood'.
words are spoken, the Holy Spirit changes the bread and wine
into the Body,
Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
Thus Jesus Christ in his entirety
is made visible upon the altar
under the appearance of bread and
This is the term
that the Church uses to describe the changing of bread
and wine into the
Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
The substance of bread
is turned into the substance of His Body.
The substance of wine is turned
into the substance of His Blood.
'Accidents', are the properties or
characteristics in the material itself,
its color, shape, size, texture, etc,
all the physical attributes it has.
In the 'Transubstantiation' of the
bread and wine, the 'substance' changes,
but the 'accidents' remain the
This then is the 'Mystery of the Holy Eucharist'.
What then did the Early Church Fathers have to say about the
of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist?
The Didache (Did-Ah-Key), or teaching of the Apostles, 9:1-5
Let no one eat
or drink of the Eucharist with you except those who have
been baptized in the
Name of the Lord; for it was in reference to this that
the Lord said, "Do not
give that which is Holy to dogs." Matthew 7:6
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Romans, 7:3, 106AD
I desire the bread
of GOD, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrneans, 6:2, 106AD
from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not
confess that the
Eucharist is the Flesh of Our Savior Jesus Christ, Flesh
which suffered for
our sins and which the Father, in His goodness, raised
up again. THEY WHO
DENY THE GIFT OF GOD ARE PERISHING
IN THEIR DISPUTES.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 22(Mystagogic 4)6, 350AD
not, therefore, regard the Bread and the Wine as simply that; for they
according to the Masters declaration, the Body and Blood of
St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Great
Catechism, 37, 383AD
Rightly then, do we believe that the bread consecrated
by the Word of GOD
has been made over into the Body of GOD the Word.
St. Ambrose of Milan, The Sacraments, 4:4:14, 390AD
You may perhaps say: "My
bread is ordinary." But that bread is bread
before the words of the
Sacraments; where the consecration has entered
in, the bread becomes the
Flesh of Christ.
St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the First Corinthians, 24:4:7, 392AD
you see the Body of Christ lying on the altar, say to yourself,
this Body I am no longer earth and ash, no longer a prisoner
is that Body which was blood-stained, which was pierced by
a lance, and from
which gushed forth those saving fountains, one of
blood, the other of water,
for all the world. This is the body which He gave
us, both to hold in reserve
and to eat, which was appropriate to intense love.
St. Augustine of Hippo, Sermons, 227, 393AD
The Bread which you see on the
altar, having been sanctified by the
Word of GOD, is the Body of Christ.
That chalice, or rather, what is in
that chalice, having been sanctified by
the Word of GOD, is the
Blood of Christ.
St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Matthew, 26:27, 428AD
demonstratively: "This is My Body," and "This is My Blood,"
lest you might
suppose the things you see are a figure. Rather, by some
secret of the
all-powerful GOD the things seen are transformed into the
Body and Blood of
Christ, truly offered in a sacrifice in which we, as participants, receive the
life-giving and sanctifying power of Christ.
Macarius, Bishop of Magnesia, Apocriticus, 3:23, 400 AD
Christ took the bread
and the cup, each in similar fashion, and said,
"This is My Body and this is
My Blood." Not a figure of His Body nor
a figure of His Blood, as some
persons of petrified mind are wont to rhapsodize, but in truth the Body and the
Blood of Christ, seeing that His
Body is from the earth, and the bread and
wine are likewise from the earth.
Holy Eucharist. The True Presence of Our Lord...
Many more references from
the Early Church Fathers:
These writings of the early Fathers can be
*Didache, 9:1. J6
Letter to the Romans 7:3. J54a
*Ignatius, Letter to the Philadelphians 3:2.
*Ignatius, Letter to the Smyrneans 6:2. J64
Justin Martyr, First
Apology 66. J128
Irenaeus, Against Heresies 4:18:4. J234
Against Heresies 4:33:2, 5:2:2. J240,249
Tertullian, Prayer 6:2, 19:1.
Tertullian, The Crown 3:2. J367
Hippolytus of Rome, Apostolic
Tradition 21. J394i
Clement of Alexandria, Instruct Children 2:2:19:4. J410
Origen, Homilies On Exodus Hom 13:3. J490
Origen, Homilies on Numbers
Hom 7:2. J491
Cyprian, The Lapsed 15. J551
Aphraates, Treatises 12:6.
*Ephraim, Homilies 4:4,4:6. *J707 J708
Athanasius, Sermon to the
Newly Baptized J802
*Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Letters 21-23
Mystagogic 1:7,4:3,6,9 J840-846,848,850,853j
Hilary, The Trinity
*Gregory of Nyssa, Great Catechism 37. J1035
Nyssa, Day of Lights Jaeger Vol 9, p225. J1062
*Theodore of Mopsuestia,
Comment on Matt 26:26. J1113e,f,n
Chrysostom, Homilies on Penance 9. J1137
*Chrysostom, Homilies on Judas 1:6. J1157
Chrysostom, On Matthew 82:4.
*Chrysostom, On First Corinthians 24:4:7. J1195
Second Timothy 2:4. J1207
Ambrose, The Faith 4:10:124. J1270
The Mysteries 9:50,58. J1333-1334, *J1339-1340
Jerome, Commentaries on
Matthew 4:26:26. J1390
Augustine, Letter to Boniface 98:9. J1424
*Augustine, Sermons 227+. J1519-1520, *J1524, J1633, J1716
Homilies on John 26:13. J1824
*Cyril of Alexander, Commentary on Matthew
*Macarius the Magnesian, Apocriticus 3:23. J2166
Source of Knowledge 3:4:13. J2371
Please see the companions to this
"The Sacrifice of the Mass", "The
Presence in the Holy Eucharist",
"Body and Soul", and "John Chapter
Written by Bob Stanley,
December 8, 1998, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Updated May 25,
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