“During the meal Jesus took some bread in his hands. He blessed the bread and broke it. Then he gave it to his disciples and said ‘Take this and eat it. This is my body.’ Jesus picked up a cup of wine and gave thanks to God. He then gave it to his disciples and said, ‘Take this and drink it. This is my blood, and with it God makes his agreement with you. It will be poured out, so that many people will have their sins forgiven.'” (Matthew 26:26-28)
Christ instituted the Eucharist to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until His Second Coming, and to entrust to the Catholic Church a memorial of His Death and Resurrection. The Eucharist is a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a divine banquet, a source of infinite Grace, and a pledge of future glory in Heaven.
The Holy Mass or Eucharist allows Catholics to relive with the entire Church Christ’s Last Supper, Passion, Death and Resurrection, and receive Him in Communion under the species of bread and wine. In Communion, we are nourished spiritually and brought closer to God and to His Church. The bread and the wine become Christ by the invocation of the Holy Spirit per the article The Holy Spirit and the Eucharist. The Catholic Church, faithful to the Redeemer’s command, relives the Last Supper in His memory till His glorious return.
The Eucharist is the supreme sacrament of the Church, and the supreme expression of God’s love for His people. Christ gives Himself at our disposal, and asks us to surrender to Him for our consecration. When we commune, the Redeemer gives us Eternal Life and we get transformed into Him. His desire for mutual love and self-giving is the essence of the Eucharist, for in giving Himself to us, Christ gives us a share in His Divine Life.
Our Lord has shown us He is really present in the Eucharist. Many Eucharistic Miracles have occurred during times of weakened Eucharistic Faith. Most miracles involve incidences in which “the Host has turned into human flesh and blood.” Catholics believe the consecrated Host is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord under the species of bread and wine. Jesus manifests His Presence more tangibly through the miracles.
A recent Eucharistic Miracle occured in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1996, under the leadership of Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis:
“At seven o’clock in the evening on August 18, 1996, Fr. Alejandro Pezet was saying Holy Mass at a Catholic church in the commercial center of Buenos Aires. As he was finishing distributing Holy Communion, a woman came up to tell him that she had found a discarded host on a candleholder at the back of the church. Going to the spot indicated, Fr. Alejandro saw the defiled Host. Since he was unable to consume it, he placed it in a container of water and put it away in the tabernacle of the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.”
On Monday, August 26, upon opening the tabernacle, he saw to his amazement the Host turned into a bloody substance. He informed Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who gave instructions for the Host to be professionally photographed. The photos taken on September 6 clearly showed the Host had become a fragment of bloodied flesh. For several years the Host remained in the tabernacle, and the whole affair was kept a strict secret. Cardinal Bergoglio decided to analyze scientifically the Host.
God is Love, and remains faithful because He is faithful. We break our relationship with Him through mortal sin, but He remains unchanged. When we receive the sacrament of Penance we are reconciled with Him, and He loves us as intensely as before we had sinned.