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Monsignor Yennock on Transubstantiation - Homily from Holy Thursday April 13, 2017

Apr 17, 2017

TRANSUBSTANTIATION

HOLY THURSDAY APRIL 13, 2017

A YOUNG CATHOLIC MAN WAS TALKING TO A MINISTER OF A BORN AGAIN CHURCH. THE MINISTER SAID TO HIM: YOU ARE A CATHOLIC. YOU BELIEVE THAT THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS IS PRESENT IN THAT LITTLE WHITE HOST AFTER IT IS CONSECRATED.” THE YOUNG MAN SAID: “YES THAT IS WHAT I BELIEVE” THE MINISTER THEN SAID: “SUPPOSE YOU TAKE THAT HOST AND PUT IT UNDER A MICROSCOPE. DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD SEE THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS?”

THE YOUNG MAN SAID: “WHAT WE EXPERIENCE WITH OUR SENSES DOES NOT ALWAYS TELL US WHAT IS REALLY THERE”. THEN THE YOUNG MAN TRIED HIS BEST TO DEFEND HIS FAITH IN THE REAL PRESENCE. THIS IS WHAT HE SAID.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE WHITE HOST THAT PEOPLE RECEIVE AT HOLY COMMUNION WOULD YOU BELIEVE THAT THE ATOMIC ENERGY IN THE LITTLE HOST IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO LIFT A MILLION TONS SIX MILES INTO THE SKY? IF WE COULD SEPARATE THE MOLECULES AND ATOMS IN THIS LITTLE PIECE OF BREAD THERE WOULD BE ENOUGH ENERGY TO BLOW THIS ENTIRE BUILDING INTO DUST. IT WOULD BE MORE DEVASTATING THAN A TORNADO.

WHAT WE EXPERIENCE WITH OUR SENSES DOES NOT ALWAYS TELL US WHAT IS REALLY THERE.

THEN HE SAID: “IF YOU LOOK AT THIS PIECE OF BREAD IT APPEARS TO BE MOTIONLESS AND STATIC. HOWEVER, WE KNOW THAT THE MOLECULES, ATOMS, ELECTRONS AND OTHER PARTICLES IN THIS BREAD ARE DANCING AROUND WILDLY TRILLIONS OF TIMES A SECOND. IF THAT ENERGY WERE RELEASED IT WOULD BLOW US RIGHT OUT OF THIS BUILDING.”

WHAT WE SEE WITH OUR EYES DOES NOT ALWAYS TELL US WHAT IS REALLY THERE. THE YOUNG MAN WAS TRYING TO SAY THAT IF WE ACCEPT A NATURAL MYSTERY WHY IS IT NOT REASONABLE TO ACCEPT A SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY.

WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT THE EUCHARIST IS A SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY THAT IS MORE AWESOME THAN ANY WONDER OF NATURE.

WE BELIEVE THAT WHEN THE PRIEST SAYS THE WORDS OF CONSECRATION: “THIS IS MY BODY; THIS IS MY BLOOD”, THE SUBSTANCE OF BREAD AND WINE CHANGES INTO THE SUBSTANCE OF JESUS BODY AND BLOOD.

THIS SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IS SUPERNATURAL. IT COMES ABOUT THROUGH THE POWER OF THE SAME CREATOR WHO DESIGNED THE SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES THAT OCCUR IN NATURE. HYDROGEN AND OXEGEN ARE CHANGED INTO WATER.

IN THE NATURAL ORDER, HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF WHAT HAPPENS TO ORDINARY BREAD, MILK, MEAT, FRUITS AND VEGETABLES THAT WE EAT? THOSE SUBSTANCES CHANGE INTO THE SUBSTANCES OF OUR BODY AND BLOOD. THIS IS A NATURAL MYSTERY.

THINK OF IT, FOOD AND DRINK BEGIN TO HAVE ANOTHER LIFE. THEY TAKE ON HUMAN LIFE. THEY BEGIN TO LIVE AND LAUGH AND CRY AND LOVE IN US. THAT IS A NATURAL MYSTERY. CAN ANYONE UNDERSTAND HOW THIS HAPPENS?

DURING HIS VISIBLE LIFE ON EARTH JESUS CHANGED AND MULTIPLIED MANY SUBSTANCES. HE CHANGED THE SUBSTANCE OF WATER INTO WINE. HE MULTIPLIED THE SUBSTANCES OF FISH AND BREAD TO FEED THOUSANDS.

AFTER ALL HE IS THE CREATOR OF ALL SUBSTANCES. HE GAVE THEM THEIR EXISTENCE, HE GAVE THEM THEIR APPEARANCES SO THAT WE COULD IDENTIFY THEM. IF GOD CAN DO THIS WHY SHOULD WE BE SURPRISED THAT HE CAN CHANGE THE SUBSTANCES OF BREAD AND WINE INTO THE SUBSTANCE OF HIS OWN BODY AND BLOOD?

WHY SHOULD WE BE SURPRISED THAT HE CAN SUSPEND HIS PERSONAL APPEARANCE AND TAKE ON THE APPEARANCE OF BREAD AND WINE?

A SCIENTIST WHO RECENTLY CAME INTO THE CATHOLIC FAITH WAS EXPLAINING TO HIS WIFE WHAT THE CHURCH TAUGHT ABOUT THE REAL PRESENCE OF JESUS IN THE EUCHARIST. SHE RIDCULED HIM FOR HIS SIMPLE FAITH.

HE SAID TO HER: “YOU ARE NOT AT ALL DISTURBED BY HUNDREDS OF NATURAL MYSTERIES ALL AROUND YOU. BUT YOU ARE DISTURBED BY ONE SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY THAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND. YOU HAVE NO PROBLEM BELIEVING IN THE ATOMIC THEORY OR THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN’T SEE IT WITH YOUR OWN EYES. YET WHEN I BELIEVE IN THE REAL PRESENCE WHICH I CANNOT SEE WITH MY EYES YOU THINK THAT MY FAITH IS NOT WORTHY OF MY INTELLIGENCE.”

  1. PAUL SAID: WE LIVE BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT. WHEN WE LIVE BY SIGHT WHAT DO WE SEE AFTER THE CONSECRATION? WE SEE ONLY THE BREAD AND WINE REVEALED TO US BY OUR SENSES.

WHEN WE LIVE BY FAITH WHAT DO WE SEE AFTER THE CONSECRATION? WITH THE EYES OF OUR BODY WE SEE THE BREAD AND WINE. WITH THE EYES OF FAITH WE KNOW IT IS REALLY THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS. WE BELIEVE THIS BECAUSE THE SON OF GOD REVEALED IT TO US.

A YEAR BEFORE THE LAST SUPPER JESUS SAID TO THE CROWDS: ANYONE WHO EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD WILL HAVE LIFE IN HIM; FOR MY FLESH IS REAL FOOD AND MY BLOOD IS REAL DRINK”.

THOSE WHO LIVED BY SIGHT DOUBTED HIM. THEY TOOK HIS WORDS LITERALLY. THEY SAID: HOW CAN HE DO THIS? JESUS DID NOT BACK DOWN. HE SAID: “UNLESS YOU EAT THE FLESH OF THE SON OF GOD AND DRINK HIS BLOOD YOU WILL NOT HAVE LIFE IN YOU.”  

THEY WALKED AWAY EMPTY AND UNCONVINCED. THEY DID NOT CHANGE AT ALL. 

THOSE WHO LIVED BY FAITH SAID: YOU HAVE THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE. THEY WALKED AWAY CHANGED BY GRACE, READY FOR ETERNAL LIFE.

AT THE LAST SUPPER, WITH HIS OWN LIPS JESUS EMPOWERED THE FIRST PRIESTS TO REPLACE THE SUBSTANCE OF BREAD AND WINE WITH THE SUBSTANCE OF HIS BODY AND BLOOD WHEN HE SAID “THIS IS MY BODY; THIS IS MY BLOOD. DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.”

THEY ALL HEARD THE SAME WORDS OF JESUS BUT HE WHO LIVED BY SIGHT WENT OUT AND BETRAYED HIM. THOSE WHO LIVED BY FAITH ENDED UP GIVING THEIR LIFE FOR HIM.

 WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS THE SON OF GOD IS REALLY PRESENT IN THE EUCHARIST UNDER THE APPEARANCE OF BREAD AND WINE. WE BELIEVE THAT AT THE CONSECRATION IN THE MASS THE SUBSTANCES CHANGE BUT THE APPEARANCES REMAIN THE SAME. WE BELIEVE BECAUSE GOD REVEALED THIS TO US.

THROUGH THE YEARS GOD HAS ALLOWED EUCHARISTIC MIRACLES TO HAPPEN IN ORDER TO STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH AND TO INCREASE OUR DEVOTION. 

TWO OF THE MOST FAMOUS EUCHARISTIC MIRACLES HAPPENED TWELVE HUNDRED YEARS APART. ONE HAPPENED IN THE LITTLE TOWN OF LANCIANO IN ITALY IN THE 8TH CENTURY. THE OTHER HAPPENED IN BUENOS AIRES IN 1996.

IN THE 8TH CENTURY IN LANCIANO DURING THE CONSECRATION OF THE MASS THE CELEBRANT SUDDENLY EXPERIENCED A CHANGE IN THE HOST. THE HOST ACTUALLY TURNED TO FLESH. TODAY MORE THAN TWELVE CENTURIES AFTER THE MIRACULOUS OCCURRENCE, IT STILL REMAINS INTACT. THE FLESH AND THE BLOOD ARE PRESEVED IN GOLD AND CRYSTAL VESSELS.

IN 1970 EXPERTS PERFORMED A SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE 8TH CENTURY SPECIMEN. THE RESEARCH DONE ON THE FRAGMENTS OF THE BLOOD AND FLESH REVEALED SOME ASTOUNDING RESULTS.

THE BLOOD OF THE EUCHARISTIC MIRACLE IS REAL BLOOD AND THE FLESH IS REAL FLESH.

THE FLESH CONSISTS OF THE MUSCULAR TISSUE OF THE HEART WALL. THE SAME WAS TRUE OF THE MIRACLE IN 1996.

THE BLOOD AND THE FLESH BELONG TO THE HUMAN SPECIES.

THE BLOOD TYPE IS IDENTICAL IN THE BLOOD AND IN THE FLESH. THE BLOOD TYPE IS AB THE SAME AS IN THE 1996 MIRACLE AND THE SHROUD OF TURIN.

THE PROTEINS ARE IN THE SAME PROPORTIONS AS THOSE FOUND IN NORMAL FRESH BLOOD.

THERE IS NO TRACE WHATSOEVER OF ANY MATERIALS OR AGENTS USED FOR PRESERVATION OF FLESH OR BLOOD.

WHEN WE REFLECT ON THE LAB ANALYSIS OF THESE EUCHARISTIC MIRACLES WE CANNOT HELP BUT THINK OF JESUS WORDS: “MY FLESH IS REAL FOOD; MY BLOOD REAL DRINK. WHOEVER EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD LIVES IN ME AND I LIVE IN HIM.”

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