Jul 17

Have You Ever Seen a Miracle?

Have you ever seen a miracle? Most people would say no, they haven't. Miracles don't happen that often, right?

But what if I told you that a miracle occurs at your local Catholic parish every Sunday, and probably even more often than that?

If you have ever been to Mass, you have witnessed a miracle. You might object that you didn't see anything extraordinary happening, and it's true that your eyes wouldn't be of much use in detecting this miracle. Nevertheless, we know by faith that God does indeed do something amazing at the Mass. In fact, there are three distinct miracles that make up the overall miracle of the Mass.

First, Jesus unites the earthly members of his Body—the ones you see in the pews—with all the saints and angels in heaven, and with all other members of his Body throughout time and space. The priest presides over the Body in the person of Christ the Head, and during the prayer of consecration (addressed to the Father) he calls down the Holy Spirit on the bread and wine. Thus, the whole Christ and the entire Holy Trinity are present and active at Mass. That's a miracle!

Second, the Mass makes the Son of God truly present in the Eucharist. Though it looks like there are still bread and wine on the altar, they have in fact changed into Christ's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. That's called transubstantiation, and it's a miracle!

Third, receiving the Eucharist at Mass brings us into communion with Christ and with each other. When the priest and people consume Jesus' Body and Blood, we become one with God and attain a oneness with our fellow Catholics that goes far beyond a vague sense of community.

(In very rare circumstances, God does a "bonus" miracle: he takes Christ's invisible presence in the Eucharist and makes it visible, or he emphasizes it in some extraordinary way. This doesn't happen at most Masses, but it does happen!)

The next time you go to Mass, pay attention for consecration, transubstantiation, and communion. What you see with your eyes might not be anything special, but God is making himself present and uniting himself with his people in a way that is truly miraculous!

Explore the miraculous real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and what it means for the Church and the world in The Miracle of the Eucharist, an online LANE class. You can also listen to podcast episodes on the Eucharist, including the three miracles of the Mass, at our ministry partner, Considering Catholicism.

— Cory Lakatos, LANE Director of Communications