Sunday, June 11, 2023, is known as the Feast of Corpus Christi, or the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, in the Catholic Church and some Protestant denominations.
The day marks a celebration of the Eucharist — namely, the belief in the “real presence” of Jesus Christ, according to faith leaders.
The New Testament shares the scenario that is centered around Jesus talking to a crowd in Capernaum.
Fr. Jordan Zajac of Rhode Island, shown here above left, says that Jesus Christ was firm in his teaching that his flesh would save during The Bread of Life Discourse. (Providence College/iStock)
The teachings espoused by Jesus in this verse — that the bread he will give is his flesh — have been confusing since the very beginning, Fr. Jordan Zajac told Fox News Digital.
Zajac is a Catholic priest and is an assistant professor of English at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island.
“We are created in his image and likeness, but so often we creatures don’t think the way he thinks and wouldn’t choose to do things the way he chooses,” he said.
Some Christians believe the Eucharist becomes the literal body and blood of Jesus at the consecration. Pope Francis is shown consecrating the Eucharist. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
The Bread of Life Discourse is an example of how people do not always understand God.
“They thought it was impossible and repulsive, because they assumed Jesus was referring to cannibalism.”
Rather than try to explain further to calm the crowd’s concerns, Jesus “doubled down,” said Zajac.
Jesus confused the crowd in Capernaum when he said that he would give his flesh as bread to eat. (iStock)
Eating the flesh of Christ was “not only possible, but necessary,” noted Zajac.
“Catholic priests are ordained precisely to make the Eucharistic sacrifice present for believers, to the glory of God the Father,” he said.
“Although in appearance it still looks like bread and wine, these are miraculously transformed into the substance of Christ’s body and blood. God performs a miracle in my hands every day.”
Some churches choose to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi with a Eucharistic procession; the Eucharist is carried in a monstrance. (iStock)
As the Eucharist still resembles bread and wine, “it is all to easy to overlook what — or rather who — the Eucharist contains,” said Zajac.
The Eucharist is “a miracle of love, hidden in plain sight,” said Zajac.