The True Real Presence

Real presence is thus not only the gift of Eucharist but the goal and work of Eucharist. Real presence means our God giving life to the world in the body and blood of Jesus Christ – giving life, giving it abundantly, lavishly, promiscuously, to those who are grateful and to those who are not, to those (as the paschal homily of St. John Chrysostom puts it) who kept the fast and to those who did not. Jesus, after all, is the one who tells us our place at the table will always be there. Jesus is the One who – like every mother’s crooning to the child at her breast – tells us to “Take, eat, this is my body for you.” Jesus the bread-breaker becomes Jesus the bread broken. And if we who share that broken bread do not ourselves become bread-breakers, then (as Paul warned us) we eat and drink judgement to ourselves. That’s the whole law; the rest is just commentary.

Nathan D. Mitchell, “The Amen Corner: Making the Connections”, in At the Heart of the Liturgy: Conversations with Nathan D. Mitchell’s “Amen Corners,” 1991-2012, Maxwell E. Johnson, Timothy O’Malley, Demetrios S. Yocum, eds. (Collegeville, MN: A Pueblo Book, published by Liturgical Press, 2014), p. 155. ISBN: 978-0-8146-6309-7.