Have You Ever Seen a Miracle?
Most people would say no, they haven't seen a miracle. 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! Greg and I discussed the overall miracle of the Mass and the specific miracle of consecration in these two episodes of the podcast:
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! Greg and I discussed the meaning of transubstantiation in this episode of the podcast:
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. This is truly a miracle! Greg and I discussed it in this episode of the podcast:
So 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!
P.S. In very rare circumstances, God does a "bonus miracle" at Mass: he takes his invisible presence in the Eucharist and makes it visible. Find out more about these eucharistic miracles with this LANE class and this exhibit. And don't forget about the National Eucharistic Revival!