Why Miracles of the Eucharist?
It’s altogether fitting that the Lord allows us to come back to where for us, it all started, to the Shrine of the Miracles of the Eucharist in Lanciano, Italy to kind of kick off the Miracles of the Eucharist series that we’re doing right now..
In order to do this, in order to even talk about Miracles of the Eucharist, and why Miracles of the Eucharist, we have to go back to Scripture, John 6:51, because none of it has any meaning unless it’s based on this MOST IMPORTANT scripture passage from John 6:51.
And so we go to John 6:51, to where Jesus gave them what we call the Eucharistic Doctrine. “I Myself, am the living bread, come down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give is My flesh, for the life of the world.”
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I say unto you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”
At that point, many of His people got up and began to leave. His disciples said “This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it?”
So, you see, the controversy began right away, even there, at the very moment when He made the Eucharistic statement, controversy began over the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
And they say that most of his followers left him. Now, you must get into the mentality of these dear people, before you judge them harshly. They were Jews. They lived under the Mosaic Law, and we know that Jesus knew the law, didn’t He. He knew what they were thinking. Under the Law of Moses, the kosher law of Moses, no Jew can drink of animal blood. What does that mean in our terms? Rare steak. Any of you like rare steak? Well, if you do, you’re drinking the blood of animals. This is the way the Jews felt. They soak the meat; they salt the meat. No blood.
What now, not possibly the Messiah, not Rabbi, this Nazorean. See the day before, when He multiplied the loaves and fishes, He was the Teacher; He was the prophet; today He’s that Nazorean.
And He’s proposing that they drink human blood. This was repulsive to them. They did not understand. He was also proposing that they eat human flesh. To compound the problem they were having, there were reports of human sacrifices happening in the hills of Judea.
They didn’t understand. It wasn’t until the Last Supper, in the Upper Room, when He showed them how they could eat His Body and drink His blood, in a non-cannibalistic way.
Now, the easiest thing would have been for him to accommodate them. Remember, He came to save them. He didn’t want to separate Himself from them. He loved them! He knew that His time was short. He did not want to lose even one soul. Not one soul. Every soul on earth is precious to Him. Why didn’t He compromise? Why didn’t He accommodate them? Why didn’t He say that which divides us? What the first heretics used to divide us, that this was only a symbol?
Now, my darling is petite, but if were to say something and all of you began making an exit, she would run up in front of you, block the door with her body, and cry out,
“You misunderstood what we were saying. Let me explain. We meant to say it’s only a symbol.” But He didn’t say it’s a symbol. Why didn’t He say it’s a symbol? Because He is truth, isn’t He? He’s the truth. and to be the truth, He must speak the truth. God cannot lie…
He even turned to the apostles, and said to them, “Will you leave Me also?” But that was the beginning of the Eucharist; that was the beginning of the controversy. It started at that very moment, and has continued down through the centuries, to this very day.
Now, we just want you to realize how important this was to Jesus, how important this is to Jesus. That we understand that we realize what is coming about. He was preparing them for the journey, wasn’t he? What had they been doing? What do we do? We go from conference to conference, from pilgrimage to pilgrimage, very often from seer to seer, from apparition to apparition, and we’re not really listening to what Jesus is saying in every experience.
We used to have a priest, who said to us, “The people in Capharnaum were running from prayer meeting to prayer meeting, and never knew that God was in their midst. You have to understand the reason for the attacks. The Eucharist, which is a part of the Mass, is a recreation of the Sacrifice of the Cross. Satan hates the Cross. Like Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, in his Seven Last words, in the Church of St. Agnes in New York, just before he died, he said, “Satan said to them, ‘Come down off that Cross and we’ll believe. We’ll believe in anything, we’ll believe in the pope, only come down off that Cross.” George Bernard Shaw said, “It’s the Cross that bars the way. And Archbishop Sheen said, “Yes, it bars the way to hell!”
Yesterday, when we ascended the steps and stood before the Miracle of the Eucharist of Lanciano, Penny remained there because usually she explains the Miracle of the Eucharist to the pilgrims. She tells us:
“Yesterday was a very unique experience for me personally. And I’m sure if I would ask the pilgrims, they would all say that they had their own unique experience. I found I couldn’t explain it to you, because I didn’t need to explain it to you. You knew; you understood, even beyond the story. This is the message that I have been receiving through you, at every Miracle of the Eucharist. The miracle is beyond the story. The Miracle is in the people. We have never seen the reaction in anybody that has been to the Miracles of the Eucharist as we have with you, with this group that we have here. It’s never been this pronounced. It’s never been as dramatic; it’s never been as personal as it has been these last few days.
But that reality that we received through you and your faith and your belief is the reality that Jesus Christ Himself gave to you. You were not, of your own intellect, of your own will, believing. That’s what I saw up there. What I saw up there was you being engulfed by the Lord Himself. It was as if it was in the days of the Old Testament, where the temple was just covered with a cloud. This is what I saw. I saw the Spirit of the Lord upon you, coming from the Miracle. And you did not see a Miracle of the Eucharist. What I saw in your eyes was you saw the crucified Lord, Jesus on the Cross. That’s what we have been given from the Miracles. “
We’d like to share a testimony from one of our pilgrims.
“When I thought about the trip and all the places we were going, that (Lanciano) was a place that I didn’t know much about. And I had heard about it, a Eucharistic Miracle, but I’d never seen one. And I remember when I got there, I wasn’t sure what to expect; I didn’t know what was going to happen. We went into the Church and we prayed. Then, they said we could go up and see the Miracle, so we were going up the stairs, and all of a sudden, I just, like right now, I lost my breath, and feeling such a deep love and happiness, and joy and peace. And I felt that few other times in my life, but it was very deep, and I couldn’t keep from crying. And the closer and closer I got to Jesus (in the Miracle) I just wanted to cry my eyes out, because I love Him so much, and I feel that He really touched me. And I don’t know what it means, and I don’t know why it happened. But it was the most beautiful part of my pilgrimage.”
In an amphitheater in Siracusa, Sicily, here in Italy, they would bring the sick to the foot of the stadium, and when they killed the Christians, they would cut out their hearts and throw it to the sick, who would run and eat the flesh of these martyrs, and drink the blood, because they knew that there was power in that. They were convinced that they would be healed. It’s sort of a warped understanding of the power of the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist.
We were sitting in that amphitheater in Sicily, just our family, and our daughter, who had been given the gift of speed-reading, was telling Penny about what had happened, with the early Church martyrs, when Penny began to cry. Because of her Sicilian ancestry, she didn’t know if we were the victims, the martyrs, or the murderers. And my daughter said to Penny, “Don’t you understand that the power of the Eucharist is so strong; that truth is so deep, it was there from the beginning of the world?” And these pagans instinctively knew the truth.
They didn’t know why. They only knew that there was Healing Power in the flesh and blood of the Christians. We believe there’s healing power in the flesh and Blood of Our Lord Jesus, as given to us in the Eucharist. And so heresies began to be spread, from the very beginning, denying the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Even the enemies of the Church know the power of the Eucharist. Sometimes, we have a problem believing in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, but those who desecrate the Eucharist, the Cultists, the Satanists, have no problem believing. They believe. We were at a retreat with Fr. Harold Cohen in New Orleans and we touched on this subject. After the talk, a woman came up to us and said “I used to belong to a satanic cult. We knew, we knew the power of Jesus in the Eucharist. We knew Who that was that we were desecrating.” It’s there. They know it. They may not even know why, but they know that the power is there.
So, the hopelessly ill, the pagans, came to the Coliseum. Isn’t that our altar? Isn’t there another sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice? And they knew that if they could eat the heart of a Christian and drink his blood, they would be healed. Why? Why would they be healed? Because they knew in these Christians, that Jesus lived. They knew that they no longer lived, but Jesus lived in them. And how did Jesus live in them? Because they believed and they became one in Him through the Eucharist, through His Body and Blood. That’s why they consumed the flesh and blood of Christians. They wanted some of that. They admired them. They knew they would be healed. You know, we hear about healing services, people with the gift of healing, and no way do we dispute that. These pagans knew that healing came from the heart and the blood of Christians. We know the ultimate truth, don’t we? The healing comes from the Healer Himself, who lived among us, and who is that? Jesus in the Eucharist!
During our Mass, we have a two-fold consecration. We consecrate the bread into the Body of Christ, and we consecrate the wine into the Blood of Christ. This is that re-creation of the Sacrifice of the Cross. And that has been the focal point of Christianity. An historian of the early Church taught that the Church would not have lasted beyond the first hundred years if it had not been for the Eucharist. Never would have lasted. And when we come down through the centuries, they did everything they could to deny the Real Presence of Jesus. Anything to get us away from the Real Presence of the Eucharist and the Cross. All these heresies down through the centuries have done the same thing. It’s been an ongoing battle. Take away the importance of the Eucharist. Confuse the issue. Make it into something else. And so Our Lord does battle with these heretics by giving us Miracles of the Eucharist.
Now, I’ve had priests tell us “I don’t need Miracles of the Eucharist.”
And I have to admit, in my weakness, I do need Miracles of the Eucharist. When I can’t go to two churches and hear the Word taught with the same truth, which is according to the Magisterium of the Church, when I am told that words are being put into the mouth of Jesus, and one tradition that comes down from Jesus Himself, is denied from the pulpit of my Church, I need something to hold onto. And then I remember Miracles of the Eucharist, and I come to the truth of what’s happening on the altar, that at this moment, what appears to be a piece of bread, at the moment of Consecration, turns into my Lord’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. .
There’s a heresy based on pride. If you remember Genesis 3:15, it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. This New Age heresy that we’ve got today which is so popular, is from the Garden of Eden. God knows that you will be as intelligent as He. You won’t die if you eat that fruit. He knows that you’re going to be as smart as He is. That’s why He doesn’t want you to eat that fruit. You can be as God. You can be God. That started in Genesis. We condemned that one. It came back again in 18th century, and we came up with this beautiful gift that the Lord gave us, through Our Pope Blessed Pius IX, where he proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of Mary, to fight Pantheism, which started in the Garden of Eden, and now is back again under New Age, and is called Pantheism again. You are God.
We’re watching Oprah Winfrey one time when they were talking about New Age and this guy comes on her show with a book, “I wrote this book,” he says, “Jesus found the God in Him that I found in me.” Gimme a break!
But this is what it is. It’s been going on forever. St. Ignatius talked about the Eucharist in the 2nd century. He wrote “But pray for me that God give me the grace within as well as without, not only to say it but desire it, that I may not only be called, but that I may be found a Christian.”
There’s a saying, if you stood trial for being a Christian, would you be found guilty?
“Suffer me to be the food of wild beasts, through which I may attain unto God.” He was on his way to Rome to be martyred in the Coliseum. He begged his followers not to try to stop him. And when we read this again just recently, we’ve been studying the Mass – the background – the Old Testament.
You know what the Jews did in the Old Testament? They would laden a goat with wood, representing the sins of the people. And they would lead the goat out into the desert, to be devoured by wild animals. St. Alphonsus Ligouri wrote that Our Lord Jesus was the perfect sacrificial lamb, laden down with the sins of the world and led out into the desert to be destroyed.
This Is the Sacrifice of the Mass!! This is the price that has been paid for our salvation, by that innocent lamb, that perfect lamb. All that happened in the old law, all those sacrifices, had to be done over and over again because they were imperfect. They were not totally pleasing to God.
And so, over the centuries, there have been many ways the Lord has kept this promise, I will be with you always, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against you. We focus on the Eucharist, because for us, that is the most powerful way. And we focus on these miracles of the Eucharist to share with you how in times of crisis, great crises in our church, the Lord has given us these Miracles of the Eucharist.
When Catholics understand what goes on on that altar, what goes on in this Church, when Catholics understand, there will be such a line up of people going to Mass, it will be like Easter Sunday every day. You’ll have to wait on line for hours to get into the church, and our seminaries will be filled. You can make that happen. You can make that happen because the Lord has given you that gift.
And when you ask, “What can I do? No one will listen to me. You don’t have to speak. I kept saying to you “Ponder this in your heart. Make this a stamp unto your heart. If this is a stamp, if these Miracles of the Eucharist are a stamp onto your heart, as you are preparing, as the Mass progresses, during the Offertory, you are offering yourself up to the Lord totally as the priest, in the person of Jesus is offering up himself, you are offering up yourself, “all that I am Lord, all that I give to you today, and as you hear the words of consecration, you will see Jesus being lifted up on the Cross, and giving up His last breath for you! And when that piece of the Host is dropped into the Chalice, you’ll cry out “Alleluia!” You are risen. I am going to receive the risen Lord, and I will be a new creation. And so when you walk up to receive that Risen Lord, there will be such a light that will shine from you, that you will blind everyone in the Church, and they will want to know, “What is this? Why, as the Jews said on the first night of Passover, why is this day different from all other days?”
We love you
Bob and Penny will be at Ironton Ohio March 6 7 8 speaking on Miracles of the Eucharist http://www.bobandpennylord.com/miracles-of-the-eucharist.htm