What do Matthew Kelly, Pope Francis, and a Miracle have in common?
Easter reminds us that everything is made new! We are in the Octave of Easter--eight days between Easter Sunday and Divine Mercy Sunday--which liturgically is considered as one day! Wednesday's Gospel reading recounts the Emmaus road experience where Jesus reveals himself in the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:13-35). Jesus keeps himself hidden until he celebrates the Eucharist. He is seen in the breaking of the bread, and then he disappears. His disappearance points us to his presence in the consecrated bread!
Fast-forward 2000 years, give or take a few years, to August 1996, to a diocese in South America where one of those consecrated pieces of bread was discarded and discovered. It was thrown into some water, put in the tabernacle, and a week or so later it turned bloody. The Cardinal Archbishop was notified, and he ordered that professional pictures be taken. It was kept secret, and three years later it was sent to a lab in New York without any hint of what it was. The lab found that "the analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle close to the valves." It is the left side of the heart pumps blood to all parts of the body. The lab also determined that "the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken...since white blood cells die outside a living organism.... What is more, these white blood cells had penetrated the tissue, which further indicates that the heart had been under severe stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest." See full story here:
Tying it All Together and Why It Matters
So in this story we have the Passion, and we have just celebrated Good Friday. Jesus comes to us physically in each and every Mass-the resurrection-and in this story the Real Presence is illustrated literally. In the Emmaus Road Gospel, Jesus in the flesh leaves us with his presence in the Holy Eucharist. Then in this story, it is reversed-the Holy Eucharist turns back into the flesh and blood of Jesus.
Matthew Kelly told us if we really believed that Christ is present in the Eucharist, no one would ever leave the Catholic Church! There is nowhere else on earth you will find the Real Presence of Jesus! The Eucharist is the "source and summit" of the New Evangelization.
By the way, the Cardinal Archbishop in this story was Jorge Bergoglio, whom we now know asPope Francis.
Matthew's The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic:
#4 Evangelization Challenge: Do your disengaged Catholic or Christian friends know you believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist? Bread becomes the Body of Christ. It changes everything!
Too Tough to share?
Here is an I CAN DO THAT! version: Ask questions! Ask your disengaged Catholic friend why he doesn't believe in the Real Presence. Ask why he thinks the Church teaches the Real Presence.