The previously-ordinary bread and wine are gone…
When we eat the bread and drink the cup we receive Jesus into our own bodies just as it was true that everyone who shook my hand and hugged MaryJo at our receiving line after our wedding really shook the actual hand of a person who was a husband and hugged a person who was really a wife—although we looked just as we did before the wedding took place. By God, it happens! Nobody shook the hand of a bachelor or hugged anyone’s fiancée at the end of it all. All that was gone. Something new had come into the world of reality.
Don’t take me to a lab to test my blood for “husband DNA” or to look for the “wife-gene” in my wife. That’s not how it works. Don’t look for skin cells and hemoglobin in the bread and wine. You’ll only find what appears to be bread and wine.
Instead, regarding the marriage example, receive (accept, submit to the reality) that although our appearance has not changed, our vows and the pronouncement of our union truly made us what we are.
And instead, regarding the Mass example, receive (accept, submit to the reality) that Jesus has heard the prayers of his people, and those of the priest who stands up for all of them, and that Jesus has become really and truly present (that is, he has substantively offered his sacrifice to his people) in the bread and wine (which are the ordinary things that they sacrificed to him).
This article originally appeared here.