One of the biggest problems facing the Catholic Church is a lack of respect for the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Unfortunately, much of the problem comes from within the Church and not from outside. A great deal of the problem is brought about by the careless use of language when referring to the Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord.
As an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, I’ve lost count of the number of times my fellow ministers refer to Our Lord’s Body and Blood as the “bread” and “wine”. Some have even made “drinking” jokes in the sacristy after distributing the Precious Blood to the congregation. While they are not being intentionally disrespectful, using this language gradually erodes respect for the miraculous presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This problem is compounded by the use of the words “bread” and “wine” in some modern liturgical hymns.
Let’s just try to be careful when referring to the Body and Blood of Our Lord. The Eucharist is really Him…it’s not a symbol…He doesn’t exist along with the bread and wine…those elements no longer exist after the consecration. Even though our senses may betray us, we are actually looking at the Body and Blood of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Let’s help ourselves and others to better understand by using the correct language!