THE REAL PRESENCE OF JESUS
The Church has believed from the beginning in the "Real Presence" of Jesus in the Eucharist. That is, the bread and wine used at the Eucharistic liturgy become, in truth, the Body and Blood of Christ. This belief is rooted in the words and actions of Jesus at the Last Supper, and is passed on in both oral and written Tradition (including Scripture) up to the present day (cf 1 Cor 11:23-26; Mark 14:22-24; Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:14-20).
The belief is rooted even more deeply in our fundamental belief that Jesus Christ is, truly, the Son of God who, "from the beginning," has shared in the creative power of God the Father and Holy Spirit. Jesus' spoken word is a creative, transformative word. When he speaks, things happen. When Jesus (in the person of the ordained priest) says, "This is my Body, this is my Blood," his creative, transformative word makes the bread and wine no longer bread and wine, but actually his Body and Blood. In the Eucharist, we believe that Jesus is really present: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
Our belief in the Real Presence is a reflection of our belief that Jesus is God, the Son of the same God who said, "Let there be light"...and there was; who said, "Let the waters teem with living creatures"...and so it happened; and who, in the Eucharist, says, "This is my Body, this is my Blood"...and so it is.
During Mass we consume the Body and Blood of Christ; we enter into ever deeper communion with him (and, through him, with everyone else who shares in the Eucharist). Another form of communion with Jesus is what is called "Eucharistic Adoration." It is a time of simply sitting with Jesus, who is present via the Sacred Host which is exposed in the monstrance (an item designed specifically for displaying the Host). It is, quite simply, time to just "be with God" who is our Source of Life, our Rock of Salvation, our Shepherd who leads us to still waters, our Navigator who calms the stormy seas of life, our Light who guides and inspires.
Fr. Brian Wideman