Gn 14:18-20; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Lk 9: 11b-17
Through the centuries there have been many Eucharistic miracles recorded in various places in the world to help us to believe in the Real Presence which our senses cannot detect. Bob and Penny Lord compiled a book of these in 1986. Others have followed. You can find a site online that catalogues them by country: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/engl_mir.htm. It’s taken from a book of the Vatican International Exhibition.
One such story occurred in our own time and you may have heard of it. It happened in 1996 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the distribution of Communion a Host had accidentally fallen to the ground. The recipient had received in the hand and then it slipped to the floor after he stepped aside. He figured it was dirty and just left it there. Another more reverent person behind him noticed and picked the Host up and brought it to the priest after Mass. The priest, Fr. Alejandro Pezet, put it in a bowl of water so it would dissolve and placed the bowl in the tabernacle. Several days later it was discovered that the Host was not dissolving but was turning into bloody flesh. It was immediately reported to the archbishop of Buenos Aires, the future Pope Francis. He eventually commissioned Dr. Castanon Gomez to do an official investigation. In 1999 he took samples to the Forensics Analytical genetics laboratory in San Francisco. They found fragments of human DNA in the samples. It was human flesh and human blood that contained the human genetic code. They were also surprised to find white blood cells. These usually disintegrate fairly quickly in blood that is outside the human body.
In 2001 Gomez took his samples to Professor Edoardo Linoli in Italy. He confirmed the presence of the white blood cells and said the sample most probably corresponded to tissue of the human heart. This professor had also done the analysis of the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano and saw many similarities, for instance, the same blood type.
A sample was sent in 2002 to Professor John Walker at the University of Sydney in Australia without telling him where the sample came from. He confirmed that the sample contained muscle cells and intact white blood cells.
In 2004 it was decided to send a sample to the renowned expert in cardiac pathologies and forensic medicine of the heart, Professor Frederick Zugibe of New York at Columbia University. He was not told where the sample came from. After his analysis Zugibe told Gomez, “The sample which you brought me is the muscle of the heart, of the myocardium, it is precisely the left ventricle,” and he confirmed that the patient had suffered a lot. When Gomez asked him why he said his patient had suffered a lot, Zugibe responded, “Because your patient has some thrombi, at certain moments he could not breathe, oxygen could not reach him, he labored and suffered much because every aspiration was painful. Probably they gave him a blow at the level of the chest. Moreover, the heart showed dynamic activity (alive) at the moment you brought me the sample.” “Why?”–Gomez asked him. “Because we found some intact white blood cells, and white blood cells are transported only by the blood and thus if white blood cells are here it is because at the moment in which you brought me the sample it was pulsating.” The professor then asked to whom this sample belonged and when we told him that it came from a consecrated Host he exclaimed, “I do not believe it!” He was greatly moved.
Okay, let’s say that Jesus really is present in the Eucharist like the Catholic Church teaches. If you were Jesus, how do you think that would make you feel that so few believe in your Real Presence, and even fewer ACT as if they do? I have quoted before in my homilies from a book called In Sinu Jesu which are purported messages from Jesus to an anonymous Benedictine priest. The following long quote is an entry from March 30th, 2008.
The most Holy Eucharist is not only My Sacrifice offered to the Father, although in a bloodless manner; it is not only the sustenance of souls, nourishing them with my very Body and Blood; it is also the Sacrament of My divine friendship, the pledge of My burning desire to remain close to all who seek Me, to all who need Me, to all who would spend time in My company.
This is why it so grieves Me that churches are locked and that I am left for days on end alone in the tabernacle. I would draw souls to My open Heart, I would have them experience what it is to abide in the radiance of My Eucharistic Face, I would give Myself in intimate friendship to souls drawn to Me in the Sacrament of My love, but you priests, shepherds of souls, have forgotten that keeping open your churches is integral to your sacred ministry. . . .
Come to Me in the Sacrament of My love and I will fill you with the sweetness of My friendship. Know that there is no companionship on earth that can be compared with Mine. For this too did I institute the Sacrament and Sacrifice of My Body and Blood: so that souls might find Me present in My churches and, by remaining in My presence, learn from Me all that I have heard from My Father. For this reason do I call you friends. You are my friends because, from the tabernacle where I am present, and from the monstrance that exposes Me to your gaze, I will share with you the secrets of My Heart.
I am your Priest. I am your Victim, the Lamb offered in sacrifice for the sins of the world. I am your food and drink in this Sacrament of My love, but I am also your companion. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of My divine friendship. I desire that My priests should be the first to experience this for themselves. Let them come to Me and keep watch before My Eucharistic Face, close to My open Heart; then they will understand how grave an offense it is to lock My churches, placing a distance between Me and My people, those in whose midst I have chosen to dwell. I want the visit to the Blessed Sacrament to become once again a part of ordinary Catholic life, an instinct of the believing heart, an expression of gratitude and reparation to Me who am forsaken and spurned in so many places. Let My priests set the example and the faithful will follow it. Do not the sheep follow the shepherd? Where are the green pastures prophesied by the psalmist king, if not in My Eucharistic presence?
I want my priests to learn to rest in My presence. There I promise to refresh them in a way that no entertainment, no diversion, no other means can do. Let them come to Me when they are weary and lonely. I will be their rest and their dearest companion. They will leave My Eucharistic presence restored and with their joy renewed. This I promise.
I want My priests actively to encourage souls to seek Me out in the Sacrament of My love and to spend time close to My Eucharistic Heart. Nothing will bring this about more effectively than the example of My priests. There are priests who go into My church only when they have a function to perform there. The hearts of these have already grown cold and I am grieved by their indifference towards My abiding presence, often very close to them. Priests must begin to frequent their churches, not only at the hours of divine service, but at other times during the day and even during the hours of the night. Thus will they begin to allow Me to restore My priests to a shining holiness. (In Sinu Jesu, pp. 54-55)
May there be a new awakening of belief in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist, and from it a renewal of his Beloved Church.