19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
I shall give my flesh for the life of the world
We’ve been working through chapter 6 of Johns Gospel. On the 17thSunday we spoke about God providing manna as nourishment for the Jews as they journeyed from Egypt to Jerusalem and how God has now replaced the manna, the type of journey, and the destination. Jesus is the true bread from heaven that nourishes us on our spiritual journey to heaven. And to offer proof that the Eucharist alone is life-sustaining food we shared the story of Alexandrina who began an absolute fast living on the Eucharist alone for 13yrs.
Last week we talked about honing our desires so we hunger for Jesus hidden in the Eucharist, the true bread from heaven and food for our souls. This involves ongoing conversion and much prayer.
This week we pick up on the theme of living bread and how that bread is his flesh given for the life of the world. This anticipates the Eucharist. As the Eucharist involves the miracle of transubstantiation, I will reflect on a well-known sign that attests to its authenticity.
One day in the eighth century, a monk was celebrating Holy Mass with a host of unleavened bread. The monk started doubting the real and substantial presence of the Flesh and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the consecrated Holy Species.
After having pronounced the words of Consecration (“This is My Body... This is My Blood”), as Jesus had taught it to His Apostles, the monk saw the host change into a living piece of Flesh, and the wine change into real blood, which coagulated and split into five globules.
The Host-Flesh, as can be very distinctly observed today, has the same dimensions as the large host used today in the Latin church; it is light brown and appears rose-coloured when lighted from the back. The Blood is coagulated and has an earthy colour resembling the yellow of ochre.
In 1970-71, and partly in 1981, there took place a scientific investigation by the University of Siena. The analyses were conducted and they were documented. These analyses sustained the following conclusions:
- The Flesh is real flesh. The Blood is real Blood.
- The Flesh and the Blood belong to the human species.
- The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart.
- In the Flesh we see present in section: the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart for the large thickness of the myocardium.
- The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood-type: AB (The blood-type identical to that which Prof. Baima Bollone uncovered in the Holy Shroud of Turin).
- In the Blood there were found proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of fresh normal blood.
- In the Blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.
- The preservation of the Flesh and of the Blood, which were left in their natural state for twelve centuries and exposed to the action of atmospheric and biological agents, remains an extraordinary phenomenon.
As Jesus said “I shall give my flesh for the life of the world” referring to the Eucharist we’re about to receive.
The reliquary: the Flesh is enclosed in a round gold-plated silver lunette, between two crystals, in a monstrance of finely sculpted silver. The Blood is preserved in a chalice of crystal and affixed to the base of the monstrance.
Link to image and website http://www.miracoloeucaristico.eu/inglese/indexinglese.php