"The Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread, and after He had given thanks, broke it and said, 'This is My body, which is for you.' " —1 Corinthians 11:23-24
God became a human being. "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us" (Jn 1:14). The Lord emptied Himself (Phil 2:7). He became like us in all things but sin (Heb 4:15). God became a human embryo, baby, toddler, little child, teenager, etc. God washed the feet of His disciples (Jn 13:5) and continues to do so today (see Heb 13:8). God emptied and humbled Himself even to death on a cross (Phil 2:8).
Then the God-Man did the unthinkable. He emptied and humbled Himself to the point that He gives us His body and blood, His soul and divinity under the appearances of bread and wine. In the Eucharist, Jesus, Who had emptied Himself of His divinity, now appears to have emptied Himself even of His humanity. When Jesus took a piece of bread and a cup of wine and said: "This is My body. This is My blood" (see 1 Cor 11:24, 25), He uttered one of the most shocking statements ever made.
Why the Incarnation? Why the Crucifixion? Why the Eucharist? "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life" (Jn 3:16). "God is Love" (1 Jn 4:16). Love Him.
Prayer: God, Who is Love (1 Jn 4:16), I decide to love You with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength (Lk 10:27). May I love You with all my life, as You mean "all."
Promise: "This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the Lord, as a perpetual institution." —Ex 12:14
Praise: "O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine."
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, This Is My Body.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997