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Monday, August 2, 1999

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St. Eusebius of Vercelli

Numbers 11:4-15
Psalm 81
Matthew 14:22-36

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making believers out of us

"Israel I would feed with the best of wheat." —Psalm 81:17

Less than twenty-four hours before His death, Jesus took what appeared to be bread and wine and said "This is My body," and "This is My blood" (Mt 26:26, 28). The obvious response to these seemingly absurd statements is: "How can He give us His flesh to eat?" (Jn 6:52)

Yet, before we dismiss Jesus' words as those of a lunatic, we should remember that the Lord fed the entire Israelite nation for forty years by giving them manna, bread from heaven (Nm 11:7ff). The Lord can do anything!

Moreover, Jesus shows His lordship over nature by healing the sick (Mt 14:14), multiplying loaves and fish (Mt 14:17ff), walking on water (Mt 14:25), and especially by rising from the dead (see Rm 1:4).

How can we tell the almighty, risen Lord that He cannot change bread and wine into His body and blood? How can we tell God that He cannot do anything that would be "over our heads," just because it is beyond our human understanding?

Believe in miracles. Believe in the Eucharist. Believe Jesus is the risen Lord and God.

Prayer:  "O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine."

Promise:  "People brought Him all the afflicted, with the plea that He let them do no more than touch the tassel of His cloak. As many as touched it were fully restored to health." —Mt 14:35-36

Praise:  St. Eusebius stood up for the truths of the faith. He persevered in his stand even though his opponents threatened his life, dragged him through city streets, and held him in prison.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our book, This Is My Body.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999