Question of the Day for Friday, January 25, 2013
The Bread of Life
Q. During Mass and after the consecration, the host is often referred to as “bread.” Why is the word “bread” used and not the word “Body”?
— D.T., Casselton, N.D.
A. Here’s a reply from OSV columnist Msgr. M. Francis Mannion:
The use of the word “bread” after the consecration of the Mass does not in any way deny the truth of transubstantiation — the belief that Christ’s body and blood are present under the species of bread and wine. The symbolism of “bread” is intrinsic to the reality of the Eucharist. Christ comes to us as nourishment, as food for our souls, as the bread of angels, as the food for the journey. In the consecration, ordinary bread and wine take on a new reality. But the accidents (bread and wine) are not destroyed, but are carried over in the eucharistic sacrament. Jesus refers to himself as the “bread of life” come down from heaven (Jn 6:35).
To refuse to use the words “bread” and “wine” regarding the consecrated eucharistic gifts is to misunderstand the nature of Catholic doctrine concerning the Eucharist.
Courtesy of Our Sunday Visitor: http://www.osv.com/TCANav/TCAQuestionoftheDay/Jan21252013/tabid/8682/Default.aspx