I had to travel to Las Vegas to attend Mass at Guardian Angels Cathedral to understand the drama being played out at the consecretion.
The priest holds up the host and tells us that Jesus said to his disciples, “take this and eat, for this is my body which will be given for you.” He does likewise with the wine.
What’s going on here? Is this simply the recreation of some historical event? No. As Catholics, we believe the priest is turning the host into the Body of Christ.
But I think it is far deeper than that. I think at that moment it is Jesus himself, addressing us through the priest, as his disciples. It is Jesus himself who invites us to “take and eat.”
And when we do “take and eat,” we aren’t doing it simply as a memorial, as Protestants generally believe. Rather, we are responding to a personal invitation from the risen Lord to be disciples, to take and eat, certainly, but most importantly to go forth into the world serving God in our daily lives and interactions.