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The Two Miracles Of The Mass

July 30, 2021 Frontpage No Comments

By JOE SIXPACK

In the eighth century, a Basilian monk was in the town of Anxanum in Italy, now called Lanciano. He was having doubts about the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist and had begged God for the light of faith to resolve his doubts. When celebrating Mass, at the words of consecration — this is my Body, this is my Blood — the monk was amazed to see the Host turn into real flesh and the wine in the chalice turn into real blood. Needless to say, the monk’s faith in the Real Presence was restored.
This is the first and greatest of Eucharistic miracles in the history of the Church, and it’s known commonly as the Miracle of Lanciano. There are several interesting facts about this miracle you may want to know.
The first thing to note is, after 1,200 years, the Flesh and Blood are still intact. Over the centuries the Flesh has turned a reddish brown and the Blood has coagulated into five globules of different sizes and shapes. It should have long ago deteriorated into dust, but It remains visible to this day.
In 1970, Dr. Odoardo Linoli, an eminent professor of pathological histology and anatomy, was given permission to test and study the relics. His findings, released in 1971, were amazing. He’d discovered that the both the Flesh and the Blood are of human origin. The Flesh is human heart muscle, and both the Flesh and the Blood are of the same type — AB (identical, incidentally, to the blood found on the Shroud of Turin). Although the Flesh and Blood were kept in an ivory vessel from the eighth century until transferred to a crystal reliquary and monstrance in 1713, and was exposed to the environmental elements, both Flesh and Blood maintain the qualities of living human flesh and blood.
The preservation of the Flesh and of the Blood, which were left in their natural state for twelve centuries and exposed to the actions of atmospheric and biological agents, remains an extraordinary phenomenon. Dr. Linoli was permitted to conduct additional testing and studies in 1981, which not only confirmed his original findings but uncovered additional information that reinforced the authenticity of this extraordinary miracle.
It was also discovered that the globules of Blood, when rehydrated, became as fresh as if It had just been drawn from a vein. All five globules, despite being of different sizes and shapes, all weigh exactly the same, and when weighed together they weigh the same as any one globule.
Although we don’t see this taking place — that our senses continue to see ordinary bread and ordinary wine — we all get to witness this miracle of the bread and wine becoming the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. But this isn’t the only miracle taking place during Mass.
There is yet another miracle taking place at every Mass celebrated in every Catholic parish church every day of the year. It is the sort of miracle you never hear about, never read about, and it’s only ever covered in theology and philosophy classes in the best seminaries. If it has a name, I don’t know what it is, but I can at least try to explain it for you.
We are limited in our human experience by the restrictions of time, space, and dimension. Time for man is linear, which means we can’t alter time; we just experience it from one instant to the next. The same is true of space. The restrictions of space force us to be in only one place at one time. Regarding dimension, we know there is our world, but there is also Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, yet we can’t cause ourselves to go to any of those other dimensions of our own power — we’re stuck right here in our dimension of earthly existence.
God, on the other hand, who created time, space and dimension, isn’t at all limited by those factors. He sees all of time simultaneously — from the beginning of time to the end of time, and all events in between. Because He is omnipresent, God is present in every space He created, and He keeps those spaces in existence by an act of His holy will. The same is true of dimension. God keeps our earthly dimension, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory in existence by His holy will.
When we are present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is a re-presentation of the sacrifice He made to God on our behalf on the cross, we are in the physical presence of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, both on the altar and in the tabernacle. Because we are with Him, in a mystical way we are also present with Him through the entire redemption of mankind. This means we are simultaneously present in the upper room when He instituted the Eucharist, in the Garden of Gethsemane during His agony, with Him during His scourging and crowning with thorns, standing with Him as He is condemned to death . . . for us . . . walking along side of Him while He carries His cross to Golgotha, and standing at the foot of the cross while He dies for our sins — all while standing, sitting and kneeling as the priest celebrates the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is a monumental miracle!
We Catholics are taught we are to have the same dispositions at Mass we would have had if we had been standing at the foot of the cross with the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John. Now you know why we’re supposed to have those same dispositions, if I have done well in explaining this miracle of the Mass. This is why it is so important — not just important, but demanded by God the Father! — that we show the proper signs of respect during the Mass. This is why we kneel and genuflect at the appropriate times and in the proper manner. This is why we are to be silent at any time we are in the church where the tabernacle rests and the Mass is celebrated, even if the Mass isn’t being celebrated. This is why we don’t wave and hug and kiss during the sign of peace. This is why we dress modestly for Mass, not exposing thighs, cleavage, and bare shoulders.
This is why we are supposed to wear our “Sunday best” in the presence of the King. This is why we are to make certain we are in a state of grace, free of serious sin, before we go to Communion, availing ourselves of Confession if we are not in a state of grace.
Of all the religions in the world, ours is the only one where God actually comes to be with His people. God became man. The God-Man preached to us how He wants us to live, then left His holy Church to be our guide in His physical absence. He sacrificed every drop of His blood to redeem us from sin…then did the most remarkable thing of all by allowing us to share in His divine nature through reception of the Holy Eucharist, when the God-Man physically enters into and abides with man.
The two miracles of the Mass are the Holy Eucharist and His allowing us to be with Him at Its institution and throughout His Passion. These are the most amazing, remarkable miracles in the history of mankind.
If you have a question or comment you can reach out to me through the “Ask Joe” page of JoeSixpackAnswers.com, or you can email me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.
Hey, how would you like to see things like this article every week in your parish bulletin as an insert? You or your pastor can learn more about how to do that by emailing me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.

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