Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ
“I AM WITH you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28.20). So it is, Master: Thou art with us throughout all days; we are not a single day without Thee, and we cannot live without Thy presence near us! Thou art with us especially in the Sacrament of Thy Body and Blood. O, how truly and essentially art Thou present in the Holy Mysteries! Thou our Lord in every liturgy takest upon Thyself a vile body similar to ours in every respect save that of sin, and feedest us with Thy life-giving flesh. Through the Sacrament Thou art wholly with us, and Thy Flesh is united to our flesh, whilst Thy Spirit is united to our soul; and we feel this life-giving, most peaceful, most sweet union, we feel that by joining ourselves to Thee in the Holy Eucharist we become one spirit with Thee as it is said: “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor. 6.17). We become like Thee, good, meek and lowly as Thou hast said of Thyself: “I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11.29).
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True it is that often our evil and blind flesh, whispers to us that the Sacrament contains only bread and wine, and not the very Body and Blood of our Lord Himself, and sends sight, taste and feeling as his crafty witnesses to this. But we do not allow ourselves to listen to these calumnies and reason thus. To Thee, Lord, everything is possible: Thou createst the flesh of men, animals, fishes, birds, reptiles, of all creatures. Is it possible that for Thyself, Thou, “Who art everywhere, and fillest everything,” wilt not create flesh? Not only this, Thou changest a dead substance into a living one—as, for instance, Moses’ rod into the serpent—and there is nothing impossible for Thee. Canst Thou not, therefore, create flesh for Thyself out of bread and wine, which are so near to our flesh, being used for our food and drink, and thus being converted into our own flesh and blood? Thou dost not test our faith more than it can bear, for Thou dost not transubstantiate a lump of earth into Thy most-pure Body, but white bread, soft, clean, pleasant to the taste; and Thou dost not create Thy Blood from water, but from wine, called in Holy Scripture the blood of the grape (Sir. 39.26), corresponding in color to that of blood, agreeable to the taste, and rejoicing the heart of man. Thou knowest our infirmity, the weakness of our faith, and therefore Thou condescendest to employ in the Sacrament of Thy Body and Blood the substances most suitable to them. Let us, therefore, firmly believe that under the form of bread and wine we communicate of the true Body and of the true Blood of our Lord; that in the mystery of the Holy Communion, Jesus Christ Himself will dwell with us “always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28.20).
—St John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ