Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man
and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and
drinks my blood has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh
and drinks my blood remains in me
and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
Then many of his disciples
who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples
were murmuring about this, he said to them,
“Does this shock you?
The words I have spoken to you
are spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.”
As a result of this, many [of] his disciples
returned to their former way of life
and no longer accompanied him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve,
“Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him,
“Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.”
The Catholic Church practices the apostolic teaching that during the celebration of the Mass, bread and wine, the gifts brought to the altar to consecrate, by the very words uttered by Christ himself, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, truly become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. We Catholics take Jesus at his word when he says, “This is My Body. This is My Blood.” And, we say “Amen” – “I believe” – so that when we receive this Blessed Sacrament, we may be sustained as the Mystical Body of Christ, called to do His Will.
Children in the 2nd Grade attending Catholic Schools and those enrolled in our Parish Religious Education program are being prepared for the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and for First Communion. Diocesan norms require that preparing for First Communion be a two year process. Children who are not attending Catholic schools should be attending Parish Religious Education classes for two years prior to First Communion.
Adults are prepared to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.