It is very hard for me to accept the Eucharist, because it seems a very far-fetched concept. I would have to agree that it is much more than “symbolic” seeing as the definition of “symbolic” does not infer the presence of Christ therein.
If I were to believe anything about the Eucharist, I may believe that Christ is spiritually present in the bread and wine.
I find it almost impossible to believe that he is physically present in the Eucharist because of the definition of “physical.” Anything we can call physical is something that we can sense with our five senses, and Christ’s physical presence in the Eucharist is something that cannot be detected even when looking at it with a microscope. I am inclined to think that Catholics believe the exact same thing I do, but they use different definitions of “spiritual” and “physical.”
Then I had another thought, what if the Eucharist was the essence of Christ’s resurrected body? His resurrected body was clearly flesh and blood, and the Bible emphasizes this, but at the same time, it was glorified and unexplainable in nature. Maybe the miracle that happens at Mass would be turning the bread and the wine into the body and blood of the resurrected Christ.
Such a transformation need not necessarily be detected by our five senses, because of the miraculous and unexplainable nature of Christ’s resurrected body as described in the Bible. After Jesus had resurrected, he chose to make his physical self visible at different times. At some points, he chose not to be recognized as he was.
Maybe this is what happens at Mass with the Eucharist. This is a very intriguing topic, and one that has caught my particular attention ever since my Dad joined the church.