Mystery of the Eucharist

My sister is in the RCIA program and in her class last night they learned about the mystery of the eucharist. I’m her sponsor so we were talking about the class afterwards, and she asked me why it was called a mystery. She says that there is nothing mysterious about it because to her it all makes sense. Can anyone help me explain what it means when it is called a mystery?

God Bless!


The Greek word “mysterion” (whence “mystery”) is the equivalent of the Latin “sacramentum” (whence "sacrament).

They are equivalent terms, though the Byzantine and general Eastern tradition perfers the former term.

That makes sense. Her instructor made it seem like it was called a mystery because you can never fully understand it which confused her.

It’s a mystery because we don’t know exactly how it happens; only that it does.

It makes perfect sense to me, also. That doesn’t mean I understand it though. Yes, the bread and wine are truly changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. Still, it looks like bread and wine.

There are people who want a concrete answer to how transubstantiation takes place, but one cannot be given.

The PP’s answers was a lot better than mine. I still hold that it’s not possible for anyone to completely understand the idea though. It’s a hard concept to wrap one’s mind around.

I’m sure it “makes sense” to her, but it is still a mystery that we can’t wrap our heads around. Bread and wine are changed and become the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, yet the appearance of bread and wine remain; our Lord and Savior – the one true God, Who is infinite – becomes present to us and we receive Him as food. It’s as hard to understand as the Incarnation!

If it makes sense to her, then maybe she can help other people understand it better! :slight_smile:

Cluny’s response makes sense on a secular level (and thanks becuase I learned something new from you today!)

On a spiritual level, it is a mystery because for me I can’t understand why the God of all creation, the one who made every bit of dust on trillions of stars and the DNA encoded in my cells, loves a horrid sinner like me so much and desires such union with me that He would give me His own body, blood, soul and divinity in such a personal and profound way.

For me, the mystery is not “how”, but “why”.

I think I will expand on that a little more…not “how” but “why”…VERY good point! :thumbsup:

Hi im the sister of JAG… I want to thank everyone for being to so willing to answer the question, but I feel that as Christians if we can wrap our heads around the fact that there is one God and his is three persons (The Holy Trinity), and we can understand that only God or God acting through us can perform miracles. Or the idea that God sending His Son as a sacrificial lamb for our sins, then why can’t you understand that during mass God comes to us and gives us himself in the form of bread and wine? It seems so simple God has many faces: The bush in the wilderness for example.

Thank y’all so much for all your help.

Through Christ who strengthens me,

I know that it happens. I believe that it happes, but I cannot and probably never will in this lifetime understand it all. Not like I can understand algebra. I know why it is they way it is…I know how it gets from point A to point B. I can’t say that about the Holy Eucharist. I don’t know why and I don’t know how. That’s a mystery to me.

As a human being, I cannot understand how the Trinity works either. I know it…I believe it, but I don’t understand it. Yes, there is one God, but with three distinct persons. All of them having the same will. How is it possible for three distinct people to have one will, one thought? I know it’s possible, but there are no amount of words that will cause my brain to say, “A ha! I’ve got it now.”

I can tell you why I believe everything I believe. I cannot, nor will I ever be able, explain how it happens. As a human being, I cannot understand one person having three distinct bodies that all have one thought process…one will. I’m not trying to understand it either.

I hope you get where we are coming from now. I would love to hear how you understand it all so well. Maybe that will help my brain wrap around it a little better.

See though it is the same way you can understand Algebra for ( and this is no way me trying to judge your IQ) the average person can not prove E=MC^2 but we know of the truth in this mathematical saying but someone did prove it for us. God is our Albert Einstein… To me I look at the Trinity and break it down like ice or water gas it is three distinct elements but is the same thought. Same with the Eucharist.

I am not trying to say that I know and completely understand completely but God gives us the tools in everyday life to understand his creation he wants us to not give up to keep learning every facit about him.

I think we are both saying the same thing, but choosing different words to express that thought. I say it is a mystery because it cannot be proven. You feel it is not a mystery because it makes sense to you. Both of us believe the same truths about God though.

In this lifetime, for me, I will not be able to understand it all. I will constantly grow in my faith and learn things as I go along. It is and will be a mystery because I cannot connect all of the dots.

Some people are better at thinking abstractly than others. I, on the other hand, want everything in a nice, little package. This happens because this happened because this happened, etc. That is not possible when dealing with religion. Nor should it be possible. That is part of the process. It is figuring it out on one’s own and growing at the same time.

When I can say, God did x because of y and the result is z, it will cease to be a mystery for me. I doubt that will happen though and I humbly submit to His omniscience.

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