What makes Christ present in the Eucharist?


I’m wondering, what makes Jesus actually be present in the Eucharist?

Like if we put the Eucharist under a microscope there would not be any DNA, it would still be bread.


It sounds as though your question is really: how can Jesus be present in the Eucharist when we can perceive nothing but bread and wine?

The appearances of bread and wine remain.

The reality of bread and wine is replaced by Jesus’ body and blood.

Appearance is that which is perceptible to our senses. We don’t get the reality of anything into our brains or our mind—only sense perceptions. Sense perceptions are the appearances. They remain. Under the appearances—the sense perception—Jesus is wholly ane entirely present.

If you’ve ever attended a movie, you know that sense perceptions are not reality.


God does…It is a mystery of faith, a spiritual reality, a mystical presence that transcends the substance into our physical reality.

It always appears in every sense as bread and wine, but the reality of it is that it is transformed in a very real way.


Yes, but ‘DNA’ is the person. It doesn’t define what or who a person IS.

It’s known as as an ‘accidental’ property. Accidental properties are things that a object (including a person) have, but are not intrinsic and distinctive to them.

My hair color is brown, and my eyes are blue. If I changed those ( or even removed them), I would still be ‘ME’ . If I grew, or got shorter, I would still be ME. Physical appearance does not define the IS.

My DNA isn’t distinctive to me, a hair follicle might have ‘my’ DNA but it is not ‘ME’. Likewise with twins.

Even down to the atomic level. If there was a Star Trek style transporter that replaced every single one of my atoms with another one. I would still be ‘ME’

So we have to look deeper that the physical. The physical can change, even down tot he atomic level. That level we define as ‘substance’ ( which is distinct from who physicists use the term)

The ‘substance’ of the bread and wine change. It changes ‘what it IS’, but the accidental properties ( what it looks like, smells, like, weighs, and yes even the molecular\atomic level) remain the same.

Does that help?


I agree that it sounds like this is the OP’s question, and all the answers thus far have been good, especially Brendan’s.

As to the OP’s literal question, “what makes Jesus actually be present” - simply, as Jon said, God does. Through the hands of the priest saying the words of consecration! That’s the reason (well, one of many reasons) why priests are so awesome. :slight_smile:


Yes you are probably right, the dna would be bread. Reason being is what you see is actually bread’s appearances…the bread’s and not those of Christ. Those appearances of bread which you see are visible only because God is upholding them as such. So what your eye is seeing is not Jesus, but appearances of bread. And just a thought … who could tolerate eating what a appeared to be real flesh.

However what you have is the actual real body of Jesus which your eyes cannot see. He is truely present in body under the appearance of bread. Only your faith can know this and not your eyes. And why faith? Because Jesus said at the Last Supper “this IS my body”. And for many other references to his body being really present in the bible as well.

But how can this really be possible that he is present in body? Because he is a miracle worker: he changed the 125 gallons of water into wine at a wedding; calmed the wind and sea in a storm; rose people back to life from the dead; cured a withered hand; made a man born blind see; multiplied a few fish to feed thousands of people…twice; walked on water; became invisible at will; and could cure anyone and everyone who was sick; rose himself back from the dead.

So just on his word alone, we know absolutely that he is there in body … just because he says so. “He who eats by flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.”

May divine mercy, peace, and love be yours in ever greater measure.


Sometimes I don’t like to say simple faith answers, but I’ll say it. If Jesus said it it’s good enough for me.


By the same token, if we went back in time, what biological test could we conduct on Christ to show His Divinity.

There is no “God Gene”, His DNA would be normal human. If we put, The Divine Blood, which saves the world, under a microscope, we would see normal red blood cell, and no ‘save the world’ cells

Those are all ‘accidental’ properties. They do not define Christ as being the Son of the Living God, which is His Substance.

Where would we see the co-existence of the Divine Nature and the Human Nature in any physical test?

So why would we expect a physical test, which can only show appearances, to show the Substance of Christ?


Pope Paul VI wrote in the Encyclical, Mysterium Fidei, on transubstantiation, that: 47. … the power that does this is the same power of Almighty God that created the whole universe out of nothing at the beginning of time."


  1. St. John Chrysostom insists upon the same point with these words: “It is not man who makes what is put before him the Body and Blood of Christ, but Christ Himself who was crucified for us. The priest standing there in the place of Christ says these words, but their power and grace are from God. This is my Body, he says, and these words transform what lies before him.” (53)



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