Before you look at the video below have a chat with your children around the following piece:
Bread is a very important food. It is a basic food eaten by people all over the world. It is an everyday food that all Jesus’ listeners would have recognised and understood.
When was the last time you had some bread? How often do you eat bread? Every day, once a week or just on special occasions?
How many different types of bread can you name? (eg. brown, white, baguette, pitta, naan, chapati, tortilla, rolls etc). How many different types of bread have you tried?
Bread is very important in the lives of many people around the world today. In fact, it can be life-changing.
Today Jesus tells us that he is the living bread which has come down from heaven. That anyone who eats this bread will live forever.
He goes on to say that the bread he gives is his flesh, and that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood lives in him and he lives in them.
What do you think this means? We can’t eat Jesus can we?
Every time we come to Mass, the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus. And we come to share in it, even if we only have a blessing, welcoming Jesus into our lives. This is called Transubstantation.
To understand the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, we have to try to explain transubstantiation.
Transubstantiation is the process of the bread and wine truly changing in substance into the Body and Blood of Jesus. Although our outside senses (taste, touch, smell, etc) still see it as bread and wine, it is actually the Body and Blood of Christ.
One of the ways of explaining it to your children is to start with the example of a red ball.
If someone were to paint this red ball blue:
- What has changed about the ball? (the color)
- Is it a different ball now? (no)
- Did it actually change? (no)
- What is different about it? (the way it looks)
You make the point that it’s exactly the same ball, but it looks different. Then you explain to your children that the Eucharist is exactly the opposite. When the host is turned into the body of Christ, it doesn’t look different, smell different, or even taste different- yet what it is has completely changed. It’s the opposite of what happened to the ball. You can explain it from the perspective of the bread, and then also the wine.
It probably won’t answer all the questions they ask as it is one of the mysteries of our faith! But it’s a start.
Watch the YouTube clip to understand a little bit more about Corpus Christi