I Behold the Lamb of God! I (John I, 36.)
The mission of John the Baptist on earth was to announce, to point out the promised Saviour, and to prepare for Him the ways. The Church fulfils the same mission in regard to Jesus in the Eucharist, but a mission more extended, more continued, which embraces all countries and all ages.
She acquits herself of it, by exposing Jesus to the world in the Blessed Sacrament, in preaching Him by word, and testifying to Him by her faith and her works, a silent preaching as eloquent as the first. The Church presents herself to us, the word of Jesus Christ upon her lips, repeating and explaining it with authority equal to that of the Saviour: This is My Body. This is My Blood. She tells us, and we must believe, that, by the divine power of those sacramental words taken in their strict and natural sense, Jesus Christ is truly, really, and substantially present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar under the appearance of bread and wine.
She tells us, and we must believe, that Jesus Christ, by His almighty power, has changed the substance of the bread into His Body, the substance of the wine into His Blood and that His Soul and His Divinity, also, are present with His Body and Blood. She tells us, and we must believe, that the divine work of Transubstantiation is constantly operated in the Church by the priesthood of Jesus Christ, whom He invested with His own power when He established it by these words: Do this in commemoration of Me.
Since the first Eucharistic Supper, the Church has proclaimed this faith down through the ages. Her Apostles have had but one same voice, her teachers but one same doctrine, her children but one same faith, one same love toward the God of the Eucharist. How majestic, that voice of the entire Christian world! How touching and beautiful, the harmony of its praises and its love! Every one of the children of the Church wishes to bring to the feet of the Divine King truly present a tribute of homage, a gift of love. Some bring gold; some, myrrh; all, incense. Each one wishes to have a place at the court and at the table of the God of the Eucharist. The enemies of the Church themselves, schismatics and almost all heretics, believe in the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Ah, one would have to be blind, indeed, to deny the existence of the sun, — ungrateful, indeed, to disown and despise the love of Jesus Christ living in the midst of men ! As for us, we believe in the love of Jesus, and we know that nothing is impossible to the love of God.