We celebrate the body and blood of Christ not as isolated objects of adoration but as food and drink, like the manna in the desert and the water brought forth from a rock.
Jesus makes it very clear how we are to approach his body and blood: “if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you. He who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal.”
The food that we eat every day, and the liquids we drink, become part of our bodies, sustaining them and allowing them to grow, function, and heal.
The food that is the body and blood of Christ does something far greater; it makes us one with God. “The man who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.”
This is why the body and blood of Christ signify unity and peace: there is one Christ, and all who eat and drink the body and blood of Christ become one in the one Christ.
The mysterious reality of the Eucharist—‘My flesh is real food and my blood real drink’ (Gospel)—is a puzzle to some, a scandal to others.
It has always been so.
But for those who believe in Jesus’ teaching because they believe in Jesus Christ himself, the Eucharist is, among all his gifts to us, the most cherished and the cause of our deepest gratitude.
U.S. Bishops, The Eucharist and the Hungers
of the Human Family, 1975:18-19.