Changing water into wine at Cana and multiplying the loaves and fishes in today’s gospel show Jesus’ power over material elements. All of this leads to greater truths.

Bread and wine, body and blood—these are basic components of human beings and elements that sustain human existence. These basic realities connect us to the humanity of Jesus and touch upon one of the deepest mysteries of our faith. Without the Incarnation, we would not be able to speak of Jesus’ body and blood. Without Jesus’ sacrifice at the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, we could not be offered these same elements transformed into the body and blood of Christ.

What an incredible gift Christ has given us; he has left us, but he is still with us. In the Eucharist we are united with him and with one another in a unique way.

—Fr. Bernard Streicher, S.J., a long-time faculty member at St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland OH, now lives at the Colombiere Jesuit Community, Clarkston, MI.