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Eucharistic Wake-Up Call: What to Do When Catholics Don’t Recognize Jesus

On her travels across the country, Sherry Weddell asks highly engaged, practicing Catholics this important question: “Where’s Jesus right now?”

The top answers vary from “He’s in my heart” to “Well, where two or three are gathered.”

But the Forming Intentional Disciples author said while they could recognize Jesus as present in the poor and others, “The Eucharist was always last.”

According to a new Pew survey, 7 out of 10 people who identify as Catholic do not believe that the bread and wine “actually becomes” the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Pew’s survey also found that among Catholics who regularly attend Mass once a week, 63% know the Church’s teaching; 14% flat out reject it; and 23% don’t know.

However, 75% of Catholics who attend monthly or yearly believe the Eucharist is just a symbol, and so do 87% of Catholics who seldom or never attend Mass.

Long before the Pew survey on Catholics and the Eucharist came out, Weddell realized the answers to her question “Where is Jesus?” suggest many of today’s disciples of Jesus are not thinking of Jesus as truly present among them through the gift of the Holy Eucharist.

“I’m not surprised by this,” she said. Even among the most committed Catholics, she said, the Real Presence of Jesus is a doctrine they know with their heads, but “he does not come to mind” as a person with whom they can have a heart-to-heart dialogue through his presence in the Eucharist.

Read more at National Catholic Register