The day after the crowd of five thousand had been fed with the five loaves caught up with
Jesus, asking him what sign he could do.
They were wondering if he were the Messiah. What they had in mind was an old Jewish belief that when the Messiah came, he, like Moses, would actually bring manna down from heaven. So they asked Jesus, “What sign can you show us?”
Jesus pushed that aside, saying, “Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died. This is the bread come down from heaven so that one may eat it, and never die. I am the living bread.”
Jesus there refers to our Holy Communion as the “living bread.” That raises the question as to whether or not the consecrated host, while being the Body of Christ, is still bread.
In 1215 Pope Innocent the Thirteenth introduced the word “transubstantiation” implying that the substance of bread disappears, with the host becoming the substance of Our Lord’s body.
However, we know that the consecrated host still remains the substance of bread. We can only understand the miracle by saying it has become the Body of Christ because he said it has.
The English priest, George Herbert wrote, “Whether the bread stay, or the bread fly away, concerneth the bread, not me.”