In Come to the Feast, Fr. Richard Fragomeni uses a visual experiment to help describe the Mystical Body of Christ:
In my hand I have a loaf of bread, can you see it? Look carefully at this loaf. What do you perceive? Nourishment. When you see nourishment, what do you see concretely? Seeds. When you see seeds, what else do you see? Yeast. Those microorganisms are right here. What else? Flour. We need to have a farmer. So there’s farmer in here, and a miller in here. And a mill and water. See it? We know all this, but sometimes we’re so sleepy and unaware we don’t see, our inward eyes are shut. We see salt, sugar, butter, and when we see butter, we see cows, … grass, heat—and, of course fire. And when we see fire, we see ovens. To have seeds, we need soil. Now we can see soil. And in the soil we have … worms. See the worms? If we are awake, we can see worms. Besides worms what else in the soil? Fertilizer. What kind? Organic and inorganic! If you’re awake, you see everything that is there. Sooner or later the whole digestive system is in this bread. Because the cycle will happen again. This bread doesn’t come from nowhere. It comes from everywhere.
In one sense it is everything. If the mandatory label listed the real ingredients, we would know it contains air, sweat of the brow, our grandmothers, with all their memories. Where is this bread to go? It should go to all hungry mouths. To the poor, the children, the struggle in Bosnia, unlikely destinations unless we know all the ingredients.
We can even see the sun. When we see the sun, we see the stars and the black holes, and the whole cosmos. The scientists tell us that matter is neither destroyed nor created so there are atoms and molecules in here from our ancestors. Can you see? Now, hold this all together and stay awake. Hold everything you see in the bread in your hearts, because over all that the church says, “This is my body. …This is the body of Christ. It is the bread of life.”