When you see It [the Body of Christ] exposed, say to yourself: Thanks to this Body, I am no longer dust and ashes, I am no more a captive but a free man: hence I hope to obtain heaven and the good things that are there in store for me, eternal life, the heritage of the angels, companionship with Christ; death has not destroyed this Body which was pierced with nails and scourged . . . this is that Body which was once covered with blood, pierced by a lance, from which issued saving fountains upon the world, one of blood and the other of water. . . . This Body He gave to us to keep and to eat, as a mark of His intense love.

St. John Chrysostom: Hom, in I. Ep. ad Cor., 24, 4.

 


Christ did this to bring us to a closer bond of friendship, and to signify His love toward us, giving Himself to those who desire Him, not only to behold Him, but also to handle Him, to eat Him, to embrace Him with the fulness of their whole heart. Therefore as lions breathing fire do we depart from that Table, rendered objects of terror to the devil.

St. John Chrysostom: Homilies on St. John, 46.