From my latest at First Things, “God With Us, Every Day“:
We shouldn’t swallow the camel of the Incarnation while straining out the gnat of Christ’s presence in (or, if you prefer, as) the Eucharistic elements of bread and wine. The former grounds the latter, and it is no accident that the gospel that presents the most profound reflection on the Incarnation, the Gospel of John, also presents the most sublime narrative meditation on the significance of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. If God can make himself present in the conception of a baby, Jesus can make himself present in the confection of the sacrament.
While we celebrate God’s saving actions in the past and look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, may we Christians encounter Christ in the present, remembering in the words of the poet John Betjeman “that God was man in Palestine / And lives today in Bread and Wine.”