Our bodies include 30 to 40 trillion cells. Each of them requires oxygen. They receive oxygen from our blood.
So: Someone alive has flesh and blood together. The separation of someone’s body and blood is a leading cause of… death.
Do we Catholics believe that the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is a symbol?
Correct. No. But, actually, in one way: Yes.
When the Lord offered Himself for us in His bitter Passion, He bled. The violence of his executioners separated His blood from His body.
When He rose from the dead, though, His Body and Blood resumed their proper proximity: together.
Christ abides with us, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. That is, Christ alive. The living, divine man.
The Mass symbolizes the death of Christ by the separate consecration of His Body and Blood. The separation of Christ’s Body and Blood is the symbolic aspect of the Mass.
The significance of this for us, during the coronavirus outbreak:
You don’t have to receive Host and chalice in order to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Anyone who receives the Host receives the Body and Blood of Christ. Anyone with celiac disease who receives only from the chalice receives the Body and Blood of Christ.
At a Mass, the only person who must receive both Host and chalice is the priest. Everyone else can receive both Body and Blood by receiving the Host.
Since germs can spread quite easily by the sharing of the chalice, we will cease that method of receiving Holy Communion at our parishes for now.