The Eucharist – Jesus is With Us
Catholics believe the Eucharist, or Communion, is both a sacrifice and a meal. We believe in the real presence of Jesus, who died for our sins. As we receive Christ’s Body and Blood, we are also nourished spiritually and brought closer to God.
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” John 6:53-56
The Church draws her life from the Eucharist. This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church. In a variety of ways, she joyfully experiences the constant fulfillment of the promise, "Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Mt 28:20), but in the Holy Eucharist, through the changing of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Lord, she rejoices in this presence with unique intensity. Ever since Pentecost, when the Church, the People of the New Covenant, began her pilgrim journey towards her heavenly homeland, the Diving Sacrament has continued to mark the passing of their days, filling them with hope.
-- Pope John Paul II, "On the Eucharist" ["Ecclesia de Eucharistia; EE], no. 1.
The Eucharist is the sacrament in which we receive the Body and Blood of Christ. The Church teaches that Christ is really present in the bread and wine that have been consecrated by the priest at Mass. Although the bread and wine still look and taste like bread and wine, the substance, what is actually there, has changed.
The roots of the Eucharist are in the Jewish Passover meal. This is the meal which commemorates Israel's delivery from oppression and slavery in Egypt.
As Jesus celebrated the Passover at his last supper with the apostles, He blessed, broke and shared with them bread and wine, declaring that it was His body and blood. He promised that He would truly be with them when they did likewise and shared bread and wine together in memory of Him.
The Mass is the new Passover, with Jesus offering His own body and blood so that we, His present-day followers, might go free. For this reason, as well as being a sacred meal, the Eucharist is also a link with Jesus' death. When we participate in the Mass together with our fellow believers and receive Him in the Eucharist we take part in the Passover meal which He celebrates now, shedding His blood so that we may be saved.
For More information contact: Tammy Mansir 760-789-6151