Aug 8, 2012

"Do This in Memory of Me"

When we go to mass every Sunday, or any day, we participate in something so incredible! Christ is making his sacrifice, this sacrifice that washes us of all our sins, present to us! It's almost like we're entering a time-machine, being taken before the cross so to witness this event being applied to us firsthand. When the priest holds up the host and the bells ring, we can imagine Jesus obliterating sin as he hangs on the cross. We then most humbly and intimately receive this sacrifice, under the appearances of bread and wine, for the forgiveness of all our sins and failures committed to date. Granted that we are not in the state of mortal sin (in which we need the sacrament of Confession), we walk away from that altar with a clean slate before God.

The Church teaches that the Eucharist is

"the source and summit of the Christian life" (CCC 1324). 

These are words worth pondering. She also teaches:
  • Jesus Christ is actually present body, blood, soul and divinity. 
  • When we partake in this sacrament worthily, we unite ourselves more fully with Christ. 
  • We also unite ourselves more fully with the Church, his mystical body.
  • We are strengthened in our charity, which is the essence of the Christian life (CCC 1374139413961416)

Jesus at the Last Supper:
Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you (Lk 22:19-20).
Jesus teaching on the Eucharist:
"this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (Jn 6:53-58)
Do we realize the great benefits of partaking in the Eucharist? Do we see, being made present before us, our Lord and eternal salvation?

Additional Reading
The Real Presence
Christ in the Eucharist
Five answers to five common questions (Catholics Come Home)
Cara Study 2008 (see p54-56)

Study the Catechism
part 2, section 2, chapter 1, article 3
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