What does it mean to be a Eucharistic People? Eucharist is the focal point of our community. We gather around the table as a family...brothers and sisters of Jesus & each other...to celebrate our hopes in God and in each other; to break open the Word of God in our everyday lives; to be nourished so that we can be faithful to the Word in our everyday living. Eucharist is about family around the table. The Eucharist, however, cannot be contained in the hour of Sunday Mass. We cannot be brother or sister on Sunday morning unless we are brother and sister all week long. To be a Eucharistic people means we understand that Jesus and his Father are the ones holding the banquet. The table belongs to everyone and as a Eucharistic people, we are thankful with our whole beings that we have been invited.
The Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is the true body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, who is really and substantially and sacramentally present under the appearances of bread and wine.
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross reconciled us with the Father and opened the Father’s kingdom of heaven to us. Because the Father lives in eternity and continually sees Christ’s sacrifice, the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist re-presents Christ’s sacrifice for us. When the priest celebrates the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in the Father’s sight we are present at Christ’s one sacrifice. When we approach for reception of the Holy Eucharist, in the Father’s sight we are approaching Christ Himself on the cross as He gives us His body, blood, soul and divinity.
The Sacrament of Holy Eucharist involves a sacramental covenant, an exchange of persons. When Jesus gives His body, blood, soul and divinity to us, we give our body, blood, soul and humanity to Him. We give ourself to Jesus by preparing for heaven, by truly loving God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength, and by truly loving one another.
The matter of the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is bread, freshly made from pure wheaten flour, and wine, as the pure natural juice of the grape. In the Latin Rite the bread is unleavened; in the Eastern Rites it is leavened.
The form of the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is the words of institution pronounced by the celebrant: “This is My body,” and “This is My blood.” As the celebrant says, “This is My body,” the bread is transubstantiated into Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity. A moment later, when the celebrant says, “This is the cup of My blood,” the wine is transubstantiated into Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity. More completely, the words of institution are: “Take this, all of you and eat it: this is My body which will be given up for you.” And, a moment later, “Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of My blood, the blood of the New and Everlasting Covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of Me.”
Holy Eucharist is a sacrament of the living. We must be in the state of grace to receive it fruitfully. It is good to receive the Sacrament of Penance frequently.
The separate consecrations of bread to the body of Christ and wine to the blood of Christ occur through concomitance.
Holy Eucharist is one of the three sacraments of initiation. The other two are Baptism and Confirmation.
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