The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist

As the source and summit of the Catholic faith, all other sacraments lead to the Eucharist which is supernatural food for the soul that nourishes the faithful and gives sanctifying grace to help them grow in holiness.

The Sacrament of the Eucharist was instituted at the Last Supper which was a Passover meal. At Passover, the Jewish people recalled when a lamb was sacrificed to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

At the meal, Jesus took bread and gave thanks. Eucharist is a Greek word that means “thanksgiving”. He declared that what was once bread and wine was now his Body and Blood and He told the Apostles, “Do this in memory of Me.”

Jesus is the Lamb of God and Bread of Life who died to free mankind from sin and death.

The ordinary minister of the Sacrament of the Eucharist is a priest or bishop.

The sacramental matter of the Eucharist is wheat bread and grape wine. During the consecration at Mass and before the faithful eat and drink, the host of bread and the chalice of wine become the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

The sacramental form are the words “This is my body” and “This is my blood”. The words are said while the minister is holding the bread or the chalice of wine.

Thankful Catholics receive the Eucharist in Holy Communion with God and with the Church.

The Eucharist makes Jesus present to us today and every day. Unlike Baptism and Confirmation, the other Sacraments of Initiation, the Eucharist is a sacrament that can be received more than once. In fact, frequent reception is recommended and Catholics are required to receive the Eucharist at least once each year.

A sacred meal:

A sacrament and a sacrifice:

The fullness of the Christ event:

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324

The source and summit of the Christian life:

Essential to who we are as Catholics:

Becoming what we receive:

Nourished by a common meal:

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night He was handed over, took bread, and, after He had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.

1 Corinthians 11: 23-26

Receiving the substantial presence of Jesus’ Body and Blood:

The Eucharist is Jesus Christ Himself:

The sacrament of charity, the Holy Eucharist is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of Himself, thus revealing to us God’s infinite love for every man and woman. This wondrous sacrament makes manifest that “greater” love which led Him to “lay down his life for his friends”. Jesus did indeed love them “to the end”. In those words the Evangelist introduces Christ’s act of immense humility: before dying for us on the Cross, He tied a towel around himself and washed the feet of his disciples. In the same way, Jesus continues, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, to love us “to the end,” even to offering us his Body and his Blood. What amazement must the Apostles have felt in witnessing what the Lord did and said during that Supper! What wonder must the eucharistic mystery also awaken in our own hearts!

Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, February 22, 2007

The Jewish roots of the Eucharist:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Displaying all of the divine Persons:

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