The Holy Eucharist

The Holy Eucharist

FEAST AND SACRIFICE

The Eucharist is both the fountain from which life in Christ flows and the goal toward which it tends; it is the alpha and the omega of Christian discipleship; it is the energy without which authentic Christianity runs down. Without the Eucharist, we could be a pious congregation of like-minded people dedicated to the memory and teaching of Jesus, but we couldn’t possibly be the Church. As St. John Paul II argued in his last encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia (the Church comes from the Eucharist), the Body and Blood of Jesus are not simply the sacred objects at the center of the Church’s concern; they are the Church, its lifeblood.

The Eucharist is, first, the great meal of fellowship that God wants to establish with his people, the joyful bond in which the divine life is shared spiritually and physically with a hungry world…. However, communion in a fallen world is impossible without sacrifice. Hence, the Eucharist is also the embodiment of Jesus’ great act of sacrificial suffering on the cross at Calvary….Both of these themes are gathered up and given full expression the Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharistic elements.

The Eucharist is more than a symbol. In it, Jesus is present to us through his own power as both food and sacrificial offering. The Eucharist is not our product but our Lord, and as such, it calls us to conversion.

Robert Barron, Eucharist, (2021)
©Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, Park Ridge, IL