The Sacrament of the Eucharist

“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.’”
 

1 Corinthians 11:23-24

No matter the continent or the culture, one common element will be found wherever there is a Catholic Church: the celebration of the Eucharist. Regardless of the language of the Mass, the structure will be the same. This consistency exists because the universal Church continues to follow Christ’s solemn command at the Last Supper, “Do this in remembrance of me” (cf. Mt 26:20-29, Mk 14:17-25, Lk 22:14-20, CCC #1337) While all the sacraments are important, this one takes pride of place among the seven, earning the title of The Most Blessed Sacrament. Also referred to as the “source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC #1324), in the Eucharist Christ is present with us in an exceptional way. When the priest consecrates the bread and wine, using the words Jesus himself used, the substance of the bread and wine is changed into the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ (cf. CCC#1376). This is why Catholics profess that in the Eucharist, “the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained” (CCC #1374). Just as food nourishes us physically, receiving Jesus in Holy Communion nourishes us spiritually. He desired all of us to be united to him in an intimate way, and gave us this sacred banquet in order to truly become one with him: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (Jn 6:56).

“How lovely it was, that first kiss of Jesus in my heart…on that day it was more than a meeting – it was a complete fusion.”

St. Therese on her First Communion