The Holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord's own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.
At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1322 & 1323
Sacraments of Initiation
Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, as a group of three Sacraments, are called the “Sacraments of Initiation.”
A Sacrament is a visible sign of God’s presence, God’s activity in our lives, in the Church and in our world. But it goes beyond that! Sacraments not only show us what God is like and what God dreams for us; Sacraments also make that happen!
What does Eucharist say to us about the God we believe in?
- Eucharist (together with Baptism and Confirmation) tells us that God wants each and every one of us to belong—first of all, to God! Second of all, God wants us to belong to one another, to care for each other and to form a community of faith with other believers. God is a family—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and God gives us the grace, in these Sacraments of Initiation, to form and grow in human families that continue to reveal God’s love to the world.
- The Eucharist tells us that our purpose in life is to know, love and serve God in all kinds of ways, and that God feeds us with the very Body and Blood of Jesus to form us and shape us and nourish us to go out and be God’s very presence in and for the world. In this Sacrament, we are fed. We are fed because God knows that we need to be fed. We are also fed so that we can be food for others and bring them to Jesus, who is Food for All.
- Eucharist reminds us that Jesus gave his very life for us. In every Mass, we take part in, once more, Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Jesus continues to suffer and give his life for us. Following Jesus sometimes means sacrifice. Love often means sacrifice, but Jesus is with us every step of the way, feeding us, being our Bread for the Journey, and giving us good companions who will walk the road with us.
To find out more about this great gift of God and how you can celebrate it in your life, contact your pastor or other pastoral leader.
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