In receiving the Eucharist, we are given the gifts of grace and the Real presence of Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is a form of nourishment in which we are graced with the interior renewal of body, mind and soul. I believe the Eucharist is God’s gift to mankind with the institution of the Last Supper through his only begotten Son. This reenactment of the Last Supper at each mass allows us to experience the Real presence of Jesus Christ.
Though I lack in knowledge and ability to fully grasp or explain the Last Supper, I do have faith. I accept as truth that the Eucharist was instituted at the Last Supper by Jesus Christ. I also have confidence in the teachings of the Bible, the Blessed Trinity, miracles (Fatima, Medjugorje), the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saints and the Sacraments of the church. And being aware the Bible is subject to interpretation, I pray for guidance when reading the Word of God.
INSTITUTION OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST
The establishment of the Holy Eucharist became so at the Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples and repeated by them on his instructions as so stated in the Bible: For the tradition I (Paul) received from the Lord and also handed on to you is that on the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and after he had given thanks, he broke it, and he said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” And in the same way, with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me. Whenever you eat this bread, then, and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes. Therefore anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily is answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.” ~Cor. 1:23-27
The New Covenant — Is the sacrifice of Christ where he gave his life so our sins might be forgiven. His death was redemptive, our sins forgiven and by receiving Christ we also accept God and can find new life through this. At the Last Supper, the Eucharist was instituted and the covenant established through the blood of Jesus. By reenacting the Last Supper at each mass, we can experience the Real presence of Jesus Christ (God-man). God gave us his only son and through his birth, death and resurrection we are saved. Jesus Christ is truly our Savior!
THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION
Through Reconciliation (Confession/Penance) we prepare ourselves to receive the Eucharist. Being human, we will never be perfect and the Sacrament of Reconciliation allows us to confess our sins, repent and ensure we are cleansed and ready to receive the Eucharist.
Upon confessing, the priest, acting as the instrument of God, forgives sins committed. During confession, it is important to be honest, humble, and sincerely make penance for the sins committed.
CELEBRATION OF THE MASS
Our divine Savior said the first mass at which time the Eucharist was instituted. The mass is the renewal of the new covenant. Through the reenactment at mass, the miracle of the Eucharist takes place. We are honored with the Real (actual) divine Presence of Christ.
Mass is a time we can give glory to God the Father and thank him for so freely giving us his Son for the forgiveness of our sins. It is a time for renewal, to repent and ask for graces.
Incarnate – Christ became man in the flesh.
Consubstantial – Of the same substance or essence (i.e. – the three persons of the Blessed Trinity in Christian theology).
The Seven Sacraments – The seven Catholic Sacraments are rituals that direct us to what is sacred, noteworthy and important for Christians. They are special occasions for experiencing God’s saving presence and graces. They are as follows: The Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance of), Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick.
Miracle – A sensibly perceptible effect, surpassing at least the powers of visible nature, produced by God to witness to some truth or testify to someone’s sanctity.¹
The “Word of God” – God was expressed, explained, defined, and made real to man through the Lord Jesus Christ. The man Jesus Christ was God’s Word, God’s speaking —as the Word of God— not only through words but also through his works.²
Usually when we hear someone speak of the Word of God, we consider only the Bible. However, Cardinal Ratzinger points that the Word of God is Jesus Christ himself who is present in the Eucharist.³
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
No, I don’t have to go to church or attend Mass to talk to or be with Christ. And yes, I believe Christ (God) is everywhere at any given point in time. I talk with Jesus, pray to Jesus and accept that Jesus is with me at home, while walking or at work and play. However, attending Mass is the ultimate expression of my affection for Christ and his for me; it’s my safe place to spend quite time with my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Just as people make time to attend various functions and activities (graduations, weddings, NASCAR races, concerts, hiking and camping) to honor, respect or appreciate being a part of an experience, so it is with me when attending mass. Making time demonstrates the desire, intent and participation in not only mass, but receiving the Eucharist. I attend mass to embrace and receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
¹John A. Hardon, S.J., “A Modern Catholic Dictionary” (1999)
²A God-Man In Christ – Christ as the incarnate Word of God fully explained God, defined God, and expressed God!; 05-17-2011.
³Catholicism for Everyone – Ratzinger on the meaning of the Word of God. Holy Mother Church Blog; 05-07-2011.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10