“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 1323)
Eucharist is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation. Eucharist is the reception of Jesus’ Body and Blood in the consecrated bread and wine. Jesus gave us the Eucharist at the Last Supper. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke all give accounts of the Last Supper. While celebrating the Passover with the Disciples, Jesus infused a whole new level of meaning to the celebration :
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to His disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28
As Catholics, we believe Jesus meant what He said. He truly is present in the bread and wine. As such, there is great care and reverence toward the Eucharist, including proper time for preparation before reception of the Eucharist.
Eucharist is celebrated at every mass at St. Patrick’s. Those that have received the sacraments of baptism and first communion are welcome to participate in Eucharist. For parishioners among us that have not completed these sacraments, you are welcome to join the Eucharist line with your arms crossed and receive a blessing from the Eucharist Ministers.
Typically, children in 2nd grade prepare to receive their first communion. For more information, check out our Religious Education program. Adults wishing to know more about the Sacrament of Eucharist are encourage to join us for RCIA.
The Real Presence of Jesus Christ
By his Real Presence in the Eucharist Christ fulfils his promise to be with us “always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). As St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “It is the law of friendship that friends should live together. . . . Christ has not left us without his bodily presence in this our pilgrimage, but he joins us to himself in this sacrament in the reality of his body and blood” ( Summa Theologiae, III q. 75, a. 1). With this gift of Christ’s presence in our midst, the Church is truly blessed. As Jesus told his disciples, referring to his presence among them, “Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it” (Mt 13:17). In the Eucharist the Church both receives the gift of Jesus Christ and gives grateful thanks to God for such a blessing. This thanksgiving is the only proper response, for through this gift of himself in the celebration of the Eucharist under the appearances of bread and wine Christ gives us the gift of eternal life.
Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. . . . Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. (Jn 6:53-57)