THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST
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 through-
out the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his
beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrec-
tion: 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.’”
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian
“The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries
andworks of the apostolate, are bound upwith the Eucharist and are
oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained thewhole
spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
“The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of
that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God
by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of
God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men
offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.”
Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite
ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life,
when God will be all in all.
In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith:
“Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist
in turn confirms our way of thinking.”
138 Congregation of Rites, instruction,
140 St. Irenaeus,
4, 18, 5: PG 7/1, 1028.