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344

Part Two

is given for you” and “This cup which is poured out for you is the

New Covenant in my blood.”

187

In the Eucharist Christ gives us the

very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood

which he “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

188

1366

The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it

re-presents

(makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its

memorial

and because it

applies

its fruit:

[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer

himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the

cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But

because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the

Last Supper “on the night when he was betrayed,” [he

wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible

sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the

bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on

the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated

until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied

to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.

189

1367

The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are

one single sacrifice:

“The victim is one and the same: the same now

offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on

the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” “And since in

this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in theMass, the same Christ

who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the

cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner . . . this

sacrifice is truly propitiatory.”

190

1368

The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of the Church.

The Church

which is the Body of Christ participates in the offering of her Head.

With him, she herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself

to his intercession with the Father for all men. In the Eucharist the

sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his

Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and

work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and

so acquire a new value. Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it

possible for all generations of Christians to be unitedwith his offering.

In the catacombs the Church is often represented as a woman in

prayer, arms outstretched in the praying position. Like Christ who

stretched out his arms on the cross, through him, with him, and in him,

she offers herself and intercedes for all men.

187

Lk

22:19-20.

188

Mt

26:28.

189 Council of Trent (1562): DS 1740; cf.

1 Cor

11:23;

Heb

7:24, 27.

190 Council of Trent (1562):

Doctrina de ss. Missae sacrificio,

c. 2: DS 1743;

cf.

Heb

9:14, 27.

1846

613

1545

618

2031

1109