What is the Eucharist?
“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.” (Mt 26:26-28; cf. Mk 14:22-24, Lk 22:17-20, 1 Cor 11:23-25)
Catholics believe the bread and wine consecrated at Mass by the Catholic priest truly transfigures (i.e. becomes) the Body and Blood of the real man and Son of God, Jesus Christ, as it did during The Last Supper (quoted above). This is the Source and Submit of our beautiful faith! Jesus Christ freely gave His life to save us from our sins 2000 years ago. Everything that happens at the Catholic Mass reminds us of that ultimate sacrifice given out of pure love for us. When we consume the Body and Blood of Christ in the form of bread and wine, we intimately receive the actual person, the real man, the one and only Jesus Christ. This truth is what differentiates the Catholic faith from all other faith denominations. By the power passed on from Jesus to his apostle Peter and then to all of his successors, the Catholic priesthood passes down the sacred duty to transfigure bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ within the context of the Mass.
Resources for all your questions on the Eucharist and the Catholic Mass!
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): The Eucharist
- USCCB: Rediscovering the Mass
- USCCB: Eucharist Revival
- Nativity original YouTube Series on the Mass
- Attend Mass at Nativity!
Receiving the Eucharist
Catholics go through sacramental preparation before receiving the Eucharist at Mass, either as children through a religious education program or as adults in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). When this preparation is complete, Catholics receive the Eucharist for the first time: their First Holy Communion.