In the celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine
become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through
the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality
of the priest. The whole Christ is truly present body,
blood, soul, and divinity under the
appearances of bread and wine, the glorified Christ
who rose from the dead. This is what the Church
means when she speaks of the "Real Presence" of
Christ in the Eucharist.
Where is the Eucharist mentioned in the Bible?
The Lord Jesus, on the night before he suffered on
the cross, shared one last meal with his disciples.
During this meal our Savior instituted the sacrament
of his Body and Blood. He did this in order to
perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the
ages and to entrust to the Church a memorial of his
death and resurrection.
The Institution of the
Eucharist is written down in the four
Matthew 26:26-30 Mark 14:22-26Luke 22:14-20John
6:22-59 (The Bread of Life Discourse)
Is the Eucharist a symbol?
The transformed bread and
wine are truly the Body and Blood of Christ and are
not merely symbols. When Christ said “This is my
body” and “This is my blood,” the bread and wine are
transubstantiated. Though the bread and wine appear
the same to our human faculties, they are actually the
real body and blood of Jesus.
The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the preparation
of the gifts and the altar. As the ministers prepare
the altar, representatives of the people bring forward
the bread and wine that will become the Body and
Blood of Christ. The celebrant blesses and praises
God for these gifts and places them on the altar, the
place of the Eucharistic sacrifice. In addition to the
bread and wine, monetary gifts for the support of the
Church and the care of the poor may be brought forward.
The Prayer over the Offerings concludes this
preparation and disposes all for the Eucharistic Prayer.