The Sacrament of the Eucharist
At the Last Supper, on the night He was betrayed, Christ Jesus instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout all ages and so to entrust the Church a memorial of his death and resurrection.
The holy Eucharist completes the Christian initiation and is "the source and summit of Christian Life". In the blessed Eucharist is contained the hole spiritual good of the Church, Christ himself, our Pasch. The mystery that is the Jewish feast of Passover commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from death by the blood of the Lamb sprinkled on the doorpost which the angle of death saw and "passed over".
The richness of this sacrament is expressed in the different names given it, to include:
- Eucharist because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. Eucharist originates in the Greek words eucharistein and eulogein. They recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim God's works: creation, redemption, and sanctification (Lk 22:19; Cor 11:24; Mt 26:26; Mk 14:22.
- Breaking of Bread because Jesus used this rite when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread (Mt 14:19), above all at the Last Supper (1 Cor 11:24). It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection (Lk 24:13-35); by doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter into communion with him and form but one body in him (1 Cor 10:16-17).
- The Holy Sacrifice because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ Jesus and includes the Church's offering. It completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant (Heb 13:15; 1 Pet 2:5).
- Holy Communion because by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his body and blood to form a single body (1 Cor 10:16-17).
In the Old Covenant, bread and wine were offered in sacrifice among the first fruits of the earth as a sign of grateful acknowledgment to the Creator. But they also received a new significance in the context of the Exodus: the unleavened bread that Israel eats every year at Passover commemorates the haste of the departure that liberated them from Egypt; the remembrance of the manna in the desert will always recall to Israel that is lives by the bread and Word of God. By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus' passing over to his father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the Kingdom.
As early as the second century St. Justin Martyr witnessed the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration (the Mass) and they have stayed the same until our own day. Christians have celebrated the Eucharist in a form whose substance has not changed despite the great diversity of times and liturgies. It is because we know ourselves to be bound by the command that the Lord gave on the eve of his Passion: "Do this in remembrance of me" (1 Cor 11:24-25).
Holy Communion augments our union with Christ The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism and sought after in Confirmation. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion.
Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;...he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and ...abides in me, and I in him" (Jn 6:51, 54, 56) There is no surer pledge or clearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, the work of our redemption is carried on and we break the one bread that provides immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraphs 1322-1419)
For More Information Please Contact the Parish Office at 636-629-0315.
Holy Communion for the Sick and Homebound
Father will be making home visits to the sick for Holy Communion on Friday mornings after Mass. If you would like him to come to your home please call the office and he will call you each Friday and make sure you are available.
If Fridays do not work for you, Father will arrange a different time.
Holy Communion will no longer be distributed in the Communion line. Extraordinary Ministers who take Communion to the sick may come to the sacristy after Mass to receive Hosts.