Luke 22: 19-20 “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood”.
In the month of August and September, we as church will be devoting the time to meditate on the redemption offered through Jesus Christ. Both Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist are the sacraments that share the mysteries of salvation.
Jesus gave us the Eucharist at the Last Supper. The Last Supper of Jesus was a celebration of the Pasch, the Passover meal in which the Israelites were incorporated into God’s chosen people as they ate the Paschal Lamb before their exodus from Egypt to the promised land. This sacrificial meal grounded a special relationship with the Lord, gave them an identity as his people, and strengthened their covenant with him. Jesus established a new covenant, a new relationship with us, through offering not a lamb but himself, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. When we do this in memory of him, we do it at a meal, the new Paschal Meal participating in the Paschal Mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We eat his Body and drink his Blood. Sacrifice narrated in the Eucharistic meal makes it a sacrificial meal. On the Cross, Jesus offered himself once and for all. The Eucharistic sacrifice, repeated each time celebrated in communion, is not a new sacrifice, but a participation in the one sacrifice of Christ. As we will see, in this sense, it is a memorial. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13).
For the baptized Christian, no sacrifice or offering is ever too small, because it is taken up into the one sacrifice and offering of Christ. We partake in the new Paschal meal and participate in Jesus’ dying and rising. Through the invocation of the Holy Spirit, the moments of our time participate in the moments of the time of the Last Supper, Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, and the offering of the Son to the Father. This is the deeper meaning of the Eucharist and of the directive Jesus gave his Apostles and their successors to enact what he did in order to participate in his offering. Eucharist is a thanksgiving and Praise. In the Eucharist, we encounter Jesus in person.
Jesus at the Last Supper said, “Do this in remembrance of me,” to mean, “On that day when you do these things (the Eucharist), I will be with you” Now, that is real presence. “Do this in memory of me.” But the memorial of the Eucharist, the remembering of Jesus, is also his real presence, as we will see. The word “anamnesis” in Greek has this fuller meaning of remembering. This answer of Jesus shows the fullness of his remembrance of us and how he is present to us in the Eucharist. Jesus Christ is truly present. The presence of Jesus is real, sacred and historical. Eucharist a symbol of Jesus, a representation of him, we must remember that this symbolic representation re-presents him, makes present again the reality of Jesus, the eternal Son of God, divine and human, truly present in the Eucharist.
The mystery of the Eucharist is the mystery of the Church. We are united as members of his body, ever more deeply each time we celebrate and receive. “We are the body of Christ” must be complemented by “We are the Body of Christ!” Communion with Christ in the Eucharist bring with us as a community, our identity, our shared life of worship, our living. The Church has always taught that Jesus Christ remains truly present in the Eucharist even after the celebration. As we receive the Eucharist or adore in silent prayer, we can relate to the Eucharist as Jesus present, actively offering himself to us. This relationship, like all relationships, requires faith, but a faith that bears fruit. The adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament allows the fruits of our reception of him to ripen and deepen into communion and into a fullness of love flowing forth into our daily lives. The Eucharist is the heart and summit of the life of every Christian and of the whole People of God.
May the good Lord bless all of us to partake in the Holy Communion and to receive the spiritual blessings and to have eternal life.