The Eucharist

The source and summit of the Catholic faith is the Eucharist. The Eucharist is one of the seven sacraments of the Church. The Eucharist is consecrated by ordained priests in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The word liturgy is derived from the Greek word leitourgia. It meant an action by which a group of people become something corporately which they had not been as individuals or a whole greater than the sum of its parts. It also meant a function or ministry of a man or of a group on behalf of the whole community. The Church itself is a leitourgia, a ministry, a calling to act in this world like Christ, to bear testimony to Him and His Kingdom. The Eucharist is the entry of the Church into the joy of Christ the Lord. (cf. Jn 15:11) Our entrance into the Body of Christ allows us to see more deeply into the reality of the world. The Church is a new community with a new life. Our purpose is to fulfill the Church, to make present the One in whom all things are at their end and all things are at their beginning. This means a separation from the world. ““If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.” (Jn 15:18-19) But Jesus gave His life for this world that hated and rejected Him. “He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, knowing pain, Like one from whom you turn your face, spurned, and we held him in no esteem. Yet it was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured. We thought of him as stricken, struck down by God and afflicted, But he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed.” (Is 53:3-5) When the world killed Christ the world itself died. This death was necessary because the world could never save itself. We can only have life in the risen Christ. When we offer ourselves through Christ in the Eucharist, He Himself who could not be held by death gives us the gift of new life as food.

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