The Origin of the Eucharist
The word Eucharist originates from the Greek word meaning 'Thanks Giving'. In the word Eucharist, 'Eu' means 'well or good', and 'Charis' means 'gift'. The celebration of the Eucharist comes from events that occurred with Jesus and 'The Last Supper'. This extremely important event can be found in each of the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke. The night of 'The Last Supper' Jesus shared with his disciples "Take and eat; this is my body", he then took the chalice and said "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the wine until the day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."
What is Transubstantiation?
The belief of transubstantiation is the belief and process in which the bread and wine in the Eucharist is transformed into the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through this process Catholics believe that Jesus has truly risen and is present through the Eucharist. Catholics also believe this happens during the consecration, which is the blessing of the bread and wine which is given in every mass. The word consecration is the action of declaring the bread and wine is to represent the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
The Eucharist as a Sacrifice and a Meal
Meal: There are two very important ways that the Church speaks of the Eucharist, this is the meal and as a sacrifice. The meal is a symbol or a sign of our dependence on what is beyond ourselves. The meal is also a time where a family or community come together to share experiences which are happy or sad and just simply talk. Research proves and shows that families which sit together and share meals have more security and are more resilient and have will not have the constant feeling of being left out.
Sacrifice: The Eucharist as a sacrifice is a constant reminder of how Jesus gave himself up for his disciples and he offered his life to God. This act proved how much love he had within in himself and his constant acts of service to people. The Eucharist is a way we can re-present Jesus through the ages. Through the Eucharist we can share the sacrifice Jesus did as of we were present on that day.
Different scriptures relevant to the Eucharist:
Luke 22:7 - "The day came during the Festival of Unleavened Bread when the lambs for Passover meal were to be killed."
Luke 22:14 - "Jesus took his plate at the table with the apostles
Luke 22:17-20- "Then Jesus took a cup, gave thanks to God and said "Take this and share this among yourselves. I tell you that from now on I will not drink this wine until the Kingdom of God comes. Then he took a piece of bread, gave thanks to God, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me." In the same way, he gave them the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is God's new covenant sealed with my blood, which is poured out for you."
Luke 2: 29-31- "...So he went in to stay with them. He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them, Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight.'
Statements from the Catholic Church:
Pope Francis:"The Eucharist is such a great gift. That's why going to Mass is so important. Going to Mass not just to pray, but to receive Communion, the Bread and Body of Christ. It saves us, forgives us and it makes us one with the Father. How beautiful!"
Pope Francis:"The Eucharist is more than just a mere feast. It's a way to remember Jesus' Passover, a mystery that's central to our salvation. But when we talk about 'remembering' that doesn't mean that it's just a memory. It means that every time we celebrate this Sacrament we become part of the Mystery of His Passion, Death and Resurrection. The Eucharist is the peak of God's Salvation."
Pope Francis:"It's important for children to properly prepare for their First Communion, so that there's no child without this Sacrament. The Eucharist is a firm step towards Jesus, along with Baptism and Conformation."
Bibliography and Sources
Bible Gateway 2016, accessed 1 May 2017, <https://www.biblegateway.com/>.
Catechism of the Catholic Church n.d., Vatican, accessed 4 April 2017, <http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a3.htm>.
Catholic Online 2017, accessed 1 May 2017, <http://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=55928>
Taylor, P 2017, Eucharist, Catholic Australia, Chatswood, accessed 4 April 2017, <http://www.catholicaustralia.com.au/the-sacraments/eucharist>.
Together At One Alter n.d., Origins of the Eucharist, accessed 29 April 2017, http://www.togetheratonealtar.catholic.edu.au/explore/dsp-content.cfm?loadref=21.