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Nature of Holy Eucharist

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church has over the centuries discerned that among liturgical celebrations there are seven that are, in strict sense of the term, sacraments instituted by the Lord (cf.CCC 1117). The Holy Eucharist is the greatest of them all. A sacrament is a visible, or perceptible, sign. It conveys inward grace. It is constituted by Christ. It is one of the major ways in which the graces of the redemption are dispensed. At Mass, Christ associates the whole Church with him in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. In the words of Pope Paul VI. “The whole Church plays the role of priest and victim along with Christ, offering the Sacrifice of the Mass and itself completely offered in it.” ( Mysterium Fidei, 31). But it is important to be clear. Only the ordained priest, the ministerial priest, consecrates bread and wine and offers Christ to the Eternal Father. Without him, there can be no Mass. (cf. LG 10; Mysterium Fidei, 31).At Mass, the Church not only offers Christ to the Eternal Father, but also offers herself through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. The bread and wine brought at the offertory become, in a way, a symbol of all that the Eucharistic assembly brings on its part as an offering to God. (cf. 1 Pt 2:5; Letter, n.9). The Eucharist is the sacrifice of the whole Church. Therefore the Pope and the diocesan bishop are mentioned at each Mass along with the other ministers and the whole people of God. The most Blessed Virgin Mary and the angels and saints are also commemorated. And the Souls in the Purgatory are not forgotten, because the Mass is offered for the living and the dead (cf. CCC 1368-1371). The Eucharistic Sacrifice is offered for four reasons that are at the heart of genuine religion: adoration, thanksgiving or praise, propitiation (asking for reparation for our sins), and supplication (asking favors from God). The Eucharist is the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus really present to be offered to God in sacrifice and to be received by us in sacramental communion. After the words of consecration the bred is no longer present. It has become the Body of Christ. Likewise, wine is no longer present. It has become the Blood of Christ. In the Most Blessed Sacrament of Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and the divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.”
Arinze, F. (2001). The Holy Eucharist. (pp. 38-44). Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc.