CCC-

1364 In the New Testament, the memorial takes on new meaning. When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ's Passover, and it is made present the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present.185 "As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which 'Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed' is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out."186

1365 Because it is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution: "This is my body which is given for you" and "This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood."187 In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."188

1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:

[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper "on the night when he was betrayed," [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.

1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory."

1373 "Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us," is present in many ways to his Church:197 in his word, in his Church's prayer, "where two or three are gathered in my name,"199 in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned,199 in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But "he is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species."200

1374 The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend."201 In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained."202 "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."203

1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:

 

It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.204

And St. Ambrose says about this conversion:

 

Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed. . . . Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.205


1412 The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: "This is my body which will be given up for you. . . . This is the cup of my blood. . . ."

1404 The Church knows that the Lord comes even now in his Eucharist and that he is there in our midst. However, his presence is veiled. Therefore we celebrate the Eucharist "awaiting the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ," asking "to share in your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day we shall see you, our God, as you are. We shall become like you and praise you for ever through Christ our Lord."

 


 

CCC-

1364 Memoriale in Novo Testamento sensum recipit novum. Cum Ecclesia Eucharistiam celebrat, memor est Christi Paschatis, quod praesens fit: sacrificium quod Christus semel pro semper obtulit in cruce, semper permanet actuale: 332 Quoties Sacrificium crucis, quo "Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus" (1 Cor 5,7), in altari celebratur, opus nostrae Redemptionis exercetur . 333

1365 Quia Eucharistia memoriale Paschatis est Christi, est etiam sacrificium. Indoles sacrificalis Eucharistiae in ipsis verbis institutionis manifestatur: Hoc est corpus meum, quod pro vobis datur et Hic calix Novum Testamentum est in sanguine meo qui pro vobis funditur (Lc 22,19-20). In Eucharistia, Christus hoc ipsum corpus dat quod pro nobis in cruce tradidit, ipsum sanguinem quem Ille effudit pro multis [...] in remissionem peccatorum (Mt 26,28).

1366 Eucharistia est igitur sacrificium quia Sacrificium crucis repraesentat (praesens reddit), quia eius est memoriale et quia eius fructum applicat:

Christus Deus et Dominus noster, [...] semel Se Ipsum in ara crucis, morte intercedente, Deo Patri [...] [obtulit], ut aeternam illis [hominibus] Redemptionem operaretur: quia tamen post mortem sacerdotium Eius exstinguendum non erat [Heb 7,24.27], in Coena novissima, "qua nocte tradebatur" [1 Cor 11,23], [...] dilectae Sponsae Suae Ecclesiae visibile (sicut hominum natura exigit) [...] [reliquit] sacrificium, quo cruentum illud semel in cruce peragendum repraesentaretur eiusque memoria in finem usque saeculi permaneret, atque illius salutaris virtus in remissionem eorum, quae a nobis quotidie committuntur, peccatorum applicaretur . 334

1367 Sacrificium Christi et Sacrificium Eucharistiae unum sunt sacrificium: Una enim eademque est hostia, Idem nunc offerens sacerdotum ministerio, qui Se Ipsum tunc in cruce obtulit, sola ratione offerendi diversa : 335 Et quoniam in divino hoc sacrificio, quod in Missa peragitur, Idem Ille Christus continetur et incruente immolatur, qui in ara crucis "semel Se Ipsum cruente obtulit" [...] sacrificium istud vere propitiatorium est. 336

1373 Christus Iesus, qui mortuus est, immo qui suscitatus est, qui et est ad dexteram Dei, qui etiam interpellat pro nobis (Rom 8,34), multipliciter est Ecclesiae Suae praesens: 343 in verbo Suo, in Ecclesiae Suae oratione, ubi enim sunt duo vel tres congregati in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio eorum (Mt 18,20), in pauperibus, aegrotis, captivis, 344 in sacramentis quorum Ipse est auctor, in Missae Sacrificio et in persona ministri. Sed maxime [est praesens] sub speciebus eucharisticis . 345

1374 Modus praesentiae Christi sub speciebus eucharisticis est singularis. Is Eucharistiam super omnibus sacramentis elevat et propterea illa est quasi consummatio spiritualis vitae, et omnium sacramentorum finis . 346 In Sanctissimo Eucharistiae Sacramento continentur vere, realiter et substantialiter corpus et sanguis una cum anima et divinitate Domini nostri Iesu Christi ac proinde totus Christus. 347 Quae quidem praesentia "realis" dicitur non per exclusionem, quasi aliae "reales" non sint, sed per excellentiam, quia est substantialis, qua nimirum totus atque integer Christus, Deus et homo, fit praesens . 348

1375 In hoc sacramento, Christus fit praesens per conversionem panis et vini in corpus et sanguinem Christi. Patres Ecclesiae fidem Ecclesiae in verbi Christi et actionis Spiritus Sancti efficacitatem ad hanc conversionem peragendam asseveraverunt firmiter. Sic sanctus Ioannes Chrysostomus declarat:

Non enim homo est, qui facit ut proposita efficiantur corpus et sanguis Christi, sed Ipse Christus qui pro nobis crucifixus est. Figuram implens stat sacerdos verba illa proferens: virtus autem et gratia Dei est. Hoc est corpus meum, inquit. Hoc verbum transformat ea, quae proposita sunt . 349

Et sanctus Ambrosius de hac conversione ait:

Persuasi simus non hoc esse, quod natura formavit, sed quod benedictio consecravit, maioremque vim esse benedictionis quam naturae, quia benedictione etiam natura ipsa mutatur . 350 Sermo ergo Christi, qui potuit ex nihilo facere, quod non erat, non potest ea, quae sunt, in id mutare, quod non erant? Non enim minus est novas rebus dare quam mutare naturas . 351

 

1412 Signa essentialia sacramenti sunt panis tritici et vinum vitis, super quae Spiritus Sancti invocatur benedictio atque sacerdos verba pronuntiat consecrationis quae Iesus in ultima dixit Cena: Hoc est corpus meum quod pro vobis tradetur. [...] Hic est calix sanguinis mei .

 

1404 Ecclesia scit iam nunc Dominum in Sua venire Eucharistia, et ibi Eum in medio esse nostri. Tamen haec praesentia est velata. Hac de causa, Eucharistiam celebramus exspectantes beatam spem et Adventum Salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi , 392 orantes ut [in Regno Tuo] simul gloria Tua perenniter satiemur, quando omnem lacrimam absterges ab oculis nostris, quia Te, sicuti es, Deum nostrum videntes, Tibi similes erimus cuncta per saecula, et Te sine fine laudabimus . 393