The Eucharist is “the source and summit of Christian life.” (
, 11) This means that it is the nourishment our spirits need, and it is the closest we can be to Christ while we live our human existence.
The Eucharist is the third of the sacraments of initiation, because in the early church, it was the meal shared by the community after one had been welcomed into the doors of the church in Baptism, made the promises of Confirmation, and then shares in the meal with the community. Receiving the body of Christ is the closest we may come to Christ while in this life. Eating and drinking food keep us alive; eating and drinking the Eucharistic meal sustains our spirit, and helps us grow in our life, always mindful of the commitment we made to be as Christ wants us through Baptism and Confirmation.
The Eucharist represents Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. It reminds us of the love of God to bring God’s word into human history, of the sin of humankind that rejects God’s love, and of the infinite mercy of God, who restores us when we are willing to accept this love. It is the ultimate way we can respond to God’s offer of love, and a way that we as Catholics, continue to remind the world that we live in eternal hope.
The Eucharist is a memorial meal, as Jesus instructed, to do this in memory of him, but it is also a celebration that brings Christ’s presence into the present at every moment in history. Also, it points us to the future, the hope by which we live in Christ’s coming again and in the promise of eternal life.
Unlike the other two sacraments of initiation, the Eucharist is something we do over and over again. It is a way that we continue to respond to our commitment to become as Christ has asked of us. It is a way that we show God that we continue to try and know and love better, to live consciously toward our salvation. It is also a way that we, as a community, bring Christ’s presence into the world, beyond ourselves, beyond our church walls, but into creating a world with Christ’s mercy and justice.
If you are an adult and would like more information about the Eucharist, or about becoming Catholic, please contact Deacon Kevin O'Donnell at 708-422-8995 ext. 222 or
If you are inquiring for a child, please contact Mrs. Anita O'Donnell, Religious Education Administrator, at 708-422-8995 ext. 254 or