In the last article, I touched on the Liturgy of the Word as a driving force for evangelism.
Now, I would like to focus on the crown jewel, the Eucharist. Specifically, the Liturgy of the Eucharist as a testament for Christian unity is what will draw non-Catholics to the Church.
Catholicism takes the Lord’s Supper as a matter of utmost importance. Paragraph 1324 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
“The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it.”
The Liturgy of the Eucharist is a beautiful illustration of the Most Holy Trinity working together.
Christ working through the priest to confect the bread and wine. God the Father receives the perpetual sacrifice. Also, We see the descent of the holy spirit come down at the words of consecration and at the moment, we should be in awe of God because an imperceptible change is taking place. The species of wine and bread are really and substantially being transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
In previous Protestant communities, I was a part of, the ministers passed around a cup of grape juice and a cracker, said a prayer for forgiveness, and there you have it.
I looked forward to the first Sunday of the month because I knew I was partaking in something with immense importance.
My yearning to partake in this once a month meal inflamed my heart’s desire. Intuitively, I knew this was something more than just broken crackers and grape juice.
Yet I was compelled to commune with my Lord.
What I eventually discovered regarding the Protestant view of the Lord’s Supper was that many denominations see the holy meal as a symbol, conveying no literal real change in the substance.
On the other hand, Catholicism sees the words of John 6 as the literal body and blood of Christ.
Most importantly, if the Eucharist was taken without confession of grave sin, a serious offense against God or neighbor, someone could be drinking condemnation upon themselves. This is outlined by St. Paul in 1st Corinthians 11:29.
With that said, how can a mere symbol bring condemnation?
Unless the real presence of divinity exists, there can be no eternal consequence so the Eucharist has to be a real change of substance. Specifically, that of Jesus Christ.
The sacred liturgy is how we encounter God. Although not always performed with reverence by some, one can always look forward during Mass to receiving the Eucharist to be divinized and share in the divine nature!
We say “you are what you eat” and if we eat divinity then we too become a partaker of this divine life.
We actually bear Christ within to fulfill the Great Commission and carry out the two great commandments.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is an awe-inspiring moment. We hear the words of Christ and partake of his flesh and blood in holy communion. This event if heaven on earth has the potential to convert hearts to the truth of Catholicism, the truest expression of Christianity.
May God unite all separated Christians home.
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