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God loves the entire Cre­ated Order that He takes care of the mater­i­al and spir­itu­al life of his cre­ation, espe­cially of human beings. Jesus recalled the atten­tion of the dis­ciples, when they wanted to bypass this divine dic­tate (Luke 9:11–17. Cf. also Mark 6:30–44). The dog­mat­ic theo­logy schol­ars can­not for­get the long-heated debates con­cern­ing the nature of the con­sec­rated bread and wine – Con­sub­stan­ti­ation (also called Impana­tion) and Tran­sub­stan­ti­ation. In as much as we appre­ci­ate the effort to provide a dog­mat­ic found­a­tion to and for the Sac­ra­ment of the Euchar­ist, we must ensure that such debates do not empty the Euchar­ist of its essen­tial and scrip­tur­al (salvif­ic and com­mun­al) effects. The Euchar­ist is “the source and sum­mit of the Chris­ti­an life.”[i]

[i] Vat­ic­an Coun­cil II, Lumen Gen­ti­um, n. 11.

The Eucharist and the Sacrifice of Communion

The Sac­ra­ment of the Euchar­ist could be likened to the Hebrew (Old) Test­a­ment sac­ri­fice of com­mu­nion or fel­low­ship (cf. Lev 7). For the Jews, and accord­ing to Exodus 24:3–8, this com­mu­nion is a sac­red ban­quet. The most vital parts of the anim­al are offered to God; a spe­cial part is attrib­uted to the priests; while the con­greg­a­tion con­sumes the rest of the anim­al. Dur­ing the Ancient Peri­od, this type of sac­ri­fice was more fre­quent and formed the cent­ral rite dur­ing feasts, express­ing in this way, a com­mu­nion and com­munity of life, the rela­tion­ship of alli­ance and of friend­ship between the con­greg­a­tions and their God[i] or gods as the case may be. The ref­er­ence to the wil­der­ness exper­i­ence of the Israel­ites as regards the manna (First Read­ing), is a fore­taste of the Chris­ti­an Test­a­ment of the Euchar­ist. If, as Jesus reminded the Jews, des­pite eat­ing the manna, their ancest­ors died, it means some­thing great­er and bet­ter than that should be sought. And Jesus affirms he is that altern­at­ive (the Gos­pel). Who­ever eats the bread from heav­en will nev­er die. Nat­ur­ally, this say­ing threw the Jews off-bal­ance that they began arguing among them­selves (cf. John 6:52). Jesus’ words need not be argued, but believed. Because we par­take of the one bread, we must be united.

[i] “In the Euchar­ist­ic ban­quet the people of God are called togeth­er…” (Can. 899 §2).

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPY OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vol. I)!! The reflec­tion for the Solem­nity of the Body and Blood of Christ is found on pages 319–332. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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