Tuesday 5th March 2013
Mr. Andrew Anderson
22 Celebration Street
Thank you very much for your recent letter outlining your interest in becoming a member of the Catholic community. I also understand that you are interested in knowing why and how the Eucharist is the pinnacle of catholic worship, so, I see it as my duty and honour to explain this to you. The word Eucharist is derived from the Greek word eukharistia, meaning thanksgiving. It is called this because when we consume the host during the liturgy of the Eucharist, we are giving thanks to the Lord and his son Jesus Christ for the sacrifice made by Jesus at his crucifixion. When we celebrate the sacrament of the Eucharist, we do it as a community, in memory of Jesus and his Apostles at the last supper. As Catholics, we believe that when we receive the Eucharist, we are truly receiving the body of Christ, and that when we drink the wine, that we are truly drinking the blood of Jesus, and that Jesus is truly present within us when we consume these gifts. This is called his spiritual ‘real presence’. So, at its most basic, the Holy Eucharist is the intimate re-enactment of Jesus’s last supper with his apostles, but symbolically, it is so much more. It represents the sharing of the gifts that God has given us, his continued presence among us, and is a nourishing source of grace. Just like how our bodies need food to survive, so that we can grow physically, ours soul needs food too, so that we can grow spiritually. Jesus sensed this deep need in the souls of everyone around him, so, aware that he was to be betrayed by one of his own apostles, he shared his final meal with his companions, what is now known as the last supper. After the blessing/consecration and transubstantiation (where the bread and wine turn into the body and blood of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ) of the bread and wine, it still looks exactly the same as it did before, but it now is the...
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