The Presence of Christ for the People of God
You are there on the table; you are there in the chalice.
You are the body with us, for, collectively, we are this body.
We drink of the same chalice because we live the same life.!
-St. Augustine of Hippo-
At the center of the Catholic faith is not a series of doctrines or a collection of theories, but an action, founded upon the ministry and command of Christ and in the unbroken tradition of the Church. Eucharist—also called Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper—is the foundational act of the Christian community; rooted in the celebration of the Jewish Pascha (Passover) on Holy Thursday by Christ and his disciples. It is the on-going manifestation of the Incarnation—the intrusion of God into the world in a complete and irreversible way—which is given to us to remember and to be re-membered, i.e., reunited, with God every day and at every level: physically as well as spiritually, personally as well as communally.
The Eucharist, more than any doctrine or structure of authority, is the heart of the Church; its clearest and most profound sign of what we are and what we are to be—a People blessed by God and called to become the body of Christ for the life of the world.
Yet, even if all of that is true, what is the Eucharist and why does it have such importance? Is it bread and wine transformed by our prayer, or is it something more? We speak of “real presence” but what does that mean? Is it magic? Is it metaphor or symbol? What are we doing at Mass when we pray the Eucharistic prayer and respond with the great “Amen”? These are the questions that those entering the Church or growing in their faith ask, but they should be the questions of all Catholics who seek to know their faith.
Read pdf of the entire essay below.
(Please see www.stjosephparish.org/emergency for current mass schedules during COVID-19)
Weekdays, 7:00 am
Saturday Vigil Mass, 5:00 pm
Sunday, 9:00 am & 11:00 am
Sunday, 5:30 pm Contemplative Mass