Ecclesia de Eucharistia is an encyclical by Pope John Paul II published on April 17, . External links[edit]. Ecclesia de Eucharistia · Summary issued by the Vatican Press Office, Zenit, 17 April REFLECTIONS ON ECCLESIA DE EUCHARISTIA. 1 – Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, C.M.F.. Cardinal Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the. On Holy Thursday this year () our Holy Father Pope John Paul II published a Letter on the Eucharist (Ecclesia de Eucharistia). Since Jesus talks of himself.

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His ministry as Successor of Saint Peter has been marked by a comprehensive and most rich presentation of the Catholic faith and its practice. As a priest, I have always been inspired by the letter which he has written to priests on every Holy Thursday.

Each of these letters has been a reflection, euchariistia some way, on the Holy Eucharist, the heart of the priestly life and ministry. On Holy Thursday inin place of his annual Letter to Priests on the great gifts of the Holy Eucharist and the ministerial Priesthood, the Holy Father wrote a letter to all of the faithful on the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. In the twenty-fifth year of his pontificate, our Holy Father chose to give thanks to God for the years of his service as Successor of Saint Peter by dedicating his fourteenth encyclical letter to the Holy Eucharist, the source and highest expression of our summarg in Christ.

Clearly, he could not have more fittingly expressed his gratitude for the Holy Eucharist and for his ministry as priest, Bishop and Pope, which comes from and is in service of our Eucharistic Lord.

The Holy Father places the Encyclical Letter within the context of the new evangelization and, more specifically, the Year of the Rosary October October as a privileged means of the new evangelization. The Holy Eucharist is the fullest and most loving way in which Christ faithfully remains with us in the Church.

We contemplate Christ best in His Eucharistic face. Our Holy Father writes:. From the time I began my ministry as the Successor of Peter, I have always marked Holy Thursday, the day of the Eucharist and of the priesthood, by sending a letter to all the priests of the world. This year, the twenty-fifth of my Pontificate, I wish to involve the whole Church more fully in this Eucharistic reflection, also as a way of thanking the Lord for the gift of the Eucharist and the priesthood: By proclaiming the Year of the Rosary, I wish to put this, my twenty-fifth anniversary, under the aegis of the contemplation of Christ at the school of Mary.

The observance of the Year of the Rosary was key to the new evangelization. By praying the Rosary, we find new energy and enthusiasm in studying and living our Catholic faith, for the prayerful meditation on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary leads us to a deeper knowledge and love of Christ.

Most central of all to the new evangelization is the Holy Eucharist, our communion with Christ in His true Body and Blood. In fact, the Rosary always leads us to desire the fullest possible communion with Christ, which we have in the Holy Eucharist, and it is a way for us to extend our Eucharistic communion with Christ throughout the day.

In seeking to live our Christian life with new enthusiasm and energy, we turn first to the Holy Eucharist, our most privileged encounter with Christ on this earth. The Holy Father points out a contrasting situation regarding the Holy Eucharist in the Church today, which he, as Bishop of the Universal Church, must address.

Church of the Eucharist – Ecclesia de Eucharistia – Pope John Paul II’s Letter

The new Order of the Mass, which may be celebrated in the vernacular, makes it possible for us to enter ever more fully into the Eucharistic Sacrifice. To the degree that we prepare ourselves well for participation in the Holy Mass and, then, give our full attention to the words and actions of the Mass, the reform of the Sacred Liturgy achieves its most noble end.

Also, I note with deep joy the extended periods of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament each week in many parishes. Some parishes and institutions have continuous adoration of the exposed Blessed Sacrament.

What countless blessings have come to the Church and the world through the never-ceasing prayers before the presence of our Eucharistic Lord. He points out the abandonment of Eucharistic devotion and adoration in some places of the Church.

He also notes the liturgical abuses which have occurred through a mistaken or incomplete understanding of the reforms mandated by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

The Holy Father also mentions a tendency to obscure the necessity of the ordained priesthood, which comes through apostolic succession from Christ Himself, for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Our reflection now turns to the eccleisa chapters of Ecclesia de Eucharistia: Rekindling our wonder at the Holy Eucharist is at the heart of the new evangelization to which summayr are called at the dawn of a new Christian millennium. The Holy Father instructs us to contemplate the face of Christ, to recognize His presence with eucharidtia in the Church, most of all, in the Sacrament of His true Body and Blood, and so to become more and more like Christ in our daily living.


After the ecxlesia of the bread and wine, that is after the bread and wine have become truly and completely the Body and Blood of Christ, and after the priest has shown the Body and Blood of Christ to the congregation and has adored Christ by genuflecting before the Sacred Host and the Precious Blood, he immediately invites the congregation to proclaim the mystery of faith.

The congregation then sings or says: The memorial acclamation reflects the deepest truth about the Holy Eucharist, its inseparability from the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. He instituted the Holy Eucharist so that the fruits of His Suffering and Dying on the Cross, on the next day, would be constantly offered in the Church, to all peoples of every time dd place.

Christ desired that the sacrifice which He was going to offer at Calvary on Good Friday continue always in the Church, and He fulfills His desire by eccelsia most wondrous sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, in which He, acting through His minister, the ordained priest, offers ever anew the one sacrifice of His life on the cross. Our Holy Father states in a striking manner the inseparability of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacrifice of Calvary:.

Ecclesia de eucharistia summary pdf

This sacrifice [of Calvary] is so decisive for the salvation of the human race that Jesus Christ offered it and returned to the Father only after he had left us a means of sharing in it as if we had been present there.

The celebration of the Holy Mass truly makes us present at the sacrifice of Calvary. The Holy Eucharist is not just one of the many gifts which Christ has left to us in the Church. All the other gifts of Christ to us are only fully understood in relationship to the gift of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and Banquet.

That is why the Holy Father rightly first turns to the teaching on the Holy Eucharist in assisting us to carry out the new evangelization. When Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist, he declared the bread to be His Body given for us and the wine to be His Blood poured out for us.

The Heavenly Bread, which is the Holy Eucharist, is essentially sacrificial, it is the Body and Blood of Christ, offered and poured out for us as He gave up His life for us on the cross. The sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated at every celebration of the Mass. It is important to understand that the sacrifice of Christ is one. This is the great wonder and treasure of the Holy Mass.

The Mass is not an additional sacrifice to Calvary. It is not a constant multiplication of the one sacrifice of Calvary. God the Father, in response to the total obedience of His Son, gives Christ eternal life by raising Him from the dead. Pope John Paul II reminds us: Christ can only become the Bread of Life for us because He is risen from the dead and is alive for us in the Church.

The proper term for the change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, which takes during the Holy Mass, is transubstantiation. No other term has been found to be as adequate in pointing to the Eucharistic mystery.

Theologians and saints, down the Christian centuries, have desired to plumb ever more the depth of the mystery of the Eucharist, of the profound reality which transubstantiation expresses.

Once again, Pope Paul VI underlines the truth which must be reflected in all thinking, speaking and writing about the Holy Eucharist: Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery, in order to be in accord with Catholic faith, must firmly maintain that in objective reality, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the consecration, so that the adorable body and blood of the Lord Jesus from that moment on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine n.

Christ makes Himself substantially present to us through the Holy Eucharist with one only end in view, namely that we may receive Him in Holy Communion. The Holy Eucharist is true spiritual food, Christ nourishing the life of the Holy Spirit within us through the reception of His glorious Body and Blood. The sixth chapter of the Gospel of Saint John helps us very much to understand the Eucharistic Banquet. Christ made it clear that only by eating His Body and drinking His blood can we have life within us.

The disciples understood the true import of His teaching, for, from that day, some refused to believe and left His company. Communion in the Body and Blood of Christ is already now a participation in the fullness of communion with God, which will be ours in the Heavenly Kingdom.

The account of the institution of the Holy Eucharist in the Gospel of Saint John underlines the mandate which the Holy Eucharist is for us. I conclude this reflection with the inspiring words of our Holy Father:. The Holy Father is inspired by the teaching of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which reminds us that the work of our redemption continues to be carried out in the Church, principally by the offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass. The importance of the Holy Eucharist for the life of the Church, from her very beginnings, cannot be emphasized enough.


The celebration of the Holy Eucharist was, in fact, the source of the life of the Church at her very beginnings. On the night before He died, Christ, in the company of the Apostles, instituted the Holy Eucharist, in order that, through the priestly ministry of the Apostles, the faithful might always share in the spiritual fruits of the sacrifice which He would carry out on Calvary on the following day, Good Friday. The 12 Apostles, symbolically recalling the 12 tribes of Israel, represent the new People of God, embracing all the nations, called to life from the pierced Heart of Christ and sustained in life from the glorious Heart of Christ now seated at the right hand of the Father.

Rightly, we can say that Christ constituted the Church at her beginnings at the Last Supper n. Through the institution of the Holy Eucharist, our Lord made it possible for us to become one body with Him. Our Lord instructed the Apostles to renew His Supper, so that the People of God might be built up in every time and place through communion with Him, that is communion in His true Body and Blood n.

Our Holy Father makes clear the profound meaning of Eucharistic communion for our life in the Church by reminding us that we not only receive Christ in Holy Communion but He also receives us. Christ truly calls us friends by inviting us to the Eucharistic Sacrifice and Banquet. In other words, Christ deeply desires that we be in His company and that He be in our company, and He fulfills His desire, best of all, through the Eucharistic Banquet and Sacrifice n.

Communion with Christ in the Holy Eucharist has enabled the Church, from her very beginnings, to carry out her mission of being a sign of salvation in Christ for all the nations. The Church is constituted to carry out the mission of Christ in the world. Christ alive within the Church continues His saving work. The Holy Father recalls the definitive words of our Lord Jesus: At the same time, at the Mass, she also expresses most fully the same mission of bringing all mankind into communion with God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit n.

Participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice and Banquet sustains the Church in the unity which her members enjoy because of Baptism. The Holy Eucharist nourishes the life of Christ within us from the moment of our baptism. It is in virtue of our unity with Christ in Baptism and in the Eucharist that we are also one with each other. The Holy Eucharist confirms the unity of the many members of Christ n.

Holy See’s Summary of Encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” – ZENIT – English

Christ became incarnate for our salvation through the action of the Holy Spirit. It is also the Holy Spirit who overshadows our gifts of bread eclcesia wine at the Mass, transforming them into the true Body and Blood of Christ. The Holy Spirit unceasingly nourishes and strengthens His life within us through the incomparable spiritual food which is the Body and Blood of Christ. The Holy Eucharist binds brothers and sisters in Christ in the deepest possible unity, far beyond any merely human bond.

Participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice and Banquet is not merely sharing a meal together.

Rather, it is sharing in the divine communion which alone can bring mankind to unity and peace n. The Holy Eucharist fulfills our desire for unity with one another in eucharistiaa way beyond all our imagining; it ed us one with each other in the divine Son of God.

Our unity with one another has its origin in God. It cannot be destroyed by any human force and has its eternal fulfillment in the life which is to come. At the same time, the Holy Eucharist strengthens us, so that we may purify ourselves of the seeds of disunity.

Communion with Christ strengthens us to overcome, with Christ, the division which sin always introduces into our lives. Here we see the essential connection of the Holy Eucharist and Penance.

Through the confession of our sins, which separate us, in varying degrees, from God and from another, we are prepared to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, uniting us to God and to one another.

At the same time, receiving the Body and Blood of Christ enlightens our minds and inflames our hearts to see what keeps us from unity with God and with each other, and to root out from our hearts these seeds of disunity. In the context of reflecting upon how the celebration of the Holy Eucharist builds up the life of the Church, the Holy Father underlines the importance of worship of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass.

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