Reflection on the Eucharist

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, #11). In the Eucharistic liturgy and our prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, we encounter God’s presence in personal and profound ways. But the Eucharist is also social, as Pope Benedict XVI reminds us in Deus Caritas Est:

“A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented.”

The Eucharist, celebrated as a community, teaches us about human dignity, calls us to the right relationship with God, ourselves and others, invites us to community and solidarity, and sends us on mission to help transform our communities, neighborhoods and world. Church teaching, rooted in both Scripture and Tradition, emphasizes both the personal and social natures of the Eucharist. This guide highlights Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI’s writings about the social nature of the Eucharist. Their words challenge and move us to encounter Christ in the Eucharist in ways both personal and social.

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