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Papal preacher devotes Lenten sermon to St. Ambrose and the Eucharist

March 31, 2014

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the Capuchin Franciscan friar who has served as preacher to the papal household since 1980, preached about St. Ambrose and the Eucharist in his March 28 sermon to the Pope and the members of the Roman Curia.

After highlighting St. Ambrose’s contribution to the formulation of the doctrine of transubstantiation, Father Cantalamessa reflected on the Jewish roots of the Eucharist and discussed the ritual that took place during the Last Supper.

“The biblical memorial is far more than a simple commemoration or a simple subjective memory of the past,” he preached. “Because of it, something comes into being-- beyond the mind of the person praying-- a reality that has its own existence, a reality that does not belong to the past but exists and operates in the present and will continue to operate in the future. The memorial that until now was the guarantee of God’s faithfulness to Israel is now the broken body and shed blood of the Son of God, the sacrifice of Calvary ‘re-presented’ (that is, made present once again) in the Church’s Eucharist.”


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