Jesus Christ, the Only Saviour of the World: Bread for New Life
Jesus Christ, the Only Saviour of the World
Bread for New Life
Jesus Christ, the Only Saviour of the World
The Jubilee of the Year 2000 will be an intensely Eucharistic year
1. As the Jubilee of the Year 2000 leads us into the third millennium, it induces us to contemplate with new eyes the Incarnation of the Son of God in such a way that we will experience the constant, renewing grace that flows from this, both personally and as a community, and go forward in a new life, driven by the breath of the Spirit, toward the Source of Life. We believe in fact that "Christ is your Son before all ages, yet now he is born in time. He has come to lift up all things to himself, to restore unity to creation, and to lead mankind from exile into your heavenly kingdom".1
The redeeming mystery of Christ, which began in the Virgin Mary's womb and was fully manifested on the Cross, pervades the whole of history and consecrates humanity from generation to generation. Jesus' Pasch is truly a historical event that has everlasting effectiveness. Every time we celebrate the Eucharist we draw from the redemption that springs from the Lord's death and resurrection, until he will come again. This testifies to the fact that God is with us, for us, and for all: "In the sacrament of the Eucharist the Saviour, who took flesh in Mary's womb 20 centuries ago, continues to offer himself to humanity as the source of divine life".2
2. In order to highlight Christ's living and saving presence in the Church and in the world, on the occasion of the Great Jubilee, John Paul II has decided to hold an International Eucharistic Congress in Rome.3 For this reason, the Holy Year implies taking a strong awareness of the Eucharistic mystery, the centre of the whole life of the pilgrim Church in time. These are not two separate events since one gets its full meaning in the light of the other. The Eucharist in fact is the memorial and living presence of Christ who is the same yesterday, today and always, and the Church gratefully celebrates the bi-millennary memory of his birth.
3. The International Eucharistic Congress represents a call to pastors and the faithful to give greater value to every Eucharistic celebration, especially at the Sunday assembly, the weekly remembrance of the Lord's Pasch, so that those who take part in it will conform their lives to the great mystery which is celebrated. Therefore, specific and adequate preparation for this event is necessary.
For this purpose, the local Churches are being offered some areas of reflection which can be developed and deepened in prayer and catechetical meetings, while also keeping in mind the various cultural, social and religious contexts. The International Eucharistic Congress is a favourable occasion for professing and celebrating the fact that "in the most blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself our Pasch and the living bread which gives life to men through his flesh — that flesh which is given life and gives life through the Holy Spirit".4
The explanatory outline treats the following themes: at the basis of the Eucharistic mystery there is Jesus' command to make remembrance of his paschal sacrifice (I); the presence of Christ's paschal mystery is offered in the signs of the bread and the wine (II); taking communion at the Eucharistic meal is sharing in Christ's life, by receiving its fruits and committing oneself to following his example (III); the Eucharist is a mystery of faith: it implies faith and nourishes the life of faith (IV).
From the Last Supper to the Eucharistic celebration
4. The celebration of the Eucharist was willed by Jesus himself and entrusted to the Church. On the eve of his Passion, while he was at table with his disciples, he wanted to make them share in a living way in his Pasch, and so he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and resurrection, and gave the command to celebrate it until his glorious return.5
Therefore, we celebrate the Eucharist to obey Christ's wishes.
Liturgical remembrance of the Lord's sacrifice
5. The greatness of the Eucharist lies precisely in this: through the words spoken and the actions performed by the priest — who presides over the liturgical assembly in Christ's name (in persona Christi, according to the well-known expression) — the Pasch of the Lord Jesus is made present and effective: "He is the true and eternal priest who established this unending sacrifice. He offered himself as a victim for our deliverance and taught us to make this offering in his memory".6
The sacrifice of the Cross is not repeated, just as Jesus' historical events are not repeated, but these mysteries of the Lord's life are made present in the sacramental action: "Father, we celebrate the memory of Christ, your Son. We, your people and your ministers, recall his passion, his resurrection from the dead and his ascension into glory; and from the many gifts you have given us, we offer to you, God of glory and majesty, this holy and perfect sacrifice: the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation".7
The liturgical memory includes the whole historical mystery of Christ the Saviour, the Son of God, "born of a woman" (Gal 4:4): "If the Body we eat and the Blood we drink is the risen Lord's inestimable gift to us, viators, it still brings along with it, as fragrant Bread, the taste and scent of the Virgin Mother".8 In truth, from the first instant of life in his mother's womb, Jesus offered himself up for the glory of God and for the life and resurrection of the world (cf. Heb 10:5-10). The high point of his sacrifice is the hour of the Cross; its fruit is the Resurrection; the saving gift is people's sharing in divine life.
By making the past present, the Eucharistic memorial anticipates the promise of future glory. This is acclaimed in chorus in the heart of every Mass: "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again".
Ecclesial remembrance of Christ's command
6. Obedience to Jesus' words, "Do this in memory of me", is paid as a community. The Eucharist is not a private matter and its ecclesial nature does not allow it to be thought of or experienced as an individual action, even if it involves the individual person. On the contrary, it is always an action of the Church for building up the Church.
With the awareness that "the Church makes the Eucharist and the Eucharist makes the Church", the Christian community has always celebrated the memorial of Christ's Pasch as the source and culmination of its identity and mission. For this reason, gathering together each Sunday, in the Lord's name, to be nourished at the table of the Word and the Bread of life, is obedience to the wishes which Christ made known on the eve of his Passion.9 We cannot call ourselves Christians and then neglect Jesus' command, "Do this in memory of me".
In celebrating the Lord's death and resurrection, each time the Church finds her vitality again and rediscovers her vocation as the people of the New and Everlasting Covenant, a pilgrim people, along the byways and amidst the trials of the world, moving toward communion with God in the heavenly Jerusalem. There "he will make his home among them; they shall be his people, and he will be their God; his name is God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone" (Rv 21:3-4).
Living remembrance of Jesus' example
7. By remembering Christ's Pasch, the Church is called by the Spirit to unite herself to the immaculate victim presented to the Father. In this way, Christ's sacrifice also becomes the sacrifice of those who take part in it.10
We know in fact that the command, "Do this in memory of me", is closely connected with the new commandment which was also given by Jesus to his disciples when he was at table with them: "If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each other's feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you" (Jn 13:14-15).
In truth, Jesus cannot be remembered in the liturgical act without remembering his act of total love in daily life. It is this that makes the disciples truly obedient to their Lord and Master. It can never be thought that Christ's disciples will follow a path which is not the path of the dead and risen Lord. Obvious proof of this is the martyrdom that has accompanied the history of the Church until our times. The relics of martyrs which have been placed since ancient times under the altars where the memory of the "Victim whose death has reconciled us"11 is celebrated, are a constant reminder of the living memory of Jesus' command. Only the strength of the Eucharist has enabled, and still enables countless men and women to give witness with their lives to the extraordinary newness of the Lord's Pasch.
II. 'Take this and eat it'
The Eucharistic food lets us enter into communion with Christ and makes us only one ecclesial body
8. The sacramental signs of Christ's sacrifice are the consecrated bread and wine. Partaking in them means entering into communion of life with the Lord Jesus and becoming only one thing with him and with those who are nourished at the same table of new life.
Bread of new life
9. Nourishment is absolutely necessary for life and eating together is a sign of familiarity. In the Eucharist, the Lord Jesus not only makes us his table companions but he gives himself to us as spiritual food so that we will live in him: "Our partaking of Christ's body and blood only aims at transforming us into what we are receiving, at making us take on in everything, in body and spirit, the one in whom we have died, been buried and risen again".12
"Eating the Body of Christ" brings with it the audacity of divine love and the scandal of heavenly wisdom, just like Christ's Incarnation: "I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him" (Jn 6:51, 56).
Jesus' mysterious words became meaningful for his disciples when they were sitting at table with him on the eve of his Passion and "he took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said. This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me'. In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me'" (1 Cor 11:23-25).
These are the same words which on the priest's lips and by virtue of the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus utters again in our Eucharists. "Since he proclaimed and said of the bread, 'This is my body', who will still dare to doubt? And since he affirmed and said, 'This is my blood', who will ever doubt and affirm that it is not his blood? Therefore, let us receive them in all certainty as the true body and blood of Christ. In the sign of the bread you are given the body, and in the sign of the wine, you are given the blood, so that by receiving the body and blood of Christ, you become one body and one blood with Christ".13
This is a wondrous calling: in taking and eating the Bread of life, it is truly good and right to give thanks!
Only one bread to form only one body
10. After becoming a part of Christ through Baptism like branches of the one same vine (cf. Jn 15:5), we recognize one another as children of the same Father around the Eucharistic table: "The bread we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that, though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf" (I Cor 10:16-17).
By responding to Jesus' invitation, "Take this and eat it", the Church is built in the bond of unity. This is what we ask the Father in celebrating the Eucharist: "May all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit".14 "The bread is rightly considered the image of Christ's body. The bread in fact comes from many grains of wheat. They are made into flour and the flour is then worked into dough with water and baked with fire. So too the mystical body of Christ is one but it is made up by the whole multitude of humankind and brought to its perfect condition by means of the fire of the Holy Spirit".15 The unity of the body, however, does not mean the uniformity of its members; the one bread gives life to the different ministries and charisms in the ecclesial body, helps each one to live according to the vocation received and keeps the unity of the Spirit. In this way, from the Head, the body which is well fitted and joined together gets the strength to grow and build itself up in charity (cf. Eph 4:1-16).
The Church, which is one and holy because of the Spirit that pervades her, is nonetheless divided among her children who have become separated over the course of history because of sin and reciprocal misunderstandings. Although they have received the same Baptism, Christians cannot participate at the same table because of the awareness that unity in charity requires unity in truth.
As a constant call to full communion, in the meantime, the Eucharistic celebration is a plea to all baptized persons to come together and at the same time a sign of the common commitment to go on toward the fulfilment of Christ's prayer: "May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you" (Jn 17:21).
A bread that invigorates along the way
11. Jesus' words, "Take this and eat it", are connected with the invocation of the human heart that needs to satiate the many kinds of hunger that mark the earthly pilgrimage: hunger for food and the essential things for life, hunger for justice and freedom, hunger for love and hope. In the bread and wine, God gives people not only the food that nourishes them but also the sacrament that renews them so that they will never be lacking in this sustenance for the body and the soul.16 The prayer that we direct to our heavenly Father, "Give us this day our daily bread", finds its full response in the divine Word and in the Eucharist. To us today — just like the people who asked Jesus, "Sir, give us that bread always" — he answers, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst" (Jn 6:34-35).
To nourish oneself with Christ at the holy altar is to recognize that "as we eat his body which he gave for us, we grow in strength",17 and to experience the truth of his promise, "Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28). Therefore, the power of the consecrated bread and wine invite us to return with perseverance to eat and drink at the Eucharistic banquet in order to regain the strength to progress along the way toward definitive communion with God.
Faith, nourished by the "bread of life" and the "chalice of salvation", does not cease to reaffirm that Jesus is the real response that puts an end to our search for the meaning of life and its future: "Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life and I shall raise him up on the last day ... anyone who eats this bread will live for ever" (Jn 6:54, 58). Especially at times when suffering raises questions that require a response of love, everyone should realize that Christ's words, "Take this and eat it", are directed precisely at them. The Eucharistic bread is the strength of the weak, the support of the sick, the balm that heals wounds, and the viaticum for those leaving this world. It is the strength of the faithful who work in environments and circumstances in which their presence is the only possibility of proclaiming the Gospel by giving witness to Jesus Christ, "the way, truth and life" (Jn 14:6). "Eating the bread of life" has the purpose of making visible that for which it is truly worthwhile to live.
III 'Given up for all of you'
The bread that is broken and shared for the life of the Church in the missionary service of the world
12. Communion with the bread of life and the chalice of salvation revives the awareness that "God is love. God's love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him; this is the love I mean: not our love for God, but God's love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away. We ourselves say and we testify that the Father sent his Son as saviour of the world" (1 Jn 4:8-10, 14).
A gift that gives life
13. True love involves self-giving without any conditions. Outside of this horizon it becomes possession, risks turning into blackmail and is confused with illusion. True love, on the contrary, is a full offering for the sake of another and it forgets self.
Christ's example is like this and is consumed in freedom and gratuitousness: "The good shepherd is the one who lays down his life for his sheep. The Father loves me, because I lay down my life.... No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will (Jn 10:11, 17-18). Moreover, it should not be overlooked that Jesus' giving his life takes on an even greater intensity: "What proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners" (Rom 5:8). Jesus, in fact, shed his blood not only for those who correspond to his love.
In this way, divine charity reveals its perfection: to give gratuitously and benefit both the just and the wicked: love for the wretched — who cannot exchange the gift — is mercy; love for enemies — from whom nothing good can be expected — is forgiveness. From this gratuitous love manifested to us by Christ, redemption springs, i.e., the remission of sins and the reconciliation of sinners: "God loves us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ — it is through grace that you have been saved" (Eph 2:4-5).
A gift without frontiers
14. Jesus "affirms that he came 'to give life as a ransom for many'; this last term is not restrictive, but contrasts the whole of humanity with the unique person of the Redeemer who hands himself over to save us. The Church, following the Apostles, teaches that Christ died for all men without exception: 'There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer' ".18
By entrusting the sacrament of his total giving to the Apostles, Christ hands himself over for every descendant of Adam: the bond made through the Incarnation does not admit any exclusion between man and woman, rich and poor, free men and prisoners, black and white, Jew and Greek, European and Asian.... "The gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man's fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift" (Rom 5:15).
In his ministry, Jesus directs his word of salvation to everyone. If he had any preferences, it was for those who were neglected or marginalized. When he multiplied the bread and fish for the hungry crowd, he made no distinction among persons: "They all ate as much as they wanted" (Lk 9:17). In the same way, everyone is invited to the Eucharist, the Lord's Supper, to take communion with the Bread that makes all baptized persons brethren in the community. In the New and Everlasting Covenant, sealed by his precious blood, Christ knocked down every wall of separation in order to create in himself only one new man (cf. Eph 2:14-18).
A gift that requires responsibility
15. Before the Bread of life broken "for us", we can only say with humble faith, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed". We must not forget that the night of the great sacrament was also the night of Judas' betrayal.
Unhappily, it is possible to receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord unworthily. Welcoming Christ requires us to let him live, speak and work in us through our voices and our hands, and to let him continue his sacrificial mission in our lives spent "for others", without excluding anyone. "Everyone is to recollect himself before eating this bread and drinking this cup; because a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the body is eating and drinking his own condemnation" (1 Cor 11:28-29). Therefore, anyone who has violated God's commandments in a serious way should be purified from sin through the sacrament of Penance before taking the Eucharist.
On the one hand, in fact, the Eucharist is the source of reconciliation and commits believers to be effective promoters of forgiveness. On the other, so that everyone can worthily receive the Body of Christ, they must be reconciled not only with God but also with their brothers and sisters and the community. This is the meaning in the Roman rite of the sign of peace which is exchanged before the Communion that brings everyone together into only one Body animated by the fruits of the Spirit: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, truthfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal 5:22).
To receive 'the Bread given "for all of you" in truth, we must recognize Jesus in our poorest, smallest and most disdained brothers and sisters. The Eucharist calls for a response of renewed life that is open to sincere love. St John Chrysostom reminds us about this: "You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognize your brother.... You dishonor this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food someone judged worthy to take part in this meal.... God freed you from all your sins and invited you here, but you have not become more merciful".19
A gift for missionary commitment
16. By containing all the spiritual value of the Church, the Eucharist is presented as the source and culmination of evangelization. Since it crowns a believer's initiation process into the life of Christ and carried out in the Church, it urges Christians to proclaim, both in words and deeds, the mystery celebrated in the faith.20 In fact, the Eucharistic banquet encourages those who partake in it to be committed to the mission so that the Gospel of salvation and the invitation to draw from its fruits will be made known to all. The celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is the most effective missionary action that renews the world and people's lives.
Breaking the Bread of life involves us personally and in a community way in helping those who do not know the Gospel to open up to the gift of faith, and those who have drifted away to rediscovering the joy of communion with Christ the Saviour. Every Mass concludes with the missionary command, "Go", to bring everyone the announcement of the risen Lord and his "peace". Service to the poor, witness to charity, the defence and promotion of every person's life, the struggle for justice and the constant search for peace flow from and are developed and sustained by the Eucharistic mystery.
IV. Mystery of the faith
From faith that is celebrated to faith that is lived in contemplation and hope
17. The Bread of life gives life to those who receive it with faith. Jesus taught this to his listeners at Capernaum and in every other place: "'Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life, the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal'. Then they said to him, 'What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?'. Jesus gave them this answer, 'This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent'" (Jn 6:27-29).
The Word reveals the Mystery
18. Without Revelation the Eucharist is incomprehensible. Like the disciples at the Last Supper and the wayfarers of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35), we need the Lord to break the bread of the Word for us and to arouse the ardour of love in our hearts to adhere with faith to his mystery of death and resurrection which is made present in the sacrament of the altar. For this reason, the Mass is made up by the liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic liturgy, two parts which are closely connected and ordained to one another.21 Listening to the Word which the Lord himself utters for us in the liturgical assembly arouses the response of faith which prepares us to take part in the banquet of Life.
The living Presence.
19. The connection between the historical event and the sacrament is well expressed in the Eucharistic hymn, "Ave verum corpus natum de Maria Virgine". It affirms that today, in the Eucharistic signs, we truly find the One who became flesh in Mary's virginal womb to be God-with-us. We truly find him today in the Eucharistic signs. Christ's presence in the Eucharist is a "real" presence offered "in the sacrament", that is, under the veil of signs and acts carried out according to Christ's wishes and in the way set down by the Church through apostolic tradition. "This presence is called 'real':—by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present".22
Faith opens to adoration
20. Awareness of the greatness of the Eucharist, which is kept night and day in our churches, is a call to believers to return before the Mystery also outside of the Mass, and to continue the prayerful attitudes that animate the Eucharistic celebration. The silent prayer of thanks and supplication increases our faith by helping us to live in hope and charity.
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, hours of adoration, Eucharistic processions, especially on the solemn feast of Corpus Christi, and Eucharistic congresses concentrate our attention on the One who is the Bread of life, life itself. They remind and give witness to all that man does not live by bread alone. In the Virgin's example of silent and fruitful listening, contemplation helps grasp the presence of the Living One in the Eucharist and aids in transfiguring the deaths that mark the earthly city into a commitment for life and hope in the resurrection. "A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer will rise up throughout the world".23
Bread of eternal life, sign of the Pasch of the universe
21. For men and women today who wish to live a life that is not ephemeral and to survive beyond the limitations of time and space, Jesus has promised the possibility of being grafted on to his own life and aspiring to an everlasting existence: "Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day" (Jn 6:54). St Ignatius of Antioch recalls that the Eucharist is "the only bread that is a medicine for immortality, an antidote against death, food for eternal life in Jesus Christ".24 In the Eucharist, the blessed hope is contained and already in act that nourishes the Church's and every believer's expectation and desire for the Lord's return: "Come Lord Jesus". It is the Church, the bride, who says to her spouse, Christ, "Come". And he becomes present in the consecrated bread and wine and confirms the promise of his glorious return: "I shall indeed be with you soon" (Rv 22:20).
Moreover, while the Eucharist attests to the renewal of the world brought about by the Saviour,25 it also commits believers to be responsible for nature, the earth and the air which are entrusted by the Lord of the universe to people's care. In believing that the bread and wine, fruits of the 'earth' and human toil, become the Body and Blood of Christ, we get a glimpse now of the transformation of creation which, at the end of time, the one Saviour of the world will give back, definitively redeemed, into the Father's hands.26
With the Church of Rome
In communion with the Church of the Apostle Peter's Successor who presides in charity
22. The International Eucharistic Congress will take place in Rome where the Apostles Peter and Paul, together with many other martyrs, have given Christ and the Church the supreme witness of faith and love. Their example and the symbolic force of opening the "Holy Door" calls upon believers to enter once again into the mystery of Christ and of the Church, in order to face the way to the third millennium with a new spirit.
Therefore, the convocation of the Congress commits first of all the Church of Rome, led by the Successor of the Apostle Peter. In giving thanks to the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of the world, the Church invokes the blessing of the Holy Spirit so that she will express the mission faithfully, also in this event, which, through a providential divine plan, has been entrusted to her for the benefit of the Churches spread out over the earth.
With this attitude she is preparing to welcome the pilgrims who will visit during the Jubilee Year and offer them the wealth of her tradition and the witness of her faith. The ancient example of young St Tarcisius — who preferred "to lose his own life" rather than let the Life be desecrated that he was carrying under the species of the Eucharistic bread —," is a shining stimulus to become committed, in a personal way, to favouring everyone's encounter with Christ the Saviour.
May the Virgin Mary, who in a missionary action presented the Saviour to the shepherds of Bethlehem and to the Magi who came from the East to Jerusalem, teach every Christian community how to give thanks to the Lord who fills the hungry with goods, and to express in life the mystery that is celebrated in faith.
Vicariate of Rome.
Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8 September 1998.
1 Cf. Roman Missal, Preface of Christmas II.
2 John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Tertio millennio adveniente (10 November 1994), n. 55.
3 Cf. ibid.
4 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Decree Presbyterorum ordinis, n. 5.
5 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 47; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1337; General Instruction of the Roman Missal, n. 48.
6 Cf. Roman Missal, Preface of the Holy Eucharist I.
7 Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer I.
8 John Paul II, Allocution at the Angelus Domini (5 June 1983).
9 Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Dies Domini (31 May 1998), nn. 31-54.
10 Cf. General Instruction of the Roman Missal, nn. 55f.; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1368.
11 Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer III.
12 St Leo the Great, Discourses, 12, in Liturgy of the Hours, Wednesday, Second Week of Easter.
13 "Catecheses" of Jerusalem, Catech. 22, mystagogy 4, in Liturgy of the Hours, Saturday, Octave of Easter.
14 Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer II.
15 St Gaudentius of Brescia, Treatises, 2, in Liturgy of the Hours, Thursday, Second Week of Easter.
16 Cf. Roman Missal, Prayer over the Gifts, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
17 Roman Missal, Preface of the Holy Eucharist I.
18 Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 605.
19 St John Chrysostom, Homiliae in primam ad Corinthios, 27, 4, in Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1397.
20 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis, n. 5.
21 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 56.
22 Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Mysterium fidei (3 September 1965), in Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1374.
23 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae (25 March 1995), n. 100.
24 St Ignatius of Antioch, Epistula ad Ephesios, 20, 2 in Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1405.
25 Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution Gaudium et spes, n. 38.
26 Cf. 1 Cor 15:24; Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution Gaudium et spes, nn. 38-39.
27 Cf. Inscription of Damasus in the Catacombs of Callistus, Damasus, Epigr., 15.
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© L'Osservatore Romano, Editorial and Management Offices, Via del Pellegrino, 00120, Vatican City, Europe, Telephone 39/6/698.99.390.
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