SACRIFICE AND SACRAMENT
“At the last supper, on the night when he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved spouse, the church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacramental of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, ‘a paschal banquet in which Christ is received, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us’” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 47) [1323, 1398].
This mystery is the very center and culmination of Christian life. It is the “source and the summit of all preaching of the Gospel…the center of the assembly of the faithful” (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 5) [1175, 1181, 1324, 1392].
In every Mass, Christ is present, both in the person of his priest and especially under the form of bread and wine. In every Mass, his death becomes a present reality, offered as our sacrifice to God in an unbloody and sacramental manner. As often as the sacrifice of the cross is celebrated on an altar, the work of our redemption is carried on [1333, 1350, 1372].
If you prepare for it with care and enter into it with living faith, the Eucharist can draw you into the compelling love of Christ and set you afire. When you go out from the sacred mystery, you know you were caught up in it if you “grasp by deed what you hold by creed.” And if you return to the place where the Blessed Sacrament is kept, Christ present in the tabernacle, you can regain your sense of the fathomless love his presence there silently speaks [1066-1075, 1418].
[ ] Catechism of the Catholic Church