WHY does Christ give us His own body and blood in the Holy Eucharist?

1. To be offered as a sacrifice commemorating and renewing the sacrifice of the cross.

“For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). In the Mass Jesus offers Himself as a Victim to His heavenly Father.

2. To be received in Holy Communion.

“I am the bread of life . . . He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me, and I in him . . . He who eats me, he also shall live because of me” (John 6:48, 56, 58). The Holy Eucharist is food to nourish the soul. By this food we are united to Christ, Who nourishes us with His divine life; sanctifying grace and all virtues increase in our souls; our evil inclinations are lessened. The Holy Eucharist is a pledge of everlasting life: “If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever.” Holy Communion needs the Mass to supply the consecrated species; for this reason Mass and Communion are inseparable.

3. To remain ever on our altars as a proof of His love, and to be worshiped by us.

“Come to Me, all you who labor, and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). We say we love Jesus; do we prove our love? When we have a dear friend, we are ever eager to be in his presence; do we show Jesus the same loving tenderness? Or are we so forgetful of Him that we go to see Him only once a week?

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