What is Holy Communion?

Mission Lab

Holy Communion is the Eucharistic meal of the Body and Blood of Christ, which: (1) reminds us of the Last Supper, (2) celebrates our unity with one another in Christ, and (3) is a foretaste of the eternal Messianic Banquet of Heaven.

1. Holy Communion is the Eucharistic meal of the Body and Blood of Christ, which reminds us of the Last Supper.

In the Sacrifice of the Mass, Jesus Christ offers Himself together with us to His Father as He did on the Cross, by giving Himself, the Bread of Life, to us as nourishment for our souls. We are nourished with the Victim of the Sacrifice of the Cross, because at this sacrificial meal we recall what happened at the Last Supper and actually partake of the Body and Blood of the Victim of our Redemption. Thus St. Paul reminds the people: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16).

2. Holy Communion is the Eucharistic meal of the Body and Blood of Christ, which celebrates our unity with one another in Christ.

The whole Jesus is in Holy Communion. He, the God-man, is this Sacrificial Meal.

The Communion of the Mass is the meal of consecrated bread which nourishes us with the life of God and unites us to Jesus and to one another. By drawing us to a deeper union with Jesus, our Father draws us closer to each other. The Eucharist is both an expression of the unity and love which binds us to each other and to Jesus, and an action through which the bonds are strengthened.

3. Holy Communion is the Eucharistic meal of the Body and Blood of Christ, which is a foretaste of the eternal Messianic Banquet of Heaven.

Holy Communion already gives us a part in the eternal banquet of Christ in Heaven because we receive the same Son of God made man Who will be united with us in a union of joy forever in Heaven.

At the Last Supper, Jesus said, “I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29).

Jesus promised that we would some day enjoy His presence: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54). In this way Jesus anticipates the Messianic Banquet of the Kingdom. The Eucharistic meal not only reminds us of the Church’s heavenly reunion with Christ, but prepares us to take part in that heavenly communion with Christ and His Father.