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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This small work on the Eucharist and the Communion is my humble attempt to go deeply into the faith

that I have in the Eucharistic Lord. I am inspired by the Word of our Lord that Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them (Mt 18,20). This verse constantly helped me to read more books and to understand this divine mystery, the Eucharist. This work has helped me to increase my faith in the Holy Eucharist as the centre of Christian life. In this special occasion I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who helped me to complete this work. First of all I thank Rev. Dr. Paul Chandrankunnel SAC, for his encouragement, support, guidance and timely suggestions. I humbly acknowledge that he has spent his valuable time and energy to shape this dissertation as it is now. I am grateful to Rev. Fr. Rector and to all the staff members of KPT, to my provincial Rev. Fr. Matthew Chalil CMI, my parents, brothers and sisters, relatives, and friends for their valuable support, encouragement, guidance and prayer for my academical, physical and spiritual growth throughout my seminary life. With a thankful heart I remember my companions for their valuable help especially the librarians and my friends who have taken the pain to complete this work.

31st January, 2004. Ashta. Marottikathadam Peter.

INTRODUCTION
The Eucharist is the mysterious presence of Jesus in the world, in the form of bread and wine. The faith in the Eucharist is an ever challenging concept, because there is no Christian life without faith in the Eucharist. According to Vatican II the Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life. The Eucharist is the thanksgiving i.e., we thank God for everything that He has done for humanity especially, for the very gift of His only son, Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Redeemer. In the Eucharistic celebration, the Christians bring into their actual lives, the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus and are strengthened, motivated, and inspired by the Body and Blood of Christ. In the Eucharistic communion, each Christians opens up himself to the will of God through the person of Jesus Christ and they stand with the Lord to offer a meaningful sacrifice to God, the Father. By this Eucharistic worship the believers are sanctified, and they receive the graces for a better life of communion with the Lord. The Eucharist is an invitation from Gods part so that the Christians may enter into a communion with the Holy Trinity. This small work on Eucharist and Communion is placed in the background of Church as a communion of communions. The Eucharist is understood as essential to the Church, contributing and forstering the communion that the Church is. The whole work includes three chapters, and ends with a conclusion. The first chapter deals with a general understanding of Eucharist - its terminology, biblical background and the teachings of Vatican II on the Eucharist on the basis of Church as a communion. The second chapter deals with the mystery of the Eucharist in comparison with the Manna. The Eucharist is a call from God to share his
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divine love with humanity. It is a heavenly banquet in which the Lord is hidden, but active and invisibly present. The divine love is the binding force in the Eucharistic communion. In short the mystery of the Eucharist leads to intimate relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ. The third chapter makes an attempt to explain the sharing aspect of the banquet. The model for the Eucharistic communion is the communion of the Holy Trinity and the Holy Trinity is present in the Eucharistic celebration and they give meaning to our Christian life. The faith and the hope give meaning to the Eucharistic communion and this chapter ends with the significance of the Eucharist in Christian life.

CHAPTER 1 GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE EUCHARIST It is an undisputed fact that the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist has been instituted by Christ. Jesus took initiative to institute this sacrament before his passion death and resurrection. But the fact is that these three paschal events with its effects manifest in the celebration of Eucharist in a special way. Vat II. enthusiastically dedicated two chapters of Sacrosanctum Concilium to Eucharist. The institution of this sacrament happens at the climax moment of Jesus ministry. He instituted it after a long preparation of the disciples to communion with him. Those who are not prepared, disqualify themselves for this communion. From the beginning of Christianity until now, we see a development in the theology of the Eucharist. In the Second Vatican Council, the entire life in the Church is seen as a communion of communions. In the background of the Church as communion of communions we see the Eucharist as a communion. 1.1. ETYMOLOGY The celebration of the Eucharist very much lives in the heart of Christian life. The word Eucharist means thanksgiving. In fact this is the term chosen by the early Christians to translate into Greek the Hebrew word for blessing.1 The word Eucharist derives from the Greek word Eucharisteo (v) means to be grateful, to give thanks or to express gratitude. The Greek word Eucharistia (n) means gratitude or thanksgiving, thankfulness. The term biblically derived from the thanksgiving of Jesus at the Last Supper 2. The communion of Jesus with the disciples made Jesus to establish the Sacrament of the Eucharist as a sign of thanksgiving, his presence in the world, and a remembrance of Gods powerful and dynamic influence in the salvation history.

Joseph A. Komonchak and others, ed., The New Dictionary of Theology ( Bangalore: T.P.I., 1999), s.v. Eucharist by Raymond Moloney, P.243. 2 Manuel Ribeiro, Class notes on Eucharist (Ashta: K.P.T., 2002).
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1.2. DEFINITION OF EUCHARIST According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church the Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the people of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of Gods action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship man offers to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit (CCC 1325). This definition clearly explains the aspect of worship and communion. Through the Eucharist the believers establish a communion with the trinity. So the Eucharist is essentially prayer and celebration. It is an act of praise and thanksgiving, a moment of worship by which the people respond to the great things the Lord has done for them.3 1.3. THE SCRIPTURAL BASIS It is very clear from the last supper narration that Jesus instituted this most sacred sacrament as a memorial of his passion, death, and resurrection. This institution of the Eucharist is the fulfillment of Jesus promise in Matt 28:20 that I will be with you till the ends of the age. The synoptic gospels and the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians speak about the institution of the Eucharist. But the root of this celebration lies in the Jewish Passover meal. But in the lives of the New Israel the Passover meal is realized in its fullness in the Last Supper of Jesus (Lk 22,14-23; Mt 26,20-30; Mk 14,17-26; I Cor 17, 23-26 and Jn 13,21-30). But in John we cant find the institutional words but the actions fill the scene. In the Old Testament, the book of Exodus speaks of two feasts. They are the Passover and Unleavened Bread. Among them the Passover is the pastoral rite and the unleavened bread is celebrated at the beginning of the barley harvest feast. In the Old Testament, the Passover feast is celebrated by smearing of the blood of a slaughtered animal at the entrance of a house and eating of flesh in a common meal. 4 They celebrated the Passover meal as a remembrance of the Israelites freedom from the Egyptian slavery; in the same way the last supper is a remembrance of the manifestation of Gods saving
Joseph A. Komonchak and others, Op. Cit., 243. John Peter Sandanam, Do This In Remembrance of me , (Bangalore: St. Peters Pontifical Institute Publications 2002), 6.
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activity and the freedom from death to eternal life. 5 This historical event of deliverance fostered the fellowship of Israelis as brothers and sisters. Their communion with each other was reminded of by the celebration of the Passover. So it is clearly the most single force, for Israelites to express and reinforce their identity as a family of the people of God.6 The narratives of the institution of the last supper in the Synoptic and St.Paul are interrelated, and the expression take and eat, take and drink clearly suggests that a liturgical practice existed earlier. 7 The command do this in memory of me seems to indicate that it was in the tradition already. But John in his presentation of the last supper brings in the washing the feet. This custom continues even today, as a sign of sacrificing the self and a sign of selfemptying. 1.4. VATICAN II The Eucharist is the hidden manna and we are unable to measure its richness, purity, and greatness. Throughout the centuries the Eucharist was celebrated in the Church. In the midst of adverse situations also the believers gathered together privately and participated in the breaking of the Bread. Because the believers experienced the power of this great mystery when they celebrated the Eucharist. This sacrament led them to live their lives to a meaningful end, strengthened their inner selves, sanctified them by the body and blood of Christ, and wiped out their sins. Vat II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy reaffirms that the Eucharist is a sacrifice and is the center of the Churchs life. Vat II corrected many harmful teachings of the protestant Churches who believed that after the celebration of the bread and wine, Christ no longer remains in the consecrated species. Pope Paul VI instructs the believers regarding the way in which they have to approach the Holy Eucharist. First of all the Eucharist is the mystery of faith. Because it is a mystery in the strict sense, one cannot rely simply on human reason but needs to cling to

Fr. Francis Scaria Class notes on Ecclesiology (Ashta: K.P.T., 2002). John Peter Sandanam, Op. Cit.,. 7. 7 Ibid., 14.
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divine revelation.8 Paul VI in his declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae speaks very elaborately about the need to cling to this divine revelation. Pope Paul VI recalls the mystery aspect of the Eucharist along with Council fathers and theologians. He says it is through the Eucharistic mystery that the sacrifice of the cross is completed once and for all on Calvary.9 Now he stresses the power of the Eucharist in the world and in a particular way in our lives that it is a sacrifice that avails the souls in purgatory as well as the living, and a sacrifice in which Christ associates with himself as a priest and victim all the members of the Church.10 The Mass is always celebrated in the community. Where there is communion there arises the highest form of worship, that is, the Eucharist. The Vatican II Constitution on Sacred Liturgy says that the Eucharist is the memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace and a pledge of Future glory is given to us. 11 The celebration of the Eucharist brings perfect union with God and each other, so that finally God may be all in all.12 With Vat II the concept and understanding of The Eucharist has changed into a more active participation in the sacred Liturgy. The Constitution on Sacred Liturgy affirms mainly the mystery aspect of the Eucharist. In the same way Vat II teaches that the church is a mystery but it does not deny the communion aspect and faith aspect of the Eucharist. So the celebration of Eucharist signifies the fullness of profession of faith and the fullness of Ecclesial communion.13 1.5. EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION AND CHURCH Church is the communion of communions; in the same way the Eucharist is a communion. John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter on Mystery and Worship of the Holy Eucharist says that just as the Church makes the Eucharist
James T. OConnor, The Hidden Manna (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), 261. Ibid., 262. 10 Ibidem. 11 Austin Flannery O.P, ed. Vat II, Sacrosanctum Concilium (Bombay: St. Paul Publications, 1975), 47. 12 Ibidem. 13 Valerie Yule, Eucharist as Sacrament of the Mission of the Church, Priest and People (Feb. 1990): 44.
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so the Eucharist builds up the Church. The universal Church is a communion of many particular churches and they form the universal Church. The linkage that binds all these churches is the belief that the Eucharist is the communion instituted by Jesus Christ and entrusted to the Church. According to the Vat II the Church is the people of God and all of them are in communion with the church in their faith, practice, theology and in their mission. In the institutional level the Church is a communion and the Catholic Church is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with them (LG 8). All the members of the Church are in communion with the Roman Pontiff. Lumen Gentium says, the bishops installed throughout the whole world lived in communion with one another and with the Roman pontiff in a bond of unity, charity and peace (LG. 23). The mystery behind the binding force in the Church is the Eucharist, which is the center and summit of Christian life. When the people of God receive the Holy Communion they are physically and spiritually one with the Lord Jesus Christ and by this sacred participation in the Eucharist the people of God are strengthened, motivated enlivened and guided by the Holy Trinity. So the universal Church is seen to be a people brought into unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (LG. 4). The Koinonia or communion heals the wounds of division in the Church. We can experience Koinonia in different ways that is the one and the only God is the

communion of three persons, the One and the Only Church is a communion of communities and the local Church, a communion of persons. 14 The idea that the Church as a communion, is the central and the fundamental understanding of the document. So basically it is a matter of communion with God through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. This communion is had in the word of God and in the sacrament...15 especially in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Ernst C. Suttnen, Church Unity, Union or uniatism ? Bangalore: Dharmaram Publications, 1991), 4. 15 Gilbert De Lima, Evangelization in India through Basic Communities (Bombay: St. Paul Publications, 1996), 73.
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CHAPTER 2 COMMUNION AND MYSTERY 2.1. EUCHARIST AND MYSTERY We all believe that the Eucharist is a mystery. Otherwise how can we say that Jesus Christ is present in the consecrated bread and wine? We cannot see any sign of Jesus presence in the Holy host with our external eyes. The second chapter of this Constitution speaks about the mystery aspect of the Eucharist. When it speaks about the institution of the Eucharist it says, this he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until he should come again.16 The Eucharist is a mysterious meal and the followers of Jesus believe that their master is present in the Eucharist. Then it becomes a communion of Jesus with the believers. So in order to remain with the master, the disciples must believe in the mysterious meal in which the Son of man would give his flesh to eat and his blood to drink.17 It is very easy to say that the Eucharist is a mystery but it is very difficult to explain this mystery. When we actively and with full heart participate in this great mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, and above all, his mysterious presence, we are sharing or participating in advance in the eternal life promised by the Lord. Therefore wherever the body and blood of Christ are, there and only there, is eternal life being offered as a permanent possession to those who are open to receive it.18 The Eucharist is communion of Christ, the Lord with believers, and this Eucharist constantly reminds us about the hidden mystery of eternal life in the Eucharist. So to have eternal life is to be joined to the living body of Christ and to continue drawing life from it until one is transformed into its likeness at the resurrection19 Here the living body of Christ would mean the church, the communion of communions. Jesus gave up his life to be fragmented and broken so that the communion may be established on the earth by the
Austin Flannery O.P., Op. Cit., 47. Prepared by Theological Historical Commission for Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 The Eucharist, Gift of Divine Life , Trans. Robert R. Barr (Bombay: Pauline Publications, 1999), 116. 18 Liam G.Walsh, The Sacrament of Initiation (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1988), 271. 19 Ibidem
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remembrance of his passion, death, and resurrection. So in the heart of the church she urges for communion. So we would say the Eucharistic fellowship of the worshipping community is one of the element, that constitute the church as a communion. The other elements are the faith in Jesus, the communion of local churches and the vivifying presence of the Holy Spirit. 20 The Eucharist has the power to unify everything and hold together everybody and everything for enjoying eternal life, which has been promised by the Lord. So the new and eternal covenant of Christ (Eucharist) lifts us and all creation up to God.21 2.2. COMMUNION AND HIDDEN MANNA The book of Exodus Chapter 16 speaks about the bread from heaven. The pilgrim people of Israel were satisfied and strengthened by the bread from heaven. By participating in this meal the people of Israel established communion with Yahweh. In the same way the new people of God, the church is strengthened and revitalized by the receiving of the Eucharist, the eschatological meal. The bread from heaven was a mystery for the Israelites. In the same way our human reason is unable to explain the mystery of the Eucharist. So it is a fact that the change that takes place in the elements is the mystery of faith and cant be comprehended by the senses or the intelligence.22 By sending bread from heaven Yahweh revealed his love for the people. Here in the New Testament time and even now God shows his love for us in a very special way through the Eucharist. That is why we say that the father loves the son with divine love therefore Jesus too loves us with divine love.23 So we can say that the Eucharist is a mystery of love and union, union with Christ and fellowship with others. The Eucharist is a mystery that we cannot say that Jesus is present only in bread and wine but When we celebrate the Eucharist Jesus is present not only under the signs of bread and wine but by the celebration itself. 24 If we try
Cf. Luis M.Bermejo, Church Conciliarity and Communion (Anand: Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1990),38. 21 Michaell.Gaudion Parkar, Living the Eucharist Today, Priest and People (Jan.1990): 9 22 James T. OConnor, Op. Cit., 106. 23 Ramon Nubiola S.J., Union with God through the Eucharist (Anand: Gujrat Sahitya Prakash, 1987), 57. 24 J. Neuner S J, Listen to the Spirit, Vidyajyoti (Oct.1998): 771.
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to understand first, the Eucharist and then try to believe, it will be a failure. The Eucharist is a mystery that is not a bait for our intelligence. So it must be believed first so that it can afterward be understood.25 During the Mass a mysterious change occurs in the elements that the bread and wine are substantially converted into the body and blood of our Lord. It is the work of God that God made a change of bread and wine into the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ.26 So we can say that the Eucharist is a great mystery from which we derives strength, life, joy and happiness. 2.3. THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST IN THE EUCHARIST The belief that Jesus Christ is present in the Holy Eucharist is the core of the life of the church. Church is the communion of communions, mystical body of Christ, the people of God. Eucharist is the eternal sacrifice and banquet of Christ; it unites all Christians into one communion. The breaking of the bread tradition has undergone changes through centuries. But faith behind this has not been changed. This practice was rooted in the life of the church and we are nourished day by day by this sacrament. So By receiving the Eucharist, the people are not only expressing their faith in Jesus Christ as God, but are also, through Baptism, visible members of the Christian community.27 It means that when we receive the Eucharist we remember the communion that we are and are strengthened by this communion. Vat II Constitution on Sacred Liturgy explains about the presence of Christ in the Church. Christ is present in the church when she prays, performs works of mercy, and moves on her pilgrimage through history. All these statements are based on the belief that indeed whenever two or three are gathered in my name I will be with them(Mt 18,20). It means Christ, the Lord is present in a more sublime manner; as the church offers the sacrifice of Mass in His name.28 At all Eucharistic celebrations Christ is present among the people at prayer, in the proclamation and preaching of the word of God, and in the person of the minister. Pope Paul VI says, all these manners of
James T. OConnor, Op. Cit., 106. Ibid., 107. 27 Noel Sheth SJ, Hindu Parallels to Eucharist, Vidyajyoti (Oct.1998): 763. 28 James T. OConnor, Op. Cit., 263.
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Christs presence are real and fill the mind with wonder and offer the church a mystery to contemplate.29 From the practical point of view, there is a divine presence in the Holy Eucharist so there is an invitation to adoration.30 It is the daily experience of the church that as a sign of her communion with the Lord. She proclaims the presence of the Lord by adoration publicly and privately. The bread and wine, once consecrated, are the body and blood of Christ. This body should be adored because it belongs to the Divine Son of God. 31 The presence of Jesus in the consecrated bread is an appeal to faith and love. 32 Eucharistic devotion dwells in the life of the church. The reason for the increasing devotion to the Holy Eucharist is that Jesus real presence under the species of bread and wine and His adoration were the core of the Eucharistic devotion.33 Jesus is present in the Eucharist so that the people may experience that Gods loves them. The presence of Jesus in the Eucharist enlightens our hope and we will be strengthened by its mysterious power and our faith will become very strong. The presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a sign of His Grace, by its being in possession of the church as a sign of her own unity, pledge of eternal life and as sacrificial offering to God. 34 St. Ambrose says the following about the presence of Jesus in the sacrifice of Holy Eucharist: I meet you, my God, in your mystery of sacraments especially in Eucharist35 The fathers of the church really believed that the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is the treasure of the church. In the Eucharistic reception without our knowledge we are absorbed into a communion. This communion enkindles our hearts to unite us with Jesus the Lord. It is a life giving touch of Christ, as instrument of unity.36 It is a fact that in the process of receiving him he receives us. During the mass a mysterious change occurs in elements, that the bread and wine are substantially
Ibidem. Theological Historical Commission for Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, Op. Cit., 116. 31 Ibid., 117 32 Ibid., 121 33 J. Neuner S.J. Op. Cit., 770. 34 Theological Historical Commission for Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, Op. Cit., 121. 35 Michael L. Gaudoin-Parker Living the Eucharist Today, Priest and People (Jan.1990): 9. 36 James T. OConnor, Op. Cit., 271.
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converted into the Body and Blood of Christ. It is a work of God that God has made a change of the bread and wine into the substance of the body and blood of Christ.37 Here in the mass God brings the change in the bread and wine. The Holy Trinity is present in the Holy Eucharist. The mysterious process by which the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ is called transubstantiation. According to Thomas Aquinas the matter and form of the bread and wine are changed into the matter and form of the body and blood of Christ.38 The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist comes about through transubstantiation. In the bread and wine the accidents remain but the substance changes. But this process is not visible it is a matter of our faith. The theological understanding that the Eucharist brings communion is based the fact that the real presence of our Lord in the celebration of Eucharist and that the Eucharist is a true sacrifice.39 In short Jesus Christ willed to be present in the bread, as he has taken the form of a man even though he was God. 2.4. EUCHARIST IS A CALL TO COMMUNION It is very clear that Jesus prepared his disciples to enter into communion with him. It was a call and it involved a lot of preparation to accept Jesus in their lives. They experienced this preparation as call to continue to experience the divine. So for the apostles the Eucharist gifts would have been a way of entering into communion with the sacrifice of Christ.40 Jesus called his disciples to be with him and to be sent out to proclaim the message (Mk 3,14). From this bible passage we can understand that Jesus calls the disciples to an intimate communion. In the same way when we celebrate the Holy Eucharist we need preparation and this preparation helps the people to have a deeper intimacy with the Lord. The call to communion depends on Gods will. This calling is the initiative of God who calls, through faith, to this place of worship. 41 In the
Ibid., 107. Ibid., 272. 39 John Knet and Robert Murray S.J. eds. Church Membership and Intercommunion (New Jersey: Dimension Books, 1973), 13. 40 Joseph A. Komonchak and others, eds., Op. Cit., 346. 41 Vincent Nicholas, Promise of Future Glory (Wiltshire: Darton,Longman and Todd Ltd.,1997), 2.
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Eucharistic celebration the word of God summons the congregation to communion. The Eucharistic communion is an experience when we reflect on the church, which is the congregations of men and women who form the church of God. This assembly is a divine call because Christians accept in faith the divine summons to fellowship.42 The communion is a sign of peoples response in faith and it creates an intimate fellowship. When the believing community gathers together with the intention of giving thanks and praise there arises the communion. So the primary end of communion is to let Jesus live in us and produce fruits of sanctity, fruits of faith, and bring to us the celestial wisdom.43 In this communion, the congregation gives thanks and praise for the wonderful works of God. From this communion emerges a relationship of dependence on God. The Eucharistic communion calls all the people to share a life that is divine. Here God invites all the people to share the divine life of His Son. Thus the church comes about through the communion of God with His people. This communion is Gods sharing of his life with us.44 In the gospel St. John speaks of the sharing of this love with humanity in its fullness. The call to communion tends to share the life and sharing this life is the very nature of God. Jesus says: I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly (Jn 10,10). The Eucharistic celebration is an opportunity to gather together our prayers and bring our gifts of love to be shared with Gods love. This is an act of profound communion, a sharing of the deepest gift given by God, that of a personal relationship and communication with God 45. The call to communion is a special privilege that God has given to the believers to experience the depths of the gifts of love. 2.5. EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION AS A POWER OF LOVE The Eucharist is the gift of love. The institution of the Eucharist shows the love of Jesus to humanity. It shows the intense desire of God to be with his people so that the aspiration and thirst of human heart may be quenched. The
Luis M. Bermejo s.J., Op. Cit., 38. George Kaitholil, Light and Life from the Eucharist (Bombay: St. Paul Publications, 1985),113. 44 Vincent Nicholas, Op. Cit., 14. 45 Ibid., 21.
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love of God is a power that transforms the humanity in spiritual and temporal ways. In the Eucharistic communion the power or energy is Jesus himself that the celebration of the Eucharist brings to earth the power of resurrected Jesus.46 When we are in communion with the Eucharistic Lord, the resurrected state of Jesus is present among the believers. The mysterious presence of Jesus in the Holy host makes it explicit the unconditional love of God. So the Eucharistic celebration allows him to be present everywhere His church is, and it allows him to reveal his love in many places and circumstances.47 The love that the Eucharistic Lord revealed is a power or energy that helps the assembly to be united at all circumstances. It will wipe out the disappointment and bring hope in the assembly. The assembly receives strength and hope, love and purpose from the Eucharist. The Eucharistic communion always manifests its nature, which is selfless love. So the communion compels us to say truly, the Eucharist is a mystery of love- divine love shown to us in a human way. 48 When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist we really enter into an unexplainable communion with God, the almighty. The very awareness of his presence within us is an ever-growing power that abides in us, that power is Gods grace. Eucharist is an expression of divine love so it is a spiritual energy we receive by participating in Christs sacrifice of love relates us in a communion of life deeper than any known social economic or political solidarity.49 God has a purpose when he accepted the sacrifice of Jesus. It was nothing but the strengthening of the human nature so that the human being has a communion with the ultimate being. And so through the Eucharist, God wanted to divinize us and make more and more fit for most intimate union with God that we shall enjoy for all eternity.50 In the Eucharistic communion the power of love has the hidden capacity to behave and work like Jesus, and above all the believers will carry along with them the sentiments of Jesus. So the communion... unites our work with the work of Jesus... to become like
Theodore E. Dobson, How the Eucharist can Transform Your Life (Bombay: St. Pauls,1995),102. 47 Ibidem. 48 Ramon Nubiola S.J., Op. Cit., 56. 49 Michael L. Gaudoin-Parker, Op. Cit., 11. 50 Ramon Nubiola S.J.,Op. Cit., 60.
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Jesus, another Jesus, so that Jesus lives in me. 51 The Eucharist is a sign of the communion of the heart: conform our sentiments to the sentiments of Jesus, replace our heart with the heart of Jesus.52 It will imply that when we partake in the divine sacrifice of Jesus and receive the Holy Communion, the mind- set of Jesus, is imprinted in us. 2.6. EUCHARISTIC, A COMMUNION WITHIN THE CHURCH In the New Testament the cohesive form of Christian community is expressed by the word Koinonia for the religious fellowship or participation of believers in Christ.53 Church is the people of God the communion of believers who look forward for a sublime union with God. This union of believers brings the Eucharistic communion. The Church is the instrument of Gods grace to humanity, in the same way in the sacraments; especially in the Eucharist the believers experience the author of grace, Jesus himself. In the Eucharistic celebration there is the proclamation of the word of God that is a source of communion and it proclaims the arrival of Gods reign. So Eucharist is meant to be Christianitys central profession of faith. 54 The Eucharist is an occasion to actualize the mission of the church. In this way it may be appropriate to say that the Eucharistic communion is the source through which the church realizes the universal will of God i.e., sharing the word of God with humanity. Therefore the Eucharistic celebration is the most appropriate occasion for hearing the Word of God and rejoicing in it, for there we meet Christ, the Word incarnate.55 The Church is a communion of communions only when we realize that Eucharist is communion. It would mean that the union and communion of the faithful among themselves stem from their communion with God, their ekklesia is deeply rooted in God.56 When Vat II speaks of the church it speaks indirectly of the Eucharistic communion too, because Lumen Gentium says that the Church is ...established by Christ as a communion of life, love
George Kaitholil, Op. Cit., 114. Ibidem. 53 Luis M. Bermejo s.J., Op. Cit., 37. 54 Bernard Cooke, The Future of Eucharist (New York:Paulist Press,1997), 26. 55 Bernard Hring, The Eucharist and our Daily Life (Britain: St. Paul Publications, 1978), 25. 56 Luis M. Bermejo s.J., Op. Cit., 40.
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and truth, it is... the instrument of salvation for all. 57 Communion is one of the main characteristics of the church. We could see this aspect in the church wherever she is, as sinews, which will enliven the church. The Dogmatic Constitution on Church teaches that the church is the communion of communities having unique elements but between all the various parts of the church there is a bond of close communion where by spiritual riches, apostolic workers and temporal resources are shared.58 The Eucharistic communion leads the church to a new and universal people of Gods sons. The Council says that this communion is the work of the Holy Spirit in the church and the people of God will be purified, strengthened, and elevated by the Holy Spirit. The Eucharist is a moment of celebrating the Christian life in the church. The Eucharist is not simply a formalized ritual action performed as a public celebration, it is a group of Christians experience of the meaning of their lives.59 So Eucharistic communion is the vital source in the life of the church. 2.7. EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION AND SACRIFICE When Vat II speaks about Eucharist in the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy, it says that Eucharist is a sacrifice i.e., ...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... 60 According to Karl Rahner the communion is a deeper incorporation into the mystical body of Christ, because the redeemer has left his real body to his church, through which he wished to have all Christians joined together. 61 The purpose of Jesus sacrifice is to reconcile humanity with the Father so that humanity enters into a bond of communion with the Father. So in Eucharistic celebration Jesus continues the sacrifice He made on the cross, giving Himself totally to his Father.62

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Austine Flannery O.P., ed. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium (Bombay: St. Paul Publications, 1975),

9.
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Austine Flannery O.P, Op. Cit., 13. Bernard Cooke, Op. Cit., 42. 60 Austine Flannery O.P, Op. Cit., 35. 61 Karl Rahner, Church and the Sacraments (London: Burns & Oates, 1978), 83. 62 Theodore E. Dobson, Op. Cit., 107.

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The sacrifice of Christ brings tremendous energy (love), which helps us to enter into a communion with the Eucharistic Lord, i.e., the spiritual energy we receive by participating in Christs sacrifice of love relates us in a communion of life deeper than any known social economic or political solidarity63 and God originally created us to enjoy his communion of love. The particular fruits of the Eucharist are the reality of this communion (Koinonia).64 The Eucharistic communion reminds the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. We cannot find any substitute for the Eucharistic sacrifice therefore Eucharist is the central act of sacrifice and worship... unique and definitive sacrifice of Christ.65 The self is sacrificed fully on the cross to the Father. In the same way when we participate in the Eucharist celebration we will be opened to a great reality of selfless sacrifice. This selfless sacrifice originates from genuine love. Here we forget our selves and wide open the possibility of others growth and well- being. Here we establish a communion with God and fellow men and constantly reflect that the giving over of oneself to the other (God) forms the essence of sacrifice66 and here there is no indulgence for selfishness or for a self centered individualism67 So the Eucharistic communion touches the very heart of Christian prayer life.

Michael L. Gaudoin-Parker, Op. Cit., 11 Ibid., 12. 65 Noel Sheth SJ, Op. Cit., 754. 66 Errol D Lima, Ecumenical Convergence on Doctrine and Theology of the Eucharist Jeevadhara (July1999):282 67 Bernard Hring, Op. Cit., 73.
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CHAPTER III THE FULLNESS OF EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION 3.1 COMMUNION, A SHARING OF LOVE Jesus, the Son shares with the Father the divine Word. The great mystery of hypostatic union between the divine and human nature of Jesus is God's sharing with the creatures. In the same way Eucharist is the sharing of divine love with humanity in the person of Jesus Christ. It means that "the word of the Father is total Eucharist: abiding thanks-giving in the Holy Spirit who is the mutuality of gracious giving and receiving."68 Eucharist becomes an experience only when we live a communion of sharing. This communion very closely relates to the one bread and one cup fellowship. Therefore "Communion may truly be a sign of the brotherly union of all those who share in the same table of the Lord."69 The Eucharistic Lord shares his divine love with the humanity and the purpose of His sharing is to sanctify the humanity from its weakness and sins. The very presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is sharing of His divinity to the sinful humanity. When the faithful adore Christ in the Eucharist, they are extremely conscious of the presence of Jesus in this sacrament and this presence derives from the sacrifice and is directed towards both sacramental and spiritual communion.70 The giving and receiving process in the Eucharist lead to a spiritual communion. The basis of their giving and receiving is love. It means that, "in the unity, the one giving and those receiving is essential for the celebration to be credible as a sign. 71 When we gather together to participate in the Eucharistic celebration, it means that we gather here to share the commemoration of Jesus' sacrifice. It becomes a sacrifice when there is sharing of the Body and Blood of Christ. This fact takes our attention to a life that is
Ibid., 86. President of the Concilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy, Instruction on the Worship of Eucharistic mystery, (New Delhi: St.Paul Publications, 1967), 38. 70 Ibid., 48 71 Walter Kirchschlager"Eucharist as community Celebration", Theology Digest, (March,1993) 233.
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fully bound by love. It means "to sit down to eat and drink together is itself a sign of sacrifice, because it seals a binding commitment between and among those who dare to do so."72 In the Eucharistic communion when we receive Jesus in our hearts, Jesus shares his destiny with and also he inspires us to possess the divine life. In sharing the cup, the disciples participate in Jesus' destiny and "the bread is interpreted as Jesus' I in his uniqueness and his life destiny shared and given for everyone."73 It is our daily experience that love is the motivating power that enables us to lay down our life as a sacrifice for others and to share what we have with others. So the communion is that union of our hearts with God's that brings His life to fulfillment in us. The purpose of the institution of the Eucharist is to share Jesus' divine love with humanity that all may enter into an eternal communion. The real love of Jesus impelled him to give himself to the humanity to incorporate into His divine essence. When we share the love of the Eucharistic Lord, we are saying, "We are willing to live as He (Jesus) lives, totally dedicated to the Father and his values, and totally sacrificing ourselves for others."74 In the Eucharistic communion when we share the love of God it leads us to a higher communion, and love functions as the binding force. So "the idea of the Mass as only a banquet in which one shares by receiving the Body of Christ in order to manifest, above all else, fraternal communion."75 The Pope John Paul II says to the Bishops regarding the celebration of the Eucharist, it is our Eucharist that is to say, our giving him thanks, our praise of him for having redeemed us by his death and made us sharers in immortal life through his resurrection."76 The Christian life is the fulfillment of God's commandment, that is to say, the love of God and the love of neighbor "and this love finds its source in the Blessed Sacrament which is commonly called the Sacrament of Love."77 The mystery of the Eucharist deeply roots in the selfless love of Jesus
Kenneth Stevenson, "Accept this offering (Minnesota:The Liturgical Press, 1989), 86. Walter Kirchschlager Op. Cit., 236. 74 Theodore E.Dobson, Op. Cit., 55. 75 Popr John Paul II, Apostolic Letter On the Mystery and Worship of the Holy Eucharist. 1980,40. 76 Ibid., 9. 77 Ibid., 14.
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to humanity. This love leads the faithful to a communion with the Trinity. Because God is love and in the Trinity we see the sharing of that love. 3.2 EUCHARIST, UNION WITH CHRIST AND FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHERS The chapter seventeen of St. John's Gospel expresses the desire of Jesus to be with his disciples always. Another example is Jesus' table fellowship with the sinners and the tax-collectors. The culmination of Jesus' fellowship with humanity is the institution of the Holy Eucharist. Jesus shows his constant love for us through the Eucharist. So "the Eucharist is a constant reminder of Christ's love for us unto death."78 And in other words, the Eucharist is a communion, the union of Jesus our Lord with humanity. Jesus' "table fellowship" has greater significance because it shows His concern and care for humanity. It would mean, "Jesus' table fellowship is a visible sign of salvation and of the care of the shepherd for the shepherd less flock." 79 The Eucharistic fellowship has greater impact in our lives too, it strengthens us in personally and collectively, that "through the Eucharist Jesus continues to transform our weak personalities into the images of Himself, not only for our own edification but also for the edification of the community."80 We cannot simply ignore the depth of fellowship between Jesus and the believers in the celebration of Eucharist. In the last supper Jesus offered himself totally for us, he shared the essence of divinity to establish the New Covenant of faithfulness, generosity, and thanksgiving. Through the Eucharistic communion, the author of Grace "uniting ourselves totally with Christ who has offered himself even to the point of shedding His blood for us in an everlasting Blood of Covenant."81 In this New Covenant sharing is an important element and in this sharing all will receive the fullness of what is shared. So "to share is to give to another a part of my own, or to apportion something among various persons even without dividing it."82 This is what happened in the Last supper when he established the Eucharist. In the Roman
Romon Nubiola SJ. Op. Cit., 57. Walter Kirchschtager Op. Cit., 229. 80 Theodore E. Dohson, Op. Cit., 108. 81 Bernard Haring, Op. Cit., 54. 82 L. Alonso Schoel, Celebrating the Eucharist (England: St. Paul Publications, 1986), 132.
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Missal we find prayers, which speaks about the communion between Christ and the believers, "Grant that this Eucharistic communion, sign of our fraternity in Christ, may make your Church holy with the bond of love."83 The same fellowship we can see in the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. The Church binds the believers together in fellowship. In the same way the Eucharist brings the believers together in the bond of love. The Dogmatic Constitution on Church explains about this fellowship or Koinonia that "there is a Christian communion between men on their earthly pilgrimage, brings us closer to Christ for our greater good and that of the Church." 84 The communion is the binding force, in the Eucharist through which the believer is one with the author of Grace. According to Hans Kung "the Lord's supper is a fellowship with Christ as well as a fellowship with Christians" and for him "the Church must be meal fellowship, a Koinonia or communion."85 In short we can say that the sharing love is so strong and that it brings intimate relationship between God and mankind which is internal and powerful and it "binds them to each other once for all: Christ's divine love for mankind and Christ's human love for God bind inextricably God to every man and vice versa."86 3.3 EUCHARIST AS COMMUNION OF HOSPITALITY The Church is a communion; it would mean that the local or individual churches exist in communion with the universal church. The Eucharistic communion urges that the Eucharist should be shared with "validly baptized Christians whose faith in the Eucharist is the same as ours... When pastoral and spiritual need suggests it."87 Then "it touches the very heart of what the Eucharist is by nature i.e., the sacrament of unity, the nurture of the mystical body of Christ."88 The very nature of the Eucharist invites all individually to share the divine life of Jesus which he promises to all those who believe in him.
Ibid., 142. Austin Falnery, O.P. Op. Cit., 50. 85 Manuel Reverio OCD, The Church as the Community of the Believers Vol. I (New Delhi: Inter Cultural Publications, 1998), 100. 86 Fr. Stanislaus Lyonnet S.J, Eucharist The Paschal Mystery and the New Covenant (Bangalore :Theological Publications in India, 1985),146. 87 Ernest Falardeau, SSS, One Bread and Cup Source of Communion ( Minnesota: The Liturgical Press,1990), 65. 88 Ibidem.
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In other words "Jesus in the Eucharist is the source of tremendous spiritual energy which radiates from His presence to all who are there in faith to receive."89 The Eucharist welcomes everybody to experience the communion with Jesus Christ. This invitation causes to spring within us a love that is sublime. Thus "the Eucharistic mystery leads us to a love for our neighbors, to a love for every human being."90 The Eucharistic communion creates an ever-pleasant atmosphere in which the communion of hospitality will be flourished to the extent of mutual sharing. The Eucharist always seeks to produce unity among God's children. So the Eucharistic hospitality "is always a means to unity as well a sign of the unity which the Spirit produces in the Body of Christ."91 In our personal life when the Eucharistic Lord comes to our heart, it is a moment of great satisfaction and joy that our inner self will invite the Lord with extreme adoration. This is the real aspiration of our heart to invite Jesus into our heart i.e., "he who has received the Holy Communion well bears Jesus always within him, offering him the sweet hospitality of his heart." 92 It will inspire within us holy thoughts and sentiments. When we receive the Eucharistic Lord we show real hospitality only when we receive him with pure heart and clear conscience. Thus "in the Eucharistic communion, the Word incarnate continues his divine and human thanksgiving by making us sharers of his life and sharers in his thanksgiving."93 Eucharist is a banquet of the universal family of God. As an expression of hospitality all the faithful come together to proclaim their privilege as the children of God. In other words "the faithful come together as the family of God's children, in communion with each other, sharing at the table, prepared for His children." 94 This Eucharistic hospitality has got three dimensions. a) The hospitality showed by the Eucharistic Lord to the faithful b) The hospitality of the faithful to the Eucharistic Lord,
Theodore E. Dobson, Op. Cit., 103. John Paul II, Op. Cit., 17. 91 Ernest Falardeau, SSS, Op. Cit., 83. 92 George Kaitholil, Op. Cit., 83. 93 Bernard Haring, "Op. Cit., 87. 94 Valerie Yule, , "Eucharist as sacrament of the mission of the Church, Priest and People (Feb. 1990): 45.
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c) The hospitality that exists between the believers. In short we can say that Eucharistic hospitality leads to communion. 3.4 EUCHARIST AS A COMMUNION MEAL In the last supper, Jesus instituted the Eucharistic Meal and the fundamental intention behind this meal was that it could continue forever to nourish believers in the church. In the Jewish tradition the meal was very important because it expressed the solidarity and closeness among the Israelites. It formed a community of faith and love and in public life meals were moments of amicable relationship with others. The Eucharist is a communion meal because it brings communion or fellowship with God and the faithful. God is present in the meal to invite all of us to a relationship of intimacy. Therefore God calls the people together in a sanctuary for the organization of the meal. God is present throughout the meal. To eat is to eat in the presence of God and is therefore to develop relationship of friendship with God.95 In our personal lives too, it is our experience that good friends make the meal more tasty and the relationship more solid. In the same way during the Eucharistic meal God wishes to reveal the most fundamental divine design, which is to make the human being happy.96 In the New Testament, with the arrival of Jesus, the understanding of meal has undergone a change because; in his table fellowship he did not neglect the tax collectors, sinners, and even the prostitutes. In the same way the Eucharistic communion meal invites all to an intimate communion with the Triune God. The communion meal is an experience of healing and reconciliation with God and an invitation to Gods love and compassion. So the value of the Eucharistic communion meal highlights ...the notion of solidarity - the love and friendship that bind us together those at the same table.97 Lumen Gentium speaks very elaborately deals with the meal aspect of the Eucharist that is, really sharing in the body of the Lord in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread, we are taken up into communion with him and with one another.98 Through the Eucharistic meal
The Theological-Historical Commission for the Great Jubilee of he year 2000, Op.Cit., 104. Ibidem. 97 Paul Bernier, SSS, Bread Broken and Shared(Notre Dame:Ave Maria Press, 1981), 63. 98 Austine Flannery OP, ed. Vat II Lumen Gentium Op.Cit., 7.
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we are sealed with a permanent covenant. And this sacred meal invites everybody to share the communion that the Lord intended. So the meal is a sign of a new and a permanent communion of Jesus with his followers. It is also a New Covenant made between God and his people. 99 In the Eucharistic meal what is given to eat and to drink is not ordinary food or drink because Jesus says, those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life (Jn 6,54). So the Eucharistic meal is the very second person of Trinity, Jesus Christ. He says, I am the bread of Life (Jn 6,35). It would mean that the divine person of Christ Himself is the nourishment given to humanity for a new life100 The Eucharistic meal urges the one who shares to be a new person with the mind set of Jesus and has a responsibility to produce the fruits of heavenly banquet. 3.4.1 COMMUNION IN FAITH If we use only our reason it is very difficult to understand the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Eucharist is not a specimen to be tested and experimented in the science labs. But it is a fact that we have deep faith in the Eucharist and the communion with Christ begins with Faith! Faith is Gods invitation to communion and the Christians acceptance. 101 Faith is the fundamental option that Christians make for God and Jesus Christ. When the fundamental option that Christians make for God the entire scope of Faith embraces communion. The faith in Eucharist brings the communion with Jesus Christ and thus Eucharist is the fountain of all graces. 102 When the Christians believe that Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist and the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus, then the faith of the Christians is in communion with the reality of the Eucharist. So in the Eucharistic celebration, after receiving the Lord ...the faith of the Christian is enkindled, strengthened and renewed for Christian living.103 Faith is very important in Christian living

Manuel Rebeiro OCD, Church as the Community of the Believers Vol I, (New Delhi, International Publications, 1998), 100. 100 The Theological-Historical Commission for the Great Jubilee of he year 2000, Op.Cit., 108. 101 Ernest Falarideau, SSS., Op.Cit., 40. 102 Joseph Arubyil CMI, Bread (Kottayam: Life Orientation Centre, 1990) 19. 103 Ernest Falaradeau SS, Op.Cit., 42.
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because our Christian life is not based on an intellectual discovery but on invisible and mysterious intervention of God in the life of believers. When Christians receive the Body of Christ in the Eucharistic celebration, that very act of the individual is a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, believe in what all things Jesus has taught and participate in the proclamation of the gospel. Therefore the Eucharist is a sacrifice of faith, in receiving this they believe that they receive the Body and Blood of Christ and affirm their communion with the faith of the Church. 104 When we receive the Holy Communion in good faith, our attitude towards the Holy Communion will be changed and our faith will be deep- rooted in the fact that I am drawing from Christ the life that he gained for me and now offers to me in the body and blood of his.105 In short the Eucharist is a communion in faith and it always challenges our attitude towards the whole reality of the Eucharist. We all know that Eucharist is the sacrament of faith in the sense that it challenges our faith constantly,106 because it is a sacrament and its effect will be imprinted in our lives in a mysterious way. 3.4.2. COMMUNION IN TRUST It is our daily experience that we trust in a person only when we love him or believe him. We have already seen that from the faith in Eucharistic communion, arises the Christian life, which is rooted in the belief that Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist. It is primarily the food which nourishes man to eternal life.107 The Christian life becomes meaningful only when we trust in the Eucharistic communion and we love the Eucharistic Lord personally and worship him in the congregation. So we can say Hope is intimately tied into communion in the Eucharist.108 Our trust in the Eucharistic Lord is not stagnant; it is an ever growing, dynamic process of Christian living in communion with the Lord. We experience this communion in our lives when we receive the Holy Eucharist
Valerie yule, Op.Cit., 46. Liam G. Walsh Op, Op.Cit., 276. 106 Ernest Falardeau SS, Op.Cit., 40 107 Joseph Arubyil CMI, OP.Cit., 20 108 Ernest Falardeau SS, Op.Cit., 43
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and visiting the tabernacle. So the visit has the scope of establishing our lives in Jesus Christ that is, to live in Jesus, for Jesus and with Jesus. 109 This is our trust that the Eucharistic Lord will lead our lives to a communion with God and with one another. Communion in trust would mean that when we receive the Eucharistic Lord we should be filled with the trust of Jesus, which he has on God, the Father. It is the trust of Jesus in God that strengthened him to overcome the sorrows on Mount Gethsemane. It is the trust of Jesus in God the Father that led Jesus on Mount Calvary and put his life at the disposal of his Father. 3.5 EUCHARIST AS A COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY TRINITY Holy Trinity itself is the communion of three persons and unifying force with the mysterious power of shared love between these three persons. The Eucharistic communion is the moment in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit work dynamically in order that the faithful may experience the fullness of their communion with the faithful. The Triune God is very active in the Eucharistic celebration that it is through the spirit that Christs offering rises to the Father, and it is through the Holy Spirit that the bread and wine, in this offering, are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ.110 In the Eucharist we cannot see any division or disparity. In the background of the Church as a communion, the Eucharist has got a lot of implications in the life of the church. So the Koinonia heals the wounds of division in the church we could experience Koinonia or communion in different ways i.e., the one and only God is the communion of three persons, the one, and only church is a communion of many communities and the local Church, a communion of persons.111 The communion of the three persons in the Holy Trinity is the model for Eucharistic communion and Church communion.

Machael L . Gaudoin - Parker, ed., The Real Presence through the ages. (New York: Alba House, 1998),196. 110 Ibid., 112. 111 Ernst C. Suttner, Chruch Unity, Union or Uniatism? (Bangalore: Dharmaram Publications, 1991), 4.
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3.5.1 COMMUNION WITH THE FATHER It is our belief that the Eucharist is the communion of the Holy Trinity. If Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist it would mean that the other two persons of the Trinity are also present. Jesus himself says that ... whoever receives me receives him who sent me (Jn 13,20) and he says again whoever has see me has seen the Father (Jn 14,9). Jesus foresaw our communion with the Father even before the institution of the Eucharist that Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them (Jn 14,23). These above mentioned Bible passages indicate that the believers have an intimate relationship with the Father. And we also believe that by inviting the Eucharistic Lord we automatically have taken a place in the heart of God. In other words, we become the possession of God the Father; that is when in the prayer of the Mass, we stand with Christ at the event of his crucifixion and resurrection, we are taken up into the very heart of God and into the gift of the communion life.112 In the Eucharistic communion, it is God who brings the grace that is necessary in our daily lives. Our heart will be filled with Gods grace and this grace leads us to an everlasting communion. That is why we say, that it is God who makes available his grace to all and not the celebrating minister. 113 It would mean that Gods grace invites all to have a communion with Him or an experience of One with Him. When we visit the Eucharist we are aware of the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. In the same way when we pray before the Eucharist we are in the presence of God Himself. 114 This awareness really gives us the strength and hope that God is with us. Thus we could proclaim with St. Paul that if God is for us who is against us? (Rom 8,31). 3.5.2 COMMUNION WITH THE SON This concept is very easy to understand compared to that of the communion with the Father and the communion with the Holy Spirit, because Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist saying that this is my Body... and this is my
Vincent Nicholas, Op.Cit., 75. Fr. Blaise Coelho, The Eucharist: Training to Love (Indore: Sat Prachar Press, 2000) , 79. 114 Theodore E. Dobson, Op.Cit., 106.
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Blood (Mt 26, 26-29; Mk 14,22-26; Lk 22,14-23; I Cor 11,23-26). In the gospel of John Jesus says, I am the living bread from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh (Jn 6,51). This gospel passage speaks of Jesus Kenosis even to the form of bread. But the tremendous power of this bread is well said, that it brings life to those who receive it. In other words this bread brings an intimate communion with the believers. In the very presence of Jesus in the form of bread, is His intense desire to be with humanity till the end of the age (Mt 28,20). Jesus sacrifice on the cross was a selfless one and when we celebrate the Eucharist with the same disposition of Jesus, sacrificing our selves we will have a union with Jesus Christ. That is why theologians say that once we have made our human self-sacrifice and united it with Christs, we are prepared for the culmination of this celebration, the mystery of mysteries, we are prepared for union with Christ himself.115 It is very difficult to predict what will happen when we receive the Holy Communion. But it is a fact that when we receive the Eucharistic bread we have the physical union, more than that we have an intimate spiritual union with Jesus.116 When Jesus comes into our lives, i.e., when we receive the Holy Communion, he brings an integral transformation into our lives. This transformation depends upon how we receive it. The Eucharistic communion is not confined only to the moment of the reception of the Eucharist but also throughout our lives i.e., we continue the communion in our mind, will and heart, with Jesus: our thoughts and affections become one with those of Jesus117 and our sentiments become like that of the Risen Lord. Spiritual leaders will speak of our communion with God that is, in Holy Communion God comes to us and continues to abide in us. 118 The Christian life is deeply rooted in the Risen Lord and in the same way the life of the Church is the belief that Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist. This very belief is the source and foundation of our existence. In the same way as
Ibid., 53. Cf. Romon Nubiola SJ., Op.Cit., 59. 117 George Kaitholil, Op.Cit., 76. 118 Ibid., 83.
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the material bread transforms us into our body and blood, so the Eucharist transforms us into Jesus. Jesus changes us into himself as we change our food into ourselves.119 We all lead a life with this awareness and experience that Jesus transforms each and every moment of our lives. 3.5.3. COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT In the early Christian community the breaking of the bread was a sign of communion with others. And this custom became prominent only after the coming of Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. Gods love to humanity is revealed through Jesus Christ and Jesus Christs love to humanity to be with them was revealed by the institution of the Holy Eucharist. That is why in the letter to the Romans St. Paul says, Gods love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us (Rom 5,5). The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in the Eucharistic communion is the fulfillment of Jesus promise of the Counselor to humanity. The Christians are called to fellowship by the Baptism. The basis of this fellowship or communion is the belief in Jesus Christ. When they receive the Holy Eucharist they are really entering into an intimate fellowship with the Divine. So Christians, through faith in Christ are called to fellowship in the Son and they enjoy the fellowship of the Spirit. 120 Even though we enjoy the communion of the Spirit in the Eucharist, in our practical life we are not fully aware of this fact. So the Lord and his Spirit continue to unite us in spite of our disunity in the Body of Christ.121 Eucharist is the greatest event in the Church and in lives of the people of God. So we can say that the Eucharist is the summit of both the action by which God sanctifies the world in Christ, and the worship which men offer to Christ and which through him they offer to the Father in the Spirit.122 The world is always in touch with the divine because we can experience the power of the Eucharist, which is celebrated all over the

Ibid., 53. Luis M. Bermejo S.J., Op.Cit., 37. 121 Ernest Falaradeau SSS, Op.Cit., 83. 122 President of the Concilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy, Op.Cit., 14.
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world. The invisible grace of God through the person of the Holy Spirit enters into the world to divinize the whole creation. The Holy Trinity is present in the Eucharist and here Jesus is the offerer, the victim and the altar. In this divine moment the Father shares all that he is and has with his word in the Holy Sprit, who is the total mutual love and sharing.123 As earlier mentioned the event of Pentecost was a great moment in the life of the Church that it brought communion in the early Christian community and strengthened this unity by the activity of the Holy Sprit. So we can courageously say, if the communion exists in the life of the Church it is a clear visible sign of the Sprits invisible presence and activity in the Assembly.124 This presence of the Holy Spirit sanctifies the world and each one of us so that humanity may be one without he Holy Trinity. In short the sharing of divine love in the Eucharistic celebration has got wide implications because in giving himself as spiritual food, Jesus kindles in all human hearts the fire of Love through the Holy Spirit.125 3.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF EUCHARIST IN THE LIVES OF BELIEVERS We have already seen that the Eucharistic communion leads the Church to a communion and binds the people together. The Eucharist gathers up the whole of creation and builds up the mystical body of Christ. 126 Unity in the life of church is the effect of the Holy Communion, which always reminds the believers that the grace of God grows in each and every believer through the Eucharist. The celebration of Eucharist leads the believers to a universal love that they become aware that Jesus has given up his life for them and they have to bring its effect to people all over the world. So Eucharistic celebration promotes the cultivation of a social love, by which we place the common good ahead of our personal good, taking up the cause of the community, the parish, the universal Church and extending our charity to the whole world, since we know that the members of Christ are present every where. 127 In short
Bernard Haring, Op.Cit., 85. Luis M. Mermejo SJ, Op.Cit., 99. 125 The Theological - Historical Commission for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, Op.Cit., 111. 126 Noel Sheth SJ, Op.Cit., 761 127 James T. Coconnor, Op.Cit., 265.
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the Eucharistic celebration unites us with the Holy Trinity and especially with Jesus Christ. Jesus himself teaches about receiving his Body and Blood that He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day (Jn 6,54). This passage explicitly emphasizes that the Holy Eucharist assures eternal life to those who believe in Him. Because when we receive the Holy Eucharist we receives Jesus into our life and he takes control of our lives. In other words in the Eucharistic consecration, the Son comes down from heaven and, in the Eucharistic meal, gives life to the world. 128 The institution of the Eucharist abolishes the weaknesses, failures, and drawbacks of the Old Covenant. The New Covenant refreshes the intimacy of the Old Covenant. So the Eucharist advises us to grow into a new relationship of fidelity, love, selflessness, and openness to the author of Grace. In the Eucharistic celebration the Blood of Christ sanctifies our sinful nature, strengthens our weak nature and deepens our commitment. Therefore in the Eucharistic celebration One flesh is divided for all; one blood circulates in the body of the community, carrying the Oxygen of the Spirit to every cell.129 In the Eucharistic celebration when we commemorate the passion, death, and resurrection we welcome the pains, difficulties, hardships, depressions and mental agonies of our life along with the graceful life of Jesus. Hence we receive the grace that comes from the cross the grace of forgiveness of the sins of humanity. The Eucharist is a remedy, a medicine for our sinfulness. According to the council of Trent the Eucharist is a remedy by which we are freed from our daily sins and preserved from mortal sins. 130 The Eucharist is the foretaste of our heavenly banquet, which provides the believers the hope and confidence in the life after death. The sacrifice of Christ sanctifies our physical defects, shortcomings and failures and leads us to an intimate communion with the Lord.

Theological -Historical Commission for the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, Op.Cit., 109. L. Alonso Schokel, Op.Cit., 140 130 Joseph A. Komonchak and others, eds., Op.Cit., 355.
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CONCLUSION The incarnation is the most valuable gift of God to humanity and because of this divine intervention of God in the human history, God became Immanuel, God with us. This full awareness of God with us is actualised and manifested in the institution of the Holy Eucharist. The sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is an expression and intense desire of God to be with his people in and through the person of Jesus Christ. So the Eucharist is the New Covenant of mutual love, fidelity, and compassion between God and his people. The Eucharist is a communion, a fellowship of love, and unity after the model of Christs communion with the Father and the Holy Sprit. Vatican II brings forward the idea that Church is a communion of communions. The people of God when they celebrate the Eucharist, they are invited to experience the Church as a communion When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the memorial of her Lords death and resurrection, this central event of salvation becomes really present and the work of our redemption is carried out (LG. 3). The Eucharist is the eternal sacrifice of God to the Father for the sanctification of humanity from their sins. In this sacrifice Jesus is the victim, the offerer and the altar. So the Holy Eucharist gives us not only grace but also the Author of all Grace, Jesus Christ. In this sense we can say that the Eucharist is the Sacrament of Sacraments. It is the centre of the Churchs life. Therefore the Eucharistic action becomes the centre of the Christian life, the experience of the presence of the Risen Christ in the midst of his people. The Council teaches that the Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian Spirituality. It would mean that the Christian life originates, grows and flourishes by receiving the strength and energy from the Eucharist. The Eucharist leads the people to a communion of love and life. The believers in the depth of their hearts experience the communion when they participate in the

Holy Eucharist. The Eucharistic communion receives its basis from the communion of the Holy Trinity, a communion of three persons, and the Church, a communion of communities. If the Eucharist is the centre and summit of Churchs life it is very much the centre and summit of priestly ministry, because the priest offers every day the sacrifice of Christ to God so that the whole world may be sanctified and strengthened by the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist is the companion of every priest because the priest encounters Christ in the Eucharist and his life will be guided by the principles and teachings of Jesus and above all he will be inspired by the Eucharistic Lord. In short, our Christian life is meaningful only when we are in communion with the Eucharistic Lord.

BIBLIOGRAPHY BOOKS Arubyil, Joseph. Bread. Kottayam: Life Orientation Centre, 1990.
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Bermejo, Luis M. Church Conciliarity And Communion. Anand: Gujrat Sahitya Prakash, 1990. Coelho, Blaise. The Eucharist: Training To Love. Indore: Sat Prachar Press, 2000. Cooke, Bernard. The Future Of Eucharist. New York: Paulist Press, 1997. De Lima, Gilbert. Evangelization In India Through Basic Communities. Bombay: St. Paul Publications, 1996. Dobson, Theodore E. How The Eucharist Can Transform Your Life. Bombay: St. Paul Publications, 1995. Falardeau, Ernest. One Bread And Cup Source Of Communion. Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1990. Flannery, Austin ed. Vatican II: Sacrosanctum Concilium. Bombay: St. Pauls Publication, 1975. Flannery, Austin ed. Vatican II: Publications, 1975. Lumen Gentium. Bombay: St. Paul

Walsh, Liam.G. The Sacrament Of Initiation. London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1988. Hring, Bernard. The Eucharist And Our Daily Life. Britain: St. Paul Publications, 1978. Kaitholil, George. Light And Life From The Eucharist. Bombay: St. Paul Publications, 1985. Knet, John and Robert Murray eds. Church Membership And Intercommunion. New Jersey: Dimension Books, 1973. Komonchak, Joseph A. ed., The New Dictionary of Theology. Bangalore: T.P.I., 1999. s.v. Eucharist by Raymond Moloney. Lyonnet, Stanislaus. Eucharist The Paschal Mystery And The New Covenant. Bangalore :Theological Publications in India, 1985. Nicholas, Vincent. Promise Of Future Glory. Wiltshire: Darton,Longman and Todd Ltd.,1997. Nubiola, Ramon. Union With God Through The Eucharist. Anand: Gujrat Sahitya Prakash, 1987.

OConnor, James T. The Hidden Manna. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988. Parker, Machael L. Gaudoin ed. The Real Presence Through The Ages. New York: Alba - House, 1998. Paul II, John. Apostolic Letter On The Mystery And Worship Of The Holy Eucharist. 1980. President of the Concilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy, Instruction on the Worship of Eucharistic Mystery New Delhi: St.Paul Publications, 1967. Rahner, Karl. Church And The Sacraments. London: Burns & Oates, 1978. Rebeiro, Manuel. The Church As The Community Of The Believers Vol. I. New Delhi: Inter Cultural Publications, 1998. Sandanam, John Peter. Do This In Remembrance of Me. Bangalore: St. Peters Pontifical Institute Publications 2002. Schoel, L. Alonso. Celebrating The Eucharist. England: St. Pauls Publications, 1986. Stevenson, Kenneth. Accept This Offering. Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1989. Suttner, Ernst C. Church Unity, Union Or Uniatism? Bangalore: Dharmaram Publications, 1991. Theological Historical Commission for Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 The Eucharist, Gift of Divine Life, Trans. Robert R. Barr. Bombay: Pauline Publications, 1999.

JOURNALS D Lima, Errol. Ecumenical Convergence on Doctrine and Theology of the Eucharist Jeevadhara (July1999): 273-283. Gaudion Parkar, Michael. Living the Eucharist Today, Priest and People (Jan.1990): 8-14. Kirchschlager, Walter. "Eucharist as Community Celebration", Theology Digest, (Mar.1993): 229-234.
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Neuner, J. Listen to the Spirit, Vidyajyoti (Oct.1998): 770-773. Sheth, Noel. Hindu Parallels to Eucharist, Vidyajyoti (Oct.1998): 753-768. Yule, Valerie. "Eucharist as Sacrament of the Mission of the Church, Priest and People (Feb. 1990): 44-53.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS............................................................................................................1 INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................2 CHAPTER 1.....................................................................................................................................4 GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE EUCHARIST...........................................................4 1.1. ETYMOLOGY.................................................................................................................... 4 1.2. DEFINITION OF EUCHARIST........................................................................................... 5 1.3. THE SCRIPTURAL BASIS................................................................................................. 5 1.4. VATICAN II........................................................................................................................ 6 1.5. EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION AND CHURCH.................................................................7 CHAPTER 2..................................................................................................................................10 COMMUNION AND MYSTERY................................................................................................10 2.1. EUCHARIST AND MYSTERY.........................................................................................10 2.2. COMMUNION AND HIDDEN MANNA...........................................................................11 2.3. THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST IN THE EUCHARIST........................................................12 2.4. EUCHARIST IS A CALL TO COMMUNION...................................................................14 2.5. EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION AS A POWER OF LOVE................................................15 2.6. EUCHARISTIC, A COMMUNION WITHIN THE CHURCH............................................17 2.7. EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION AND SACRIFICE...........................................................18 CHAPTER III.................................................................................................................................20 THE FULLNESS OF EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION............................................................20 3.1 COMMUNION, A SHARING OF LOVE............................................................................20 3.2 EUCHARIST, UNION WITH CHRIST AND FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHERS...................22 3.3 EUCHARIST AS COMMUNION OF HOSPITALITY........................................................23 3.4 EUCHARIST AS A COMMUNION MEAL........................................................................25 3.4.1 COMMUNION IN FAITH..................................................................................................26 3.4.2. COMMUNION IN TRUST...............................................................................................27 3.5 EUCHARIST AS A COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY TRINITY.....................................28 3.5.1 COMMUNION WITH THE FATHER................................................................................29 3.5.2 COMMUNION WITH THE SON.......................................................................................29 3.5.3. COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT......................................................................31 3.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF EUCHARIST IN THE LIVES OF BELIEVERS.................................32 CONCLUSION...............................................................................................................................35 BIBLIOGRAPHY..........................................................................................................................36

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