The word Eucharist is a Greek word for thanksgiving also referred to as the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, it is recognized as a sacrament in many churches and is, therefore, a Christian rite. Being one of the major sacraments of the Church, it was first introduced by Jesus Christ during his Last meal most commonly referred to as the Last supper.
According to popular belief, our bodies require drink and food for physical growth and nurture, so for growth and nurture of our souls, they also require the ‘soul’ food. Being aware of his impending death on a cross, Jesus shared a parting meal with his adored companions after he sensed this yawning need of the human soul.
During this sacred meal, Jesus took ordinary wine and table bread, begged God to bless it, paid his gratitude to Him and distributed it among his disciples. The distribution took place whilst he spoke some eternal and astounding words: “This bread is my body. This wine is my blood. Every time you eat this bread and drink this wine in my name, I will be present to you.” Whereby he referred to the wine as his blood and the bread as his body. And it is this Eucharistic celebration that the Christian celebrate to commemorate Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross.
Why was Holy Communion introduced by Jesus? Other than remembering Jesus, it is a wonderful experience that should be and can be repeated as he discloses his grace and beauty, revelation by revelation, layer by layer. Being close to what Jesus referred to as a conduit that rewarded his followers with his presence, Holy Eucharist is a bodily declaration of Jesus Christ for the believers. During the Holy Communion, we not only consume wine and bread but also physically take on the presence of Jesus and his essence. It is only the matter of being aware of the significance of the wine and the bread and it would not be long before we would be filled with Jesus’s very life.
The wine and bread are not just fair reminders of the Last supper of Christ but they are the actual blood and body of Jesus. Therefore Holy Eucharist is not a repeat of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross but a mere offering to the blood and body that was once offered by him to the cross. Receiving the Holy Communion, a Christian integrates the redeeming act performed by Jesus Christ on the cross. With the help of the Holy Eucharist, all the Christians stand together in the most intimate fashion. It not only nourishes their body and soul but also assists in the growing and strengthening of their spiritual life, reminding them of the necessity to access the Holy Communion with love, fear of God and faith.