Luke 22:19

And He took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me."

The Eucharist is a memorial.  The Church has always taught this for the very simple reason that Jesus taught it.  But that does not mean the Eucharist is only a memorial.  Indeed, the word to describe the sort of memorial it is is "anamnesis."  It doesn't speak merely of remembering something long ago as we might remember a fond Saturday afternoon in our childhood.  Rather, it means a "making present."  It is the difference between remembering our childhood and remembering where we are right now.  Precisely because the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ and not a mere symbol, we remember who Jesus is, what He has done and, most importantly, what He is doing right now in making Himself present in our midst.  Today thank God for the Real Presence of Jesus in His Church right now, when we need Him most.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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