THE PRESENCES OF CHRIST
Assembly, Minister, Word and Sacrament
During the celebration of the Eucharist, Jesus is present in several important ways. He is present in:
Christ is present in the person of the priest who leads the celebration of Mass, who proclaims the Gospel, preaches and during the Eucharistic Prayer offers praise and thanks to God and does what Jesus did at the last supper. Through the Holy Spirit he brings about the presence of Christ in the elements of bread and wine.
Christ is present in the readings from Scripture proclaimed at Mass. When the Scripture is proclaimed at Mass it is the Lord who speaks to us through those words. The gospel especially is received with special ceremony. All stand and sometimes the presence of Christ in his word is honoured with candles or incense.
The Assembled People
Christ is present in the group of people who gather to offer the Mass. Not only did Jesus promise to be with his followers whenever they gathered in his name, but the people who gather at Mass are members of the Church, the Body of Christ, his continuing presence in the world.
The Bread and Wine
Christ is present in the elements of bread and wine which become his body and blood. This is the most intense mode of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. When we eat this Bread and drink from the Cup we enter into communion with his Body and Blood. We share the very life of Jesus himself and open ourselves to living and loving as he did.
For Reflection and Discussion
Have students discuss the difference between the words ‘presence’ and ‘Presence’.
Why did Jesus choose to remain with us in the Eucharist using the symbols of bread and wine?
Jesus chose bread, wine, and a meal as the means of giving himself to us. Why is a meal a perfect gift from Jesus to us?
When you visit your church or chapel do you remember that Christ is present in the tabernacle? When have you felt close to Jesus when you visited a Church?