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Catechism of the Catholic Church
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1402 In an ancient prayer the Church acclaims the mystery of the Eucharist: "O sacred banquet in which Christ is received as food, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the soul is filled with grace and a pledge of the life to come is given to us." If the Eucharist is the memorial of the Passover of the Lord Jesus, if by our communion at the altar we are filled "with every heavenly blessing and grace,"239 then the Eucharist is also an anticipation of the heavenly glory.
1403 At the Last Supper the Lord himself directed his disciples' attention toward the fulfillment of the Passover in the kingdom of God: "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."240 Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist she remembers this promise and turns her gaze "to him who is to come." In her prayer she calls for his coming: "Marana tha!" "Come, Lord Jesus!"241 "May your grace come and this world pass away!"242
1404 The Church knows that the Lord comes even now in his Eucharist and that he is there in our midst. However, his presence is veiled. Therefore we celebrate the Eucharist "awaiting the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ,"243 asking "to share in your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day we shall see you, our God, as you are. We shall become like you and praise you for ever through Christ our Lord."244
1405 There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth "in which righteousness dwells,"245 than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, "the work of our redemption is carried on" and we "break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ."246
239 Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 96: Supplices te rogamus.
240 Mt 26:29; cf. Lk 22:18; Mk 14 25.
241 Rev 1:4; 22 20; 1 Cor 16 22.
242 Didache 10, 6: SCh 248,180.
243 Roman Missal 126, embolism after the Our Father: expectantes beatam
spem et adventum Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi; cf. Titus 2:13.
244 EP III 116: prayer for the dead.
245 2 Pet 3:13.
246 LG 3; St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20, 2: SCh 10, 76.
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