On-Going Instruction in the Principles of Christianity
2020 Jubilee 2021
YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST - 8/23
("MYSTERY OF FAITH",
ENCYCLICAL LETTER OF
POPE PAUL VI)
For the inspiration and consolation of all, We wish to review with you, venerable brothers, the doctrine which the Catholic Church has always transmitted and unanimously teaches concerning the Mystery of the Eucharist.
We desire to recall at the very outset what may be termed the very essence of the dogma, namely, that by means of the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrifice of the Cross, which was once offered on Calvary, is remarkably re-enacted and constantly recalled, and its saving power exerted for the forgiveness of those sins which we daily commit.
Just as Moses with the blood of calves had sanctified the Old Testament, so also Christ Our Lord, through the institution of the Mystery of the Eucharist, with His own Blood sanctified the New Testament, whose Mediator He is. For, as the Evangelists narrate, at the Last Supper “He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them, saying: ‘This is My Body, given for you: do this for a commemoration of Me.’ And so with the cup, when supper was ended. This cup, He said, is the New Testament in My Blood which is to be shed for you.” And by bidding the Apostles to do this in memory of Him, He made clear His will that the same sacrifice be forever repeated.
This intention of Christ was faithfully executed by the primitive Church through her adherence to the teaching of thwith the cup, when supper was ended. This cup, He said, is the New Testament in My Blood which is to be shed for you.” And by bidding the Apostles to do this in memory of Him, He made clear His will that the same sacrifice be forever repeated. e Apostles and through her gatherings summoned to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice. As St. Luke carefully testifies, “These occupied themselves continually with the Apostles’ teaching, their fellowship in the breaking of bread, and the fixed times of prayer.” From this practice, the faithful used to derive such spiritual strength that it was said of them that “there was one hear and soul in all the company of believers.”
Moreover, the Apostle Paul, who has faithfully transmitted to us what he had received from the Lord, is clearly speaking of the Eucharistic Sacrifice when he points out that Christians, precisely because they have been made partakers at the table of the Lord, ought not to take part in pagan sacrifices.