The eucharistic celebration which ought to become the greatest inspiration for Christian life ends up often as a cultic observance, or at best as a devotional exercise. It does not become the source and the summit of the activity of the Christians and of the whole Church, as II Vatican Council envisaged it (SC 10). The reason is that not only the faithful but even most of the pastors and spiritual guides have not understood sufficiently well the meaning and the implications of the eucharistic celebration. Is the Eucharist really a sacrifice? What exactly is the sacrifice of Jesus and what is the sacrifice of the Church? How have the different Churches come to an agreement on the sacrifice of the Eucharist, after having been divided on the question for the last 300 years? What is the memorial (anamnesis) of the Last Supper of Jesus? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist? What is the justification of Eucharistic devotions outside the Mass? What is the relevance of the celebration of the Eucharist in the ecclesial, socio-economic, multi-cultural and multi-religious context of India? These are some of the questions which the author is trying to answer.
||Cyprian Illickamury, OFM Cap.