September 1, 2017

St. Irenaeus on the Redemption of Man Through Christ

The Last Supper
If our flesh is not saved, then the Lord has not redeemed us with his blood; the Eucharistic chalice does not make us sharers in his blood; and the bread we break does not make us sharers in his body.
— St. Irenaeus

"Do This in Memory of Me"

The memorial Jesus left us is unique, because it doesn’t point only to the past. It is much more than a reminder. In it we believe that he is actually present among us. We believe that he gives himself to us, truly, as food and drink. As St. Paul reminds us, “The cup of blessing that we bless is a participation in the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a participation in the body of Christ.” In the Eucharist, however, the concept of “memorial” is turned upside down. Listen again to Jesus’ words: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.” Instead of just keeping someone’s memory alive, this memorial actually gives life — and eternal life, at that — to those who engage in the act of remembering.

Prayer in Honor of the Body and Blood of Christ 

Almighty God, who in this wonderful Sacrament has left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption. Who reign with the Father, and with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen.

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