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Chapter 33: Eucharistic Life as Fulfillment in the Lord Jesus


The sacrament of the Eucharist is the supreme integrating act of Christian life. Christian life is eucharistic life, lived in preparing the gifts to be offered at Mass and in fulfilling the commission to go forth and serve the Lord. The Mass is the summit, daily or weekly, of each Catholic’s life; everything else should prepare for it and follow from it (see S.t., 3, q. 65, a. 3).

In the Mass, one participates even now in Jesus’ glory. Likewise, by being integrated with the Mass, the rest of one’s life constitutes even now an imperfect but real beginning of heaven, an incipient sharing in the ultimate fulfillment of everything in the Lord Jesus.

Because of the relationship between morality and charity, the morally good human acts of a Christian’s life have meaning in many distinct ways beyond their basic human meaning and value. The supreme and integrating meaning of Christian life is, however, its character as eucharistic, as a gift offered to God in thanksgiving for everything he gives us.

By making present to us the sacrifice of Jesus and his whole glorified Reality, the Eucharist nourishes us to everlasting life and transforms our moral lives. Integrated into our Lord’s still-continuing human life, our lives are bound together in the fellowship of the Church and drawn within his fullness. In different ways, the Liturgy of the Hours and the sacrament of matrimony extend the Eucharist throughout daily life.