“The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’...for in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ Himself” (CCC 1324).
The Catechism, citing Vatican II, highlights for us the Eucharist as the height of our lives. Both sources expound upon the fact that there is nothing greater in heaven and on earth, than to receive Him the King of Heaven and the Creator of earth. St. John Vianney relates this sentiment when he states:
“There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us.”
It is not: a representation, a symbol, a container, an emblem, a “sort of bread”, a “sort of body”, or anything in between. It is: Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity graciously and mercifully handed over for our salvation. A couple of weeks ago, we heard Jesus tell us in the Gospel (Jn 6:54): “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” And He doesn’t leave us hanging, but He follows up and says (Mt 26:26, 28): “this is My Body,” this is My Blood.” Then He distributed this Holy Communion to them. Following His blessed command, the Church continues to do this in memory of Him (cf. Lk 22:20), as taught to us by the Apostles and the successors of Peter. It is most serious upon us then to receive the Eucharist worthily at least once a year, especially at Easter. Worthily refers to the individual being freed and forgiven of any mortal sin, through the Sacrament of Confession. If you aren’t convinced of the status of your soul, go to confession and speak to your confessor. Likewise, do not present yourself for communion if you are not in a worthy state, for as St. Paul says “he is eating and drinking damnation to himself if he eats and drinks unworthily” (1 Cor 11:29). However, being in an unworthy state does not excuse from the obligation of attending Mass.