Today we finally get to chapter 2 of Sacrosanctum Concilium, entitled, “THE MOST SACRED MYSTERY OF THE EUCHARIST.” After a lot of general talk on liturgy, we get to the core of Catholic worship:
At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity (Cf. St. Augustine, Tractatus in Ioannem, VI, n. 13.), a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us (Roman Breviary, feast of Corpus Christi, Second Vespers, antiphon to the Magnificat.).
This first section answers why Jesus instituted the Eucharist. It also tells what the Eucharist is: sacrament, sign, bond, meal, source of grace, and pledge. Yes, sacrifice, is mentioned first here, and the word is used twice. But the Eucharist is so much more than what can be boiled down to a beer commercial kind of argument: “Sacrifice, meal, sacrifice, meal, sacrifice, meal …” Enough already. The Eucharist is all these things and more.