Catechesis on the Eucharist

From an article at the Vatican website on the Eucharist by Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Archbishop of Cape Coast:

. . .
The Evangelist John also makes it clear that the life, which Jesus offers to those who eat his flesh and drink his blood, is also (in fact) that of the Father who sent him. “Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me” (Jn.6:57). Thus the life which Jesus shares/offers to share with his followers, because they eat his flesh and drink his blood (in the Eucharist), is a life which he shares with his Father and by virtue of which he and the Father are one. Accordingly, it will be Jesus’ wish and prayer that sharing the life, which he shares with his Father, his followers may be one in him and in his Father, just as he and his Father are one (cfr. Jn. 17:11… “so that they may be one as we are one”; and Jn. 17:21 ….“As you, Father are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,…”).

The Eucharist, then, in response to and in fulfillment of the incarnation (God’s design in sending his Son) refers to the communion of life between the Father and the Son and seeks to fashion the same between the followers of Jesus and God (the Father and the Son), and between the followers themselves. Indeed, it is the desire of Jesus that such communion, such a fellowship of life, would be shared in also by “those who are not of his sheepfold” (Jn. 10:16), but who will come to believe through the ministry of the Word of the apostles (Jn. 17:20f.; 20:31; 1Jn. 1:3). In the latter case, the institution of such a life of communion becomes a task for the followers of Jesus. It will constitute their mission and the scope of their apostolic ministry (cfr. Jn. 20:31; 1Jn. 1:3). . . .

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