The Eucharist is the heart and center of the sacramental life. The Second Vatican Council referred to it as the source and the summit of the whole Christian life. The Eucharist not only signifies but actually contains the body and blood of Christ. At the Eucharist we gather together around a common table and partake of the banquet that Christ has prepared for us—now and for all eternity.
The Eucharist also has a more universal meaning and significance. It is a reminder to everyone that we are one family under God and that our family solidarity is sustained and deepened by the ordinary things of life, especially through our eating together. We eat together not just for physical nourishment, but also to celebrate and strengthen the bonds of love and friendship that give our lives meaning, purpose, and direction.
Eucharist is one of the sacraments of initiation. “Christian initiation is accomplished by three sacraments together: Baptism which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation which is its strengthening; and the Eucharist which nourishes the disciple with Christ's Body and Blood for his transformation in Christ.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, article 1275)
“Receive what you are (Body of Christ)
Become what you receive (Body of Christ)”
- St. Augustine
For information on becoming a Catholic, see RCIA – the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.