Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery 337 The “cup of blessing” 157 at the end of the Jewish Passover meal adds to the festive joy of wine an eschatological dimension: the messianic expectation of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. When Jesus instituted the Eucharist, he gave a new and definitive meaning to the blessing of the bread and the cup. 1335 The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves, when the Lord says the blessing, breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist. 158 The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus’ glorifica- tion. It makes manifest the fulfillment of the wedding feast in the Father’s kingdom, where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ. 159 1336 The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disci- ples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them: “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 160 The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division. “Will you also go away?”: 161 the Lord’s question echoes through the ages, as a loving invitation to discover that only he has “the words of eternal life” 162 and that to receive in faith the gift of his Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself. The institution of the Eucharist 1337 The Lord, having loved those who were his own, loved them to the end. Knowing that the hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father, in the course of a meal he washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love. 163 In order to leave them a pledge of this love, in order never to depart from his own and to make them sharers in his Passover, he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and Resurrection, and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return; “thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament.” 164 1338 The three synoptic Gospels and St. Paul have handed on to us the account of the institution of the Eucharist; St. John, for his part, reports the words of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum that prepare for the 157 1 Cor 10:16. 158 Cf. Mt 14:13-21; 15:32-39. 159 Cf. Jn 2:11; Mk 14:25. 160 Jn 6:60. 161 Jn 6:67. 162 Jn 6:68. 163 Cf. Jn 13:1-17; 34-35. 164 Council of Trent (1562): DS 1740. 1151 1327 610 611