Catechism of the Catholic Church

338 Part Two institution of the Eucharist: Christ calls himself the bread of life, come down from heaven. 165 1339 Jesus chose the time of Passover to fulfill what he had an- nounced at Capernaum: giving his disciples his Body and his Blood: Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the passover meal for us, that we may eat it. . . .” They went . . . and prepared the passover. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” . . . And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.” 166 1340 By celebrating the Last Supperwith his apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus’ passing over to his father by his death and Resurrec- tion, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the kingdom. “Do this in memory of me” 1341 The command of Jesus to repeat his actions andwords “until he comes” does not only ask us to remember Jesus and what he did. It is directed at the liturgical celebration, by the apostles and their successors, of the memorial of Christ, of his life, of his death, of his Resurrection, and of his intercession in the presence of the Father. 167 1342 From the beginning the Church has been faithful to the Lord’s command. Of the Church of Jerusalem it is written: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellow- ship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. . . . Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of foodwith glad and generous hearts. 168 1343 It was above all on “the first day of the week,” Sunday, the day of Jesus’ resurrection, that the Christians met “to break bread.” 169 From that time on down to our own day the celebration 165 Cf. Jn 6. 166 Lk 22:7-20; cf. Mt 26:17-29; Mk 14:12-25; 1 Cor 11:23-26. 167 Cf. 1 Cor 11:26. 168 Acts 2:42, 46. 169 Acts 20:7. 1169 1151 677 611 1363 2624 1166, 2177