Bread is the one common food that transcends boundaries. Most cultures have their bread. It is the world’s life-giving food.
Jesus calls Himself “the Living Bread come down from heaven,” and says in Luke 4:4 “One does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”
The “bread” in our Sacrifice of the Mass is “the Bread of Angels.” The word Eucharist means “to give thanksgiving.” The sacrament of the Eucharist is the sacrifice of Calvary, the same sacrifice that Jesus offered on Mount Calvary. It is not another sacrifice. It is the original sacrifice. The Church finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament. It is the Sacraments of sacraments. It is not just a sign. It is the true presence of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. He instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of His death and resurrection. He fulfilled the Passover. It is not just a recollection, we are present at Calvary. The Paschal mystery is not repeated. It is present now. The Last Supper was the first Mass. The Eucharist is also a sacrifice. “This is My Body which is given for you.” He gives us the very body which was sacrificed on Calvary. The priest says Mass “in personae Christi.”
Just as bread can give us life-giving strength, the Eucharist can give us the spiritual life. Jesus is still alive and comes to us in the humble form of bread. This is the sacrifice of the New Covenant. This replaces the bullock, lamb or a pigeon in the Old Covenant. In the New Convenant, the Lamb offers up Himself.