The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1322
The word ‘eucharist’ comes from the Greek eucharistia meaning ‘thanksgiving’. This is the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, which we celebrate at holy Mass.
In the Eucharist, under the form of bread and wine consecrated by the words and action of the bishop or priest at Mass, Christ gives Himself to us, offering Himself for our salvation, to nourish and strengthen us in our Christian life.
St Justin (c.100-165 CE) taught: ‘Because this bread and wine have been made Eucharist, we call this food Eucharist and no one may take part in it unless they believe that what we teach is true, have received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and live in keeping with what Christ taught’ (Apology 1:66,1-2).
The following books may be of interest if you would like to learn more: