In this online course, we’ll contemplate the Eucharist—sometimes called (Holy) Communion—as a common and central practice throughout Christianity. In the Catholic Church, it is often described as the source and summit of our faith, and the ‘real presence’ of Christ in our midst. Throughout Sacred Scripture, there are many stories in which we find God making himself present in one way or another to his people. So also, we find many stories of God providing for his people, whether their needs are material (food, shelter) situational (protection from aggressors) or spiritual (forgiveness of sins). Why then did our Lord institute the Eucharist? Given the numerous ways He could provide, why does He do so in this manner? What does this gift give those who receive it that another gift does not, and how does it do so?
Although the story of Christ’s institution of the Eucharist takes place in the New Testament, we will find that the Old Testament already presents the Eucharist as a major theological theme long before Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks, and breaks it. In this course, our aim will be to investigate this theme and to search out answers to the questions above and others like them, by looking together at various passages in both the Old and New Testaments that fill up full the significance of the Eucharist as a mystery that is something, that performs something, and that establishes something in the world.
- Sacred Scripture, the Bible (preferably RSVCE 2nd edition)
- Instructor’s notes (provided and included in the registration cost)
Classroom Location & Directions