15. THE CHURCH (THE FULLNESS OF TIME)

After the resurrection of Jesus that defeats the power of death and Hell, Jesus appears for forty days to his followers. St. Paul tells us that in that time, Jesus appeared to more than five hundred men, revealing the glory of the resurrection. After all of these appearances Jesus gave his disciples final instructions to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19) before He ascended into heaven to intercede for all who enter into His sacrifice. Ten days later, Jesus and the Father sent the Holy Spirit upon His disciples at Pentecost, and the Church began its mission of bringing Jesus to the nations. 

After the resurrection, the Eucharistic meal takes primacy both during the time of Jesus’ appearances and after His ascension into heaven. This is because it is the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus, that builds up the community or assembly of His followers. It becomes their common meal of grace, and it joins them to the head of the Body of Christ who is in heaven offering the same sacrificial meal of His Body and Blood to His Father in heaven. 

In nearly every appearance of Jesus after His resurrection, He shares a meal with His disciples that involves bread on a Sunday. One particular apparition in which two disciples were on their way to Emmaus, we find the foundational formula for the mass. On the journey, unrecognized Jesus explains the scriptures to the disciples leading to a meal of bread that enables them to recognize Jesus when He breaks the Eucharistic bread and then disappears. 
At Pentecost, the Apostles proclaimed Jesus fearlessly, converting many. From that time on, they devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers (Acts 2:42). The first Christians were devoted to the Eucharist, and in the Eucharist they became an ‘assembly’ or a ‘church’. The Church was one and was sent out to all nations to sanctify the world while being led by the Apostles and sanctified by the sacraments. Since that first Easter Sunday, The Church has not failed to celebrate the Eucharist in common. This will continue until Jesus comes again in all of His glory, for as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes (1 Cor 11:26).

Originally published in Prime Soil Magazine | Vol. 1 No. 2

Originally presented at The 10th National Eucharistic Congress in July 2024

THE EUCHARISTIC TIMELINE

THE EUCHARISTIC TIMELINE

At the National Eucharistic Congress, Decided Excellence Catholic Media - with the help of Bishop William Waltersheid - will be presenting "Beautiful Revelation: The Eucharistic Timeline". Throughout human history, God has left repeated proof of His presence in the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Salvation. God has given us the wisdom. Have you taken the time to understand? Read this spiritual journey through time to examine critical moments that God uses to reveal the truth of the Body of Christ.

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