More than half of current Catholics do not know the Church’s teaching on the “real presence of Christ” in the Eucharist. While it is a ineffable mystery, Vatican II called the Eucharist the “source and summit of the Christian life.” Delve into the mystery of Christ's presence in your life, and the centrality of the Eucharist as an important part of that presence.
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This fresh look at the Eucharist brings to light its reality as sacred meal, the sacrifice necessary for communion with God, and the Real Presence of Christ. This video-based study program can be experienced individually or in a group. Groups meet for six 90-minute sessions to explore the Eucharist as sacred meal, which is foreshadowed in many parts of the Old Testament, the once-and-for-all sacrifice that reunited humanity with God, and the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, present through transubstantiation.
Each session includes video viewing and small group discussion of the Study Guide questions. Participants read the commentary in the Study Guide and prepare the questions before the small group discussion. Each section provides “Questions for Understanding" based on the video presentation and references from Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, plus the “Questions for Application" that help you reflect on how the material is relevant to your own life and experience.
This preparation can be done either before or after they view the video, as the Commentary in each lesson is very detailed. The Study Guide Commentary was written by Bishop Barron and two Word on Fire staff members, who also hold Masters of Theology degrees, Rozann Lee and Robert Mixa.
The Leader’s Kit provides essential resources for lay discussion leaders, including the DVD, study guide, facilitator guide, answer key, and Bishop Barron’s book, The Eucharist.
Leaders can also register for a free training webinar which teaches the best ways to run an effective Eucharist study group.
- Lesson 1
- Lesson 2
- Lesson 3
- Lesson 4
Introduction: A Deeper Look at the Eucharist
The Eucharist is not a luxury, but a necessity. For without it, in the spiritual sense, we would starve to death. It is both the fountain from which the life of Christ flows and the goal toward which it ends. It is the alpha and the omega of Christian discipleship. It is the energy without which authentic Christianity runs down.
Lesson I: Sacred Meal
The Sacrum Convivium, or Sacred Banquet, is continually presented and represented throughout the Old and New Testaments. Sacred banquets occur in the story of the Garden of Eden, on God’s holy mountain Zion, in the miraculous meal of loaves and fishes that Jesus provided, and at the Last Supper, where the Eucharist was instituted.
Lesson II: Sacrifice
“In a world gone wrong, there is no communion without sacrifice,” says Bishop Barron in the video. Sacrifice is essential to understanding salvation history as a divine rescue mission that returns humanity to the fellowship Adam and Eve had with God prior to the Fall. God sets himself the task of saving his compromised creation through the formation of a people, Israel, who would walk in his ways and be a light to all the nations.
Lesson III: Real Presence, Part I
The Logos (Word of God) is manifested within all creation in differing degrees but is present to the fullest degree in the Incarnation of the Word made flesh. Jesus Christ is the fullest revelation of God that we can encounter on earth. Christ, the Divine Logos, instituted all the sacraments as the privileged bearers of his presence. However, the Eucharist bears Christ’s presence to the fullest degree.
Lesson IV: Real Presence, Part II
The Church professes in faith that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is a real presence. This means that the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord, the whole Christ, is truly, really, and substantially contained in the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist. The presence of Christ is real, but it is not empirically verifiable. We accept it through the eyes of faith, but use our reason to better understand this truth.