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Eucharist – ‘the meal of sacrificial love’

Australian Jesuit Richard Leonard continues his podcast series on the sacraments with a focus this week on the Eucharist. Speaking with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications, he sings a song that highlights an essential element of the sacrament and takes a closer look at the meal with Jesus and the apostles. He draws from his latest book, Hatch, Match & Dispatch: A Catholic Guide to Sacraments, with Paulist Press.

Fr Leonard begins by explaining the three words used for the Eucharist and pays particular attention to the missionary element of Mass. He points out how the Church returned to the sources during Vatican II with reference to “the meal of [Jesus’] sacrificial love”. He hopes that we might reproduce this love in our own lives.

He sees an African-American song as the “linchpin” for the Eucharist with the lyrics “Let us love one another on our knees”. The life and teaching of Pope Francis is presented as congruent with these lyrics. He also agrees with Pat Coyle about the vital role of the community during the sacrament. As a priest, he says it is an “enormous honour” being with people at crucial moments and that he is there “as a message of hope”.

Listen to the podcast interview above ».