Holy Communion also known as “The Eucharist” means “Thanksgiving”
The Eucharist refers to Christ’s body, blood, soul, and divinity that are truly present in the consecrated host and wine (now called the Body and Blood of Christ) on the altar.
When the priest consecrates the bread and wine, its substance becomes the body and blood of Christ. This process is known as transubstantiation. Where it is not bread, or holy bread, or a cracker or biscuit; rather, it is truly and substantively Jesus Himself. It is at the Mass, through validly ordained bishops and priests, whereby the Eucharist is truly made present.
For us as Catholics, there is nothing greater than to receive Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist at Mass.
The Eucharist was instituted by Jesus Christ Himself on the night before He died during the Last Supper. Sharing a final meal of bread and wine with His disciples during the Passover meal. Jesus had instructed his followers that the bread was “my body” and the wine was “his blood.” He commanded his followers to eat these and “do this in memory of me.
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”(CCC 1324) It is in the Eucharist that we truly and substantially encounter Jesus this day. The reception of this Sacrament completes Christian initiation.