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Is it true that Christ’s presence in the Eucharist is equal to his presence in the Word and the assembly?

Question:

My pastor says that after Vatican II we now believe that Christ’s presence in the Eucharist is equal to his presence in the Word, in the sacraments, and most of all in the assembly. Is this true?

Answer:

No, it is not true. While the Church acknowledges Christ’s presence through the Word, the sacraments, and the assembly, the Church emphasizes his presence in the Eucharist in “a way that surpasses all the others.” It is his presence in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which is, for this reason, “a more consoling source of devotion, a lovelier object of contemplation and holier in what it contains” than all the other sacraments because it contains Christ himself and it is “a kind of consummation of the spiritual life, and in a sense the goal of all the sacraments. This presence is called ‘real’ not to exclude the idea that the others are ‘real’ too, but rather to indicate presence par excellence, because it is substantial and through it Christ becomes present whole and entire, God and man” (Mysterium Fidei, 38, 39).

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