In our offering of the holy sacrifice we fulfill the command of our Savior, as recorded by the apostle Paul: The Lord Jesus, on the night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said: This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. The same way, after the supper, he took the cup saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
This sacrifice is offered, then, to proclaim the Lord’s death; it is offered in remembrance of him who laid down his life for our sake. As he says: Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends. Because Christ died for us out of love, we ask, when we make remembrance of his death at the time of sacrifice, that we too may be granted love through the coming of the Holy Spirit. We pray that by the love which Christ had for us when he braved the cross, we may receive the grace of the Spirit and be crucified to the world, and the world to us. The death Christ died, he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. Let us imitate our Lord’s death, and also live a new life. Strengthened with the gift of his love, let us die to sin and live for God.
For God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Indeed our sharing in the Lord’s body and blood when we eat his bread and drink his cup teaches us that we should die to the world, and that we should keep our life hidden with Christ in God, crucifying our flesh with its vices and evil desires.
That is why all the faithful who love God and their neighbor truly drink the cup of the Lord’s love even though they may not drink the cup of his bodily suffering. And becoming inebriated from it, they put to death whatever in their nature is rooted in earth. They clothe themselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not indulge fleshly desires. They do not fix their gaze on visible things, but contemplate things which the eye cannot see. Thus they drink the Lord’s cup by preserving the holy bond of love; without it, even if a man should deliver his body to be burned, he gains nothing. But the gift of love enables us to become in reality what we celebrate as mystery in the sacrifice.
We are made holy by our sharing in Christ’s body and blood
From a treatise against Fabianus by Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe, bishop
The Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. IV, Office of Readings
Monday of the 28th Week of Ordinary Time