A Catholic friend of mine is telling me that in the Eucharist, and in other ways and times, Jesus is not simply re-presenting Himself as the One who suffered once for sin, but is again and constantly suffering the same as He did at His crucifixion. I say that this is contrary to Catholic dogma. Is Jesus HIMSELF still being beaten and lashed, etc. in the Eucharist and elsewhere? I say His suffering, like the Father’s and the Spirit’s, is that of grief and sorrow.
Jesus does not suffer again in the Eucharist. Rather, the one suffering and sacrifice of Christ is made present in our midst through the Eucharist.
This is rooted in the Jewish concept of remembrance. It is much more than a simple calling to mind of an event. It is an action by which the present is truly brought into contact with the past. At Passover the Jewish people do not simply say that “Once our ancestors were once slaves in Egypt.” They say: “Once **we **were slaves in Egypt.” The Passover ritual requires the participants to remember the events as if they are a part of the events. There is a belief that through the ritual they are spiritually connected to the very events being remembered and that they are not simply reminding themselves of a past event.
In the Eucharist this is taken a step further, much like when the “good thief” on the cross asked Jesus to remember him in His kingdom, he did not mean for Jesus to simply call him to mind but to truly bring him with Him. We believe that when we “do this in remembrance” of Jesus that His one sacrifice is (through the mystery of faith) made present in our midst. It is not happening again, it is the very one and the same suffering and sacrifice of the original Good Friday.