CCC 58 The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of the Gentiles, until the universal proclamation of the Gospel.1 The Bible venerates several great figures among the Gentiles: Abel the just, the king-priest Melchisedek – a figure of Christ – and the upright “Noah, Daniel, and Job”.2 Scripture thus expresses the heights of sanctity that can be reached by those who live according to the covenant of Noah, waiting for Christ to “gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad”.3
CCC 343 Man is the summit of the Creator’s work, as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures.4
CCC 1333 At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ’s Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord’s command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: “He took bread. ..” “He took the cup filled with wine. ..” The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus in the Offertory we give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine,5 fruit of the “work of human hands,” but above all as “fruit of the earth” and “of the vine” – gifts of the Creator. The Church sees in the gesture of the king-priest Melchizedek, who “brought out bread and wine,” a prefiguring of her own offering.6
CCC 1544 Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the “one mediator between God and men.”7 The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, “priest of God Most High,” as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique “high priest after the order of Melchizedek”;8 “holy, blameless, unstained,”9 “by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified,”10 that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross.
1 Cf. Gen 9:16; Lk 21:24; DV 3.
2 Cf. Gen 14:18; Heb 7:3; Ezek 14:14.
3 Jn 11:52.
4 Cf. Gen 1-26.
5 Cf. Ps 104:13-15.
6 Gen 14:18; cf. Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 95.
7 2 Tim 2:5.
8 Heb 5:10; cf. 6:20; Gen 14:18.
9 Heb 7:26.
10 Heb 10:14.