June 10, 2012: The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him. Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”‘ Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said,”Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Mark 14:12-16, 22-26)
This is one of the most powerful passages in all of scripture. What is described here is Jesus instituting the Eucharist, then giving it to his apostles. After they all drank from the cup he handed to them–telling them they would not see him again until after his death–they all went out to the Mount of Olives. Little did they know when they left that supper, that Jesus would be crucified the next day.
Quietly spend some minutes thanking Jesus for his life and his awful death on the cross. And then think about what you do and what you think about when you receive communion. Do you think about all the suffering of Jesus that followed the institution of the Eucharist? Do you thank Jesus for being willing to suffer for all of us? Just try to think about whether you really understand what Jesus went through to give us the Eucharist.