Gospel Mark 14:12-26
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.
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.
+ Prayer: Dear Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, I adore and love you, and ardently desire to receive you Sacramentally, but since this is not possible, I beg of you, to come spiritually into my soul. Amen.
Did you ever wonder why our Lord gave such specific 'directions' to his disciples as to where to go and what to look for, in finding a place to celebrate the Passover? Could it be his manner of gently educating the disciples (and us) to take him at his Word? That what He says IS? That He, the Truth, can only speak Truth and so, what He says, holds true, it effects precisely what he says? Why would this be so important before instituting the Eucharist?
When Jesus says "Take it, this is my Body", what can we be positively sure of? You and I are receiving God's very body-mystery of faith! It is not a symbol of his body, he didn't say that. He said "this is my body." The word "Take" perhaps is also important to ponder, it implies an 'action' a responsibility to do something here and that responsibility is to 'take." I must reach, and grasp WHO is being offered to me-Jesus. I must choose to take him into my soul, he will not force His presence. The image that rises in my mind of 'taking' is the image of a little child. If you sit close to a little one in a high chair, they are usually reaching and trying to grasp and take everything within sight and reach of them, and usually their hands are messy from taking other things and squishing them and throwing them. A little child also usually puts everything they take into their mouth. What can we learn from a child here about taking? I think one thing that comes to mind in a positive way, would be to never cease taking Him into our souls until our heart is full of Him and we hunger no more. Will that day ever come to light? Yes that day is called our arrival home into Heaven, where we shall hunger and thirst no more. Until Heaven, we must reach for Him and take him into our souls. Last point; "He took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to them." What can we learn from Jesus here? In the next paragraph or two, further along in this passage, our Lord asks the Father, if the chalice may pass, only if it is His will. Suffering, was part of our Lord's life and so it will be apart of our lives. It takes on the shape in this Gospel passage, of a cup- a chalice, a chalice of suffering. Jesus "took it" (the cup). Out of love for us He took suffering and he gave thanks. What can we learn from Jesus about accepting with faith and enduring out of love, the suffering that comes to us in life?"We encounter the infinity of God only in the present moment. The more consciously I live and the more concentrated I am in the moment, the more I am one with God's will. It is in the very smallest things that I meet the very greatest." (Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen; Into Your Hands Father- Ignatius press)