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Reading Reflections: FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI: GOSPEL REFLECTIONS B


On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, "Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?"

The Passover was the most sacred event in the life of the Chosen people, since it marked the deliverance of God’s people from their bondage in Egypt. But it was a past event that was celebrated each year. For the covenanted Israelites the Passover Meal was a way of making present what God had and was doing in their lives this year. Though the Passover lamb was sacrificed at the temple, each family was to eat the traditional Passover meal at home as a renewal of their covenant with God. 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." How did Jesus know? This is another example of the exercise of the gift of Word of Knowledge by Jesus in his humanity. Recall the time that Jesus told Peter to go fishing and the first fish he caught he would find in its mouth the coin sufficient to pay the temple tax. Or the time Jesus told the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well that she had been married five times and the man she was living with was not her husband. This same gift has been given to each of us. We need to be open and act on the lead of the Holy Spirit

 
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, and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body."

 
In recalling this event the Gospel writer is also alluding to the feeding of the crowd through the multiplication of bread. There Jesus did the same gestures: took, blessed, broke and gave it.
In the midst of the traditional Passover Meal Jesus establishes the new covenant. He fulfills the promise he made in John 6. That promise was to give his Body to us for food and his Blood for drink.
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.

In the Old Testament, the various covenants that God made with his people were sealed by the sign of blood. The night of the first Passover, the people took the blood of the slain lamb and smeared it on their doorposts. As a result the angel of death passed over their homes and spared the first-born within.
Jesus is anticipating his sacrifice on the cross the next day in which he will shed his blood for the salvation of the world. He is the new Passover Lamb who gave his life that we may have life to the fullest.
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."

Recall that Jesus refused to drink the wine on the soaked hyssop when it was offered to him on the cross.
Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives
With what attitude do we approach the Eucharist?
Do I recognize in faith that in our celebrating the Eucharist we too are making present today what Jesus did at the Last Supper and on Calvary? Is there a sense of awe and wonder or a sense of déjà vu?

What is God asking us to do this week to respond to this gift of His Body and Blood?

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