Christ and the Eucharist: Mk 14:12-26
While each celebration of the Eucharist is a memorial of Christ’s sacrifice, today, the Church draws attention to the connection between Christ’s sacrifice and the Eucharistic sacrifice.
Every time we celebrate the Eucharist, we remember the love of God for us manifested in the Passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
When Mark wrote his Gospel, the community was a mix of Jewish and Gentile members. Thus, the narrative includes some traditions of Jewish rituals and some Christian adaptation of the original Jewish rites. Examples of this are, “The Feast of the Unleavened Bread,” and the “Passover Lamb.” The words and actions of Jesus within the celebration of the Passover meal show the transition to a new covenant. This new covenant is the sacrifice of himself for love of humanity. His blood, shed for many, alludes to the ancient rite of Exodus 24:4-8** and points to the new community that will be born out of his sacrifice.
*“Moses…took half of the blood and put it in large bowls; the other half he splashed on the altar… Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you…” Today’s reading offers three significant messages:
- Christ is the Messianic King and Priest of the new covenant.
- Christians are called to live out the meaning of the Eucharist by serving Christ in those who hunger for food or for a dignified life.
- With the Great Amen at the Eucharist, Christians say YES to the entire Body of Christ. This includes Christ’s real presence in the sacrament, but also in all those around us. Through the Eucharist we become one with him and with one another.