From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) Jesus shares his Last Supper with his disciples.
Summary: This passage from Saint Mark’s Gospel recalls the Passover meal, which is observed in honor of the Passover event of the nation of Israel as they readied themselves to break away from slavery in Egypt. This Passover meal becomes the foundation for a new covenant that celebrates a freedom from a different slavery, the slavery of sin and death. Here, the blood of the covenant is established and will be shed and offered the following day on the cross of Good Friday.
Scripture: 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.”
In today’s Scripture, Jesus and his disciples gathered together to celebrate the Festival of the Unleavened Bread. As they were eating, Jesus took some bread, blessed it, and broke it into pieces and gave it to his disciples. He said, “Take it and eat, for this is my body.”
Next, Jesus took a cup of wine and gave thanks. Then he said, “This is my blood of the covenant.” All of the disciples drank from the cup.
The Gospel for today reminds us that the Eucharist is a memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We believe that Jesus is truly present to us in the elements of bread and wine. Each time we celebrate the sacrament, we prepare for the Kingdom of God.
Father, we thank you for Jesus and for the salvation we have because of his death on the cross. As we partake of the bread and wine, help us to remember his sacrifice. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life. Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: What biblical characters, saints, or people you know inspire you to “become what you eat” and live the sacrificial love of Jesus?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
Horton Hatches the Egg
Written by Dr. Seuss
Family Discussion: In the beginning of today’s Gospel, Jesus instructs his disciples to make preparations for the Passover meal. Like most meals, the Passover meal required planning and preparation. Our celebration of the Sunday Eucharist also requires planning and preparation. Certainly the ministers at the Eucharist prepare for their roles: the person presiding prays and prepares the homily; the prayers of petition are written; the music ministers prayerfully select music and practice it before Mass; Eucharistic ministers, lectors and altar servers prepare carefully for their roles. As the worshiping assembly, we can also prepare for the Mass through our prayer during the week, by reading the Scripture before Mass, and by making ourselves present to the Eucharistic celebration.
As you gather as a family, talk about some of the things that are required to prepare for your family meals. Plan together a special Sunday meal by choosing the menu, preparing the shopping list, and assigning duties for cooking, setting the table, preparing decorations, leading the prayers, and cleaning. Read together today’s Gospel, Mark 14:12-16,22-26. Notice how Jesus instructed his disciples to prepare for their Passover meal. All meals require some kind of planning and preparation; so, too, our Sunday Eucharist requires planning. What might we do as a family to better prepare for our celebration of the Eucharist? Choose one or more ideas to begin to implement together as a family. Pray together that God will help your family make your celebration of the Eucharist the highlight of your week. Pray together the Lord’s Prayer.