Passover

Matthew, Mark, and Luke agree Jesus ate the Passover with his disciples. They don’t talk of any unusual preparation. Luke specifies that it was on the day the lambs were sacrificed that Jesus told them to make the preparations for that evening’s meal.

I’m really puzzled by the pope’s decision to bring speculation into this evening’s homily (Full text at Rocco’s).

We are now able to say that John’s account of the passion is historically precise. Christ really did shed his blood on the eve of the Passover at the hour of the slaughter of the lambs. However he celebrated Passover with his disciples according to the Qumran calendar, therefore at least one day earlier – he celebrated it without lamb, as according to the traditions of the Qumran community, which did not recognise Herod’s temple and was waiting for a new temple. Christ therefore celebrated Passover without the lamb….

But I suppose that’s better than the version of Anne Catherine Emmerich, in which four lambs are eaten in the upper room, but he and his closest disciples eat one that he had Peter kill in the upper room, on the spot where she says the ark of the covenant once rested. It was “a beautiful little lamb, decorated with a crown.” And they ate it at a high table, “a foot higher than the knees of a man.” With ivory knives. Weird stuff.

One thought on “Passover

  1. Most interesting. . . .

    Benedict’s homily strikes me as being in direct response to this critique by Bishop Fellay in his 2001 letter to Pope John Paul II: “. . . the structure of the Eucharistic liturgy has been changed at its very foundations. In place of the sacrificial structure of the traditional missal oblation, consecration, consummation—the new missal has substituted the structure of the Jewish meal—berakah or blessing of the food, thanksgiving for gifts received, and the breaking and partaking, of bread.”

    Compare that to these words by Pope Benedict XVI in his homily’s conclusion: “The paschal haggadah, the commemoration of the saving act of God, has become a memorial of the cross and resurrection of Christ – a memory that doesn’t simply recall the past, but attracts us into the presence of the love of Christ. And so the berakha, the prayer of blessing and thanksgiving of Israel, has become our Eucharistic celebration, in which the Lord blesses our gifts – bread and wine – to give himself in them. Let us pray the Lord to help us understand always more profoundly this marvelous mystery, to love it more always and in this to love Himself more always.”

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