1 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/05/2007
VATICAN
Pope: Christ is the true sacrificial lamb of the Last Supper
In the Cenacle, Passover was probably celebrated without the lamb, says Benedict XV, I indicating that the calendar of the Qumran points to the exact moment of Christ’s death. By laying down His life He gives true meaning to the ancient memorial of freedom from Egypt.

Rome (AsiaNews) – Jesus, probably “celebrated the Passover without the lamb” , in so far as the Last Supper may have taken place before the moment in which , according to Hebrew tradition the lambs were sacrificed,  and above all because He himself became the voluntary sacrificial victim, by offering His life as a gift for the salvation of mankind.

 

These reflections on the how and when the Last Supper took place, coupled with others on the meaning and value of the celebration, featured in the Pope’s celebration of the “In Coena Domini” Mass, which took place this evening in the basilica of St John Lateran, during which Benedict XVI carried out the rite of the washing of the feet.

 

Benedict XVI’s commemoration of Our Lord’s Last Supper, which opens the Easter Tridium, re-evoked the Jewish tradition of Passover, “a celebration of thanksgiving and at the same time of hope.  At the centre of the memorial feast, ordered according to strict liturgical rules, was the lamb as a symbol of liberation from the slavery of Egypt”.  

 

Yet still, “the nation suffered as a small population caught up in the tensions between great powers.  Their grateful memorial of God’s intervention on their behalf in the past, transformed itself into a pleading prayer and expression of hope; come and bring to an end what you have begun! Gift us ever lasting freedom.   The night before his passion Christ shared this feat of multiple meanings with his disciples.  In this context we must understand the new Easter, which he gifted to us in the Blessed Sacrament”.

 

The theologian Pope then recalled that “In the evangelist’s accounts of this event there seems to be a contradiction between the version as told by John and those of Mathew, Mark and Luke.  According to John, Christ died on the cross at the exact moment when in the temples nearby, the lambs were being slaughtered for the Pascal feast.  His death coincides with the sacrifice of the lambs.  That however means that he died on the eve of Passover and therefore could not personally celebrate the Pascal feast – this at least is what seems to be.  According to the other three evangelists Our Lord’s last supper was a traditional Pascal feast into which he inserted the novelty of the gift of His body and blood. Until very recently this contradiction seemed irresolvable.  Most of the exegetes were of the opinion that John did not want to give us the exact, historic date of Christ’s death, but had instead chose a symbolic date to highlight the one  profound truth: Jesus is the true Lamb of God who shed his blood for us”.

 

“In the meantime the discovery of the Qumran writings has led us to a possible and convincing solution that, while not accepted by all, possesses a great degree of probability.   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: no, - not without the lamb: in place of the lamb he gifted his body and blood. Thus He anticipated the death with his words: “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down on my own”.  At the very moment He gives his body and blood to the disciples, He really is bringing his words to be.  He himself offers His life.  Only in this way does the ancient Passover obtain true meaning”.

 

“Thus –concluded the Pope – at the very heart of Christ’s new Easter is the cross.  From the cross comes His gift to us. His body and His blood.  In the blessed Eucharist, we celebrate together with the Apostles, down through the centuries, our new Easter.  This gift comes from Christ’s cross”.

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/08/2009 VATICAN
Pope to travel to Abruzzi as soon as possible to meet quake victims
06/03/2010 VATICAN
Priests are “tied” to the Eucharist, Pope says
04/04/2007 VATICAN
Pope: in a world of inflated words, let us rediscover silence and meditation
04/09/2009 VATICAN
Pope: Priests of Christ, segregated from the world, open to everyone
by Benedetto XVI
04/21/2011 VATICAN
Even today, Satan is testing Christians before the world, Pope says

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.