While they were celebrating the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread with Jesus, one of his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
Jesus called two of his friends over 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 there.”
The two men immediately left for the city, and everything happened exactly as Jesus said it would. When they returned and told Jesus, he told his disciples to come with him, and they went to the room that had been prepared for them.
Later that night, when Jesus was dining with his disciples, he said something that shocked them. “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” His friends all shook their heads and denied that they would do such a thing. But they knew that Jesus would not have said such a thing if it were not true, and they wondered which of them was the one Jesus referred to. Jesus continued, “One of the Twelve, the one who dips with me into the dish. For the Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Jesus took the bread, blessed it, gave it to his friends and said, “Take it; this is my body.” He took the cup, gave thanks, gave that to them as well, and said, “This is the blood of my 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.” Then Jesus and his disciples sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. What Holy Day did Jesus want to prepare for?
2. What did Jesus say about the bread he broke?
A number of feasts were established to celebrate special events or miracles that God had performed for the early Hebrew people. The rituals that govern some of these feasts can be found in the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Old Testament.
Jesus and his disciples were celebrating the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Unleavened bread, which the Jewish people call matzah, is bread made without yeast. This seven-day festival signaled the time to harvest the grain. The connection between this feast and Passover is explained in Exodus 12. Passover refers to the angel of the Lord passing over Egypt to destroy the first born of the household unless the angel saw the doorframes marked with blood. The disciples asked Jesus about their own preparation for the Passover celebration in today’s story.
Gregory Barbarigo (1625-1697) wasborn in Venice, Italy, into a family thatvalued education in religion, moralityand politics. When Gregory was 7years old, his mother died, but he re-mained close to his father for the restof his life. At the age of 18, he traveled withthe ambassador of Venice to negotiatethe Treaty of Westphalia. Gregorystudied astronomy and law, but alsowas very interested in religion andtheology. He was ordained a priest in1655 in Padua, but moved to Rome,where one of his friends now gov-erned the church as Pope AlexanderVII. He became a bishop in 1657.During the time of the plague, hehelped with relief work. Later he triedto reform his diocese in the spirit of theCouncil of Trent. He rose to the level ofcardinal. We honor him on June 18.