Meditations on the Institution of the Eucharist

Richard Salbato

Before Each Hail Mary

1. When King David ordered the Ark of the Covenant be brought into Jerusalem, it hit a rock and was about to fall over. Oza reached out his hand to stop the ark from falling to the ground and touched the ark. The indignation of the Lord struck him dead for violating His law that no one touch the ark.  This is the reason poles were used to carry the ark.  David was then afraid to bring the ark into Jerusalem and it was left in the house of Obededom.  But when David saw that the house of Obededom was blessed because of the ark, he ordered it taken into Jerusalem. The house of Obededom is the same house where the last supper was held.

2. And the day of the unleavened bread had come.  This was the day before the feast of the Passover.  Jesus sent Peter and John to go and prepare for the feast.  “As you go into the city you will see a man with a picture of water.  Follow him to his house and say to him: ‘The master needs a place to celebrate the Pasch.’  They did this and found a large upper room already made ready for the dinner.

3. When the hour had come for the feast, Christ and the twelve gathered around a “U” shaped dinning table in an open upper room.  Around the room at other tables were the women and disciples. Jesus said: “I have longed to have this meal with you.”  From the time of Adam and Eve, Christ had longed to have this meal with his chosen.

They ate according to the ritualistic custom set down by Moses. When the time came for the third cup of wine according to the tradition, Christ left the table and went to a cabinet recessed in the wall.  He pulled out a very beautiful Chalice that had been there from the time of Obededom and that had been removed from the Ark of the Covenant.  He set it before Him and filled it with wine.  He placed another Chalice before Him and filled it with bread.  He looked up to heaven and prayed.  Then He and the Apostles washed their hands in bowls of water and dried them with clean clothes as was the tradition. 

4. Now He took the Chalice of bread in His hands and held it up above His head.  “Take and eat, this is my body.”  Then taking the Chalice of wine by the two large handles, He held it over His head and said:  “Take and drink.  This is my blood of the new covenant which will be shed for many for the remission of sins.”  The covenant of promise was over and the new covenant of Christ had started but would only be completed on the cross.  For this reason Christ added:  “I say to you that I will not drink the fruit of the vine again until I drink it with you in my kingdom.”  According to Jewish tradition the feast of unleavened bread until the fourth cup of wine was consumed. 

5.  “One of you is about to betray Me and it would be better for him had he never been born.  Judas left the dining hall and went to see the high priests.  After he left Jesus said, “I give to you, as My Father has given to Me, a Kingdom.”

6. When the supper was over Jesus put off his ritualistic garments and became a servant and washed their feet. “If I, your master, wash your feet, you should also become the servant of all.” 

 7.  Philip said to Christ:  “Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us.”

“Have I been with you so long a time, and you do not know me?  Philip, he that sees Me, sees the Father.  How do you say: ‘Show us the Father?’ Do you not know that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?  The words I speak to you, I speak not by myself, but it is the Father who abides in me and even the works are His. Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me?”

8.  “Lord, why do you show yourself to us but not to the world.”

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My commandments, and My Father will love him, and We will make come to him, and make our abode with him.  He that loves me not, keeps not my words, and these words are not mine, but My Father’s.  The things I have spoken to you, will abide with you, because I will send the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, who the Father will send in my name, and he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I have said to you.”

9.  Then Jesus looked up to Heaven and prayed so that all could hear everything that He prayed:

“Father, the words you gave to me, I have given to them. The deeds that came out from you, I have given to them.  I pray for them that you have given to me. … Father, keep them in the faith that they may be one, as you and I are one. … Sanctify them in truth, that they all may be one in truth.”

10. And Jesus left the dining hall and the Apostles followed.  He went over the Cedron brook to the garden to pray, and to prepare for the final cup of his suffering.