Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
Luke 22:14-23:56 or 23:1-49
And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." Jesus passionately desired to celebrate that first Eucharist with his own. The Greek word for earnestly desiring to eat the Passover is epithumea. It is a word filled with warm emotion. It is repeated twice in this sentence to emphasize an already emotional feeling of desire to a strongly expressive one quite surpassing anything else in the New Testament, The Eucharist was of overwhelming importance to Jesus! Why was the Eucharist of such prominence to Jesus?
The answer is a few lines later when the Lord says: "This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." Notice the word soma or body. This is not a dead corpse, but the living Body of Christ! It is Himself! It is also the eternal and timeless act of giving Himself over for us.
The Greek word for given is dedomenon. It is in the present tense. The Eucharist puts us into the eternal now of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. What a remembrance we have of the greatest act of love the world has ever seen. Devotion to remembering the Sufferings of Christ can never be too distant from the Eucharist. The Sacrifice of the Mass puts us into the real time of the Passion by placing us in the eternal act of Christ giving Himself to the Father and to us!
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.