Gospel Mark 14:12-16,22-26
In Sunday’s Gospel, Mark 14:12-16,22-26 Jesus says This is my body; this is my blood
In the gospel today we hear Mark’s account of Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples as a celebration of the Jewish feast of Passover. Mark, however, omits many elements of the Passover meal. He describes only those elements that are essential to the Eucharist, the Mass. Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and shared it amongst his disciples. With similar words he shared also the cup with his disciples. Jesus explains that this bread now shared is his body, the wine his own blood. He calls it ‘the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many.’ The New Covenant is the promise of God’s love that will now be sealed by Jesus’ own blood. The Gospel reminds us that the Eucharist is a memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We believe that Jesus is truly present to us in the elements of bread and wine. Through our celebration of the Eucharist we are nourished for the life in Christ that we are called to live throughout the week. The liturgical colour for today is white.,
Children there are lots of times when we celebrate being together by having a special meal: Christmas, Easter, birthdays, weddings etc.Can you see that certain foods are linked with certain celebrations – birthday cakes, Christmas pudding etc etc. When we see these special foods it makes the occasion real and might also remind us of previous celebrations. Think how these special meals help to bring our family closer together. Today we are going to hear about a special meal that Jesus celebrated with his disciples, called the Last Supper. Listen carefully to what Jesus says and does in the gospel passage. Jesus mentions the word Passove. Children this is a festival celebrated every year by the Jewish people to remember an occasion a long time ago when God saved his people from slavery and led them into freedom.
Reflecting on the readings with the children:
Do you recognise any of the words Jesus used? What do we do to remember the Last Supper that Jesus celebrated with his disciples? (come to Mass/celebrate the Eucharist). The disciples prepared for the Passover meal. What preparations are made for the celebration of the Eucharist each Sunday? (the church is made ready – cleaning, flowers, cloths, the priest prepares his homily, music rehearsed, servers, readers etc prepare.) How do we make ourselves ready? These preparations show us how important the Eucharist is for us. We remember that Jesus died for us and rose again to new life, we receive Communion, we gather together to celebrate all that God has done for us.
Think again the words of Jesus at the Last Supper – ‘This is my body. This is my blood.’ We believe that the bread and wine we bring to the altar at mass become the body and blood of Jesus which we receive in Communion because Jesus told us it was. Jesus told the disciples that each time they shared bread and wine and remembered him he was there in a very special way. When we share that presence together it brings us all closer together – one family around the table. This is true even if we are still too young to have received Communion – our presence there makes us one.
Jesus asks his disciples to spread his word to all nations – to teach them to follow his commandments. He asks his disciples to baptise people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is speaking to us also, to encourage us to spread his word through our words and actions.
Jesus has said he is with us always as we pray, so we pray:
For all the people in our parish who help to make our celebration of the Eucharist so beautiful, Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
For all the children in our parish who have received (or will receive) Jesus in Communion for the first time this year, Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
For people we know who are suffering from illness or sadness, that they may know the peace and love God has for them, Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer