20 March 2008

A Happy and Kosher Passover

"With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer..." ~Yeshua

"Mo`adim lesimha" to any Jewish readers celebrating Pesach. How appropriate that as you begin your time of fasting and celebration of deliverance, Catholics are doing the same. For us this is Holy Thursday when we remember Jesus celebrating the Passover with His disciples. The first reading of Mass today is from Exodus chapter 12 where God institutes the Passover.

Jesus took it a step further and became the Passover Lamb. When we make the sign of the Cross on our bodies, it resembles the blood placed on the door posts in Egypt.

At that Seder, Jesus declared the wine to be His Blood and the bread to be His Body. This mystery takes place during every Mass.

Jesus was Jewish, His disciples were, and so was the early Church. You can still see it in the vestments, rituals, and symbols found in the Roman and Byzantine Catholic ceremonies.

Stichera for Great Thursday
Christ is now our mighty pascha,
Eaten for our mystic bread:
Take we of His broken Body,
Drink we of the Blood He shed,
As a lamb led out to slaughter,
And for this world offered.

Christ to all the world gives banquet
On that most celestial Meat:
Him, albeit with lips all earthly,
Yet with holy hearts we greet:
Him, the sacrificial Pascha,
Priest and Victim all complete.

~St. Andrew of Crete, Tr. J.M. Neale

If you missed the series "Jewish Roots of Catholicism", you can catch it on GodTube.

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