AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF JUDAS they continued with the feast.  While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, and having broken it into portions, gave them to His disciples and said:

“Take and eat; this is My body, which is being given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

Afterward He took the wine cup, gave thanks, and presented it to them, saying:

“All of you drink of this; for this is My blood of the new covenant, which is being shed for many unto the forgiveness of sins.  Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Having presented them with these supreme gifts, He laid down for them a new commandment, the observance of which was to be the distinguishing mark of a true Christian:

“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.  If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him at once.  Little children, yet a little while I am with you.  You will seek Me, and, as I have said to the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so to you also I say it now.  A new commandment I give you, that you love one another.  By this will all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

“Lord,” said Peter impulsively, “where art Thou going?”

Jesus answered:

“Where I am going thou canst not follow Me now, but thou shalt follow later.”

“Why can I not follow Thee now?” asked Peter.  “I will lay down my life for Thee.”  But Jesus said:

“You will all be scandalized this night because of Me; for it is written, ‘I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’  But after I have risen, I will go before you into Galilee.  Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren.”

Peter protested; his loyalty, at least, was beyond question.

“Lord,” he cried, “with Thee I am ready to go both to prison and to death!  Even though all shall be scandalized because of Thee, I will never be scandalized.”

Said Jesus:

“Wilt thou lay down thy life for Me?  Amen I say to thee, today, this very night, before a cock crows twice, thou wilt deny Me thrice.”

Again Peter protested, and the others with him.  “Even if I should have to die with Thee, I will not deny Thee!”  But Jesus went on to speak of the confidence they must have in moments of adversity.  Referring to the time He had sent them out on a missionary tour, He said:

“When I sent you forth without purse or wallet or sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Nothing,” they replied.  And He continued:

“But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a wallet; and let him who has no sword sell his tunic and buy one.  For I say to you that this which is written must yet be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was reckoned among the wicked.’ “

He was warning them to arm themselves with spiritual weapons, but they took His words literally and said, “Lord, behold, here are two swords.” Jesus said:


The subject was dropped.  They had no time to waste in talking at cross purposes, for He had other instructions for them, which were of vital importance.  Quieting their vague anxiety, He said to them:

“Let not your heart be troubled.  You believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house there are many mansions.  Were it not so, I should have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again, and I will take you to Myself; that where I am, there you also may be.  And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Thomas said, “Lord, we do not know where Thou art going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus replied:

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father but through Me.  If you had known Me, you would also have known My Father.  And henceforth you do know Him, and you have seen Him.”

“Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father and it is enough for us.” But Jesus said:

“Have I been so long a time with you, and you have not known Me?  Philip, he who sees Me sees also the Father.  How canst thou say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Dost thou not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me?  The words that I speak to you I speak not on My own authority.  But the Father dwelling in Me, it is He who does the works.  Do you believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me?  Otherwise, believe because of the works themselves.  Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he also shall do, and greater than these he shall do, because I am going to the Father.  And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, in order that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.  And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.  But you shall know Him, because He will dwell with you, and be in you.”

Matthew 26:26-28  |  Matthew 26:31-35  |  Mark 14:22-24  |  Mark 14:27-31  |  Luke 22:19-20  |  John 13:31-38  |  John 14:1-47

Meditation:  After instituting the Holy Eucharist, after giving the disciples His own Body and Blood in Holy Communion, Christ gave His apostles a new commandment that they should love one another.  The Eucharist and love of one another are not unrelated.  In fact, the effect of receiving our Lord in Communion should be to bring an increase of my love for my fellowman.  Has my concern for the needs of my neighbors and my willingness to serve them increased with each reception of Communion?  If not, I must be creating some obstacle to the grace of the sacrament in my soul.

Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today”  The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959.  231-234.  © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953.  Print.   Drawing by Albert H Winkler.

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