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The Eucharist and the Messianic Banquet

Submitted by on Wednesday, 2 December 2009No Comment


The day’s readings have a eucharistic theme. The selection from Isaiah 25:6-10 is about the Eschatological banquet while the one from Matthew 15:29-37 is about the feeding of the multitudes — the Messianic banquet anticipated in the ministry of Jesus. The Catechism has this to say about the Eucharist and its relationship to the Day of the Lord.

The Eucharist — Pledge of the Glory to Come

1402 In an ancient prayer the Church acclaims the mystery of the Eucharist: “O sacred banquet in which Christ is received as food, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the soul is filled with grace and a pledge of the life to come is given to us.” If the Eucharist is the memorial of the Passover of the Lord Jesus, if by our communion at the altar we are filled “with every heavenly blessing and grace,”1 then the Eucharist is also an anticipation of the heavenly glory.

1403 At the Last Supper the Lord himself directed his disciples’ attention toward the fulfillment of the Passover in the kingdom of God: “I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. (Matthew 26:29; cf. Luke 22:18; Mark 14:25)” Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist she remembers this promise and turns her gaze “to him who is to come.” (Revelation 1:4; 22:20;1 Corinthians 16:22) In her prayer she calls for his coming: “Marana tha!” “Come, Lord Jesus!” “May your grace come and this world pass away!” (Didache 10,6)

1404 The Church knows that the Lord comes even now in his Eucharist and that he is there in our midst. However, his presence is veiled. Therefore we celebrate the Eucharist “awaiting the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ,”((Roman Missal 126 embolism after the Our Father: expectantes beatam spem et adventum Salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi; cf. Titus 2:13)) asking “to share in your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day we shall see you, our God, as you are. We shall become like you and praise you for ever through Christ our Lord.”2

1405 There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth “in which righteousness dwells,” than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, “the work of our redemption is carried on” and we “break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:13)”

Isaiah 25:6-10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
6And the Lord of hosts shall make unto all people in this mountain, a feast of fat things, a feast of wine, of fat things full of marrow, of wine purified from the lees.
7And he shall destroy in this mountain the face of the bond with which all people were tied, and the web that he began over all nations.
8He shall cast death down headlong for ever: and the Lord God shall wipe away tears from every face, and the reproach of his people he shall take away from off the whole earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.
9And they shall say in that day: Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord, we have patiently waited for him, we shall rejoice and be joyfull in his salvation.
10For the hand of the Lord shall rest in this mountain: and Moab shall be trodden down under him, as straw is broken in pieces with the wain.
Matthew 15:29-37
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
29And when Jesus had passed away from thence, he came nigh the sea of Galilee. And going up into a mountain, he sat there.
30And there came to him great multitudes, having with them the dumb, the blind, the lame, the maimed, and many others: and they cast them down at his feet, and he healed them:
31So that the multitudes marvelled seeing the dumb speak, the lame walk, and the blind see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
32And Jesus called together his disciples, and said: I have compassion on the multitudes, because they continue with me now three days, and have not what to eat, and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
33And the disciples say unto him: Whence then should we have so many loaves in the desert, as to fill so great a multitude?
34And Jesus said to them: How many loaves have you? But they said: Seven, and a few little fishes.
35And he commanded the multitude to sit down upon the ground.
36And taking the seven loaves and the fishes, and giving thanks, he brake, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the people.
37And they did all eat, and had their fill. And they took up seven baskets full, of what remained of the fragments.
Matthew 26:29
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
29And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.
Luke 22:18
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
18For I say to you, that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God come.
Mark 14:25
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25Amen I say to you, that I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new in the kingdom of God.
Revelation 1:4; 22:20
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14John to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace be unto you and peace from him that is, and that was, and that is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before his throne,
2220He that giveth testimony of these things, saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
1 Corinthians 16:22
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22If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema, maranatha.
Titus 2:13
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
13Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,
2 Peter 3:13
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
13But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to his promises, in which justice dwelleth.

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  1. Roman Missal, EP I 96: Supplices te rogamus []
  2. EP III 116, prayer for the dead []

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