The Last Supper is traditionally celebrated as the institution of the Eucharist in our Church and it is instructive for us to consider that Christ was celebrating the Passover with his apostles and so there are some parallels to reflect on. The Jewish feast of Passover celebrates the deliverance of the Children of Israel from enslavement to the Pharaoh. The meal which marks this deliverance—called the Seder—is filled with food which symbolized the situation of the Hebrews in Egypt as well as symbolized their hope for a better future. Jesus moved past the story of the Jews in the Last Supper and into the story of his relationship with all of us, holding the bread and wine out to all who will receive it as his very self, given for us. In the Eucharist, Christ goes past all the boundaries of space and time to be present with his faithful and to nourish them, so that they, in turn, can go past the boundaries in their world and carry the presence and sustenance of Christ to people there. In our reception of the Eucharist we enter into communion with not only Christ but also with each other and with all others throughout the world who celebrates the Eucharist. In this way, we become the Body of Christ which is always given over for others.
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