He Is Not A Victim, He Chooses To Be An Offering

Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 06 June 2021
Feast of Corpus Christi
Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Exo. 24:3-8; Ps. 116:12-13,15,16bc,17-18; Heb. 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16,22-26.

This event might happen on Thursday, 6 April 30 AD, one day before the Passover. Jerusalem was full of pilgrims. Around 3PM the Passover lamb was slaughtered in the Temple. Its fat was burnt on the altar, its blood was sprinkled on the base. The leftover was given to the owner to be baked and eaten at home, at lodging or anywhere within the border of Jerusalem. It is said that to accommodate the big crowd of pilgrims, the borders of this Holy City was extended. All leaven had to be thrown away as they could only eat unleavened bread. They had to be back to their nature, to authentic-self that was not contaminated by the leaven of the world.

In this Passover setting, Jesus interpreted His last supper with His disciples. He celebrated the new Passover to replace the old one. There are some main characteristics. First, Jesus Himself prepared this Passover. The Lord Supper is the proper name for this event. It was His Passover (14:12,14): He was the host. He knew very well what will happen; the situation was fully under His control (14:16). The end of His fate is not a destiny, but a consequence. Cross is the end that had been prepared, not something suffered through. He is not a victim, instead He chooses to be an offering. Normally humans bring an offering to God. But in the new Passover, it is God who gave Himself to be sacrificed for humans.

Second, this new Passover focused on Jesus’ action and words on bread and wine. The other elements of Jewish Passover like the lamb, bitter vegetable and the exodus story were not mentioned. Through this Feast, Jesus interpreted His suffering and death. The bread He broke is the symbol of His body that would suffer through suffering and violent death. He also gave out this bread to all His disciples. He gave them part of the blessing that He got from the self-sacrificing. Jesus would like to say that He would die for other people, for the redemption of human’s sin (compared Mark 10:45).

Third, the wine that Jesus gave to His disciples is “the blood of covenant”. Old Testament was validated by “smearing”, through the animal blood that Moses splashed on the Israelites (Exo. 24:8). The New Testament is validated by Jesus through His blood “getting into” (drunk by) His new people. All the disciples drank from that one cup (14:23). They wanted to share the life and fate with Jesus and others. As blood means “live”, drinking Jesus’ blood also means taking part in Jesus’ life that He sacrificed on the the cross.

Fourth, the Lord Supper was ended with optimism: drinking the new wine in Heavenly Kingdom. When He was sad and disappointed because of being betrayed, He remained confident that He would eventually be restored by God (14:28). The disciples have to be optimistic. Their physical unity with the Lord would be replaced by spiritual unity. We are lived by the Life who feed us. We are transformed to be like Him, our food. By having the Son as our food, we become the children of God.

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
The Beauty of Marriage: Let us pray for the young people who are preparing their marriage with the support from Christian community, may they grow in love, having generosity, loyalty and patience. We pray …

For Indonesian Churches intention:
Social media activists and users: May all media social activists and users be blessed with virtues to keep speading the positive things and be sent away from the the things that is detrimental to oneself, family or society. We pray …

Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
Please give us a heart like the Son of Joseph, to sincerely take part in building the community of the Faith in our family and community. We pray…

Amen

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