quarta-feira, 11 de janeiro de 2012

Pope Benedict: Eucharist supreme prayer of Christ's Church

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves after leading the Eucharist for the Solemnity of Epiphany on January 6, 2012 at St Peter's basilica at the Vatican. The pontiff appointed two new bishops during the mass.

Thousands of pilgrims gathered in Paul VI Hall on Wednesday for Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly General Audience, during which the Holy Father continued his catechesis on Christian prayer, with a reflection on the prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper, when our Lord instituted the Eucharist, the sacrament of his Body and Blood. “Jesus’ gift of himself anticipates his sacrifice on the Cross and his glorious Resurrection,” said Pope Benedict.

The Eucharist is the supreme prayer of Jesus and of his Church. At the Last Supper, with its overtones of the Passover and the commemoration of Israel’s liberation, Jesus’ prayer echoes the Hebrew berakah, which includes both thanksgiving and the gift of a blessing. His act of breaking the bread and offering the cup on the night before he died becomes the sign of his redemptive self-oblation in obedience to the Father’s will: he thus appears as the true paschal lamb who brings the ancient worship to fulfilment.

The Holy Father noted that Jesus’ prayer also invokes strength for his disciples,  ...»