June 9, 2012

Body and Blood of Christ - B (June 10, 2012)

CommentaryMark 14:12-16, 22-26

There Are No Accidents in Jesus’ Sacrifice of Love
The events in this passage from Mark (14:12-16, 22-26) follow Jesus’ anointing at Bethany (14:3-9). There, Jesus explained the action of the unnamed woman as “anointing [his] body for burial.” More significantly, Judas then met with the chief priests to arrange “to hand [Jesus] over.” Now, Judas is looking for the opportunity to do that (14:10-11).

So, Jesus knows what awaits him in Jerusalem.

Yet, he has everything arranged for what he is about to do in order to fulfill the Father’s plan for him for the salvation of the world.

It is not by chance that the two disciples Jesus sends will just run into a man carrying a water jar waiting for them to follow. Besides, commentators often point out that in Jesus’ time, it was not common for a man to carry a water jar in public.

Nor is it an accident that there is a “large upper room furnished and ready” by the master of the house for Jesus and his friends to celebrate the Passover.

Then, the request that the disciples are told to ask the master of the house proves that everything has been arranged in advance. “The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” Nobody can just show up at another person’s door and ask such a question without some kind of pre-arrangement. And Jesus tells them to ask for “my guestroom” (emphasis in italic added).

Jesus has it all planned out for this special Feast of Unleavened Bread, when he gives himself out of love to be the Passover Lamb being sacrificed.

So, when he gives the bread to his friends, saying, “This is my body;” and the cup, saying, “This is my blood,” it is no accident. It is the sublime gift of love, given thoughtfully and knowingly.

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