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The Lord's Supper: Ancient Story, New Beginning
Marc Greenberg
Source: St. Anthony Messenger magazine
Published: Thursday, April 5, 2012
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Photo composite by Jeanne Kortekamp; left photo by Joe Kemper, right photo by DESIGN PICS/COLETTE SCHARF
According to the accounts in Matthew, Mark and Luke, on the night before he died on the cross, Jesus celebrated a Seder, a Jewish Passover supper. Although Catholics know this Holy Thursday evening meal as the Lord's Supper, Jesus and the Twelve were also celebrating the first night of Passover.

Born and raised in the Jewish faith, I became a Catholic 10 years ago. Growing up, I celebrated many Passover Seders with my family. It came as no surprise to me that the Twelve expected Jesus to attend a Seder that evening. As Jews, they would be surprised if he did not. What they did not expect at this "last supper" was to hear him announce the eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood. The apostles, called by Jesus, brought to this night of nights their Jewish traditions received from the Prophet Moses.

As a Catholic convert from Judaism, I carried these same traditions into my conversion and I felt the same call. As I prepared for my First Communion, this Passover Seder supper with Jesus and his 12 apostles took on a profoundly new meaning for me. Why did Jesus choose this ancient Jewish celebration to institute the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist?

To answer this question, I revisited my heritage to appreciate what experiences the Twelve brought to that Seder and what they heard there.

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