Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed; let us then feast with joy in the Lord. (Gospel Acclamation, Easter Sunday).
The rite began as usual. It was evening, just after sunset, at the hour of the immolation of the paschal lamb in the Temple. A young rabbi gathered his twelve disciples around a table traditionally prepared with candles, bread and wine, bitters herbs and the consecrated lamb. As Master, he began the prayer remembering the slavery of the ancestors, the killing of the lamb, the passage through the Red Sea, the Law of Moses at Mt. Sinai, the Promised Land. He gave thanks. But suddenly he did something outside the usual ritual. In taking the bread, he said, “This is my body, given over for you!” His friends, surprised, looked first at the pieces of bread in their hands and then at the lamb on the table. They began to understand: the rabbi was saying that he was the new lamb immolated for them. Then the rabbi took the cup, saying, “This is my blood poured out for you!” His friends looked at the cup in his hands and again at the lamb on the table and they understood the newness of it. It was not the blood of the lamb on the table, but that of the rabbi that delivered them from the scourge of death, from arrogance against God, from egotism, from the troubles of heart. It was the blood of the Master that accomplished all this and not the blood of the traditional lamb on the table. They understood that in eating this bread and drinking this cup they would have new deliverance, new freedom, new life. They gave thanks. They comprehended for the first time the new Passover rubric, “Do this in memory of me!”
It is at the end of a rope already woven that one weaves a new one. (Mossi)