reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently
allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the
multitudes, andalso the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemp
tion at the first Passover.
Christ’s whole life expresses his mission:
“to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus freely embraced the Father’s redeeming love
By embracing in his human heart the Father’s love for men,
Jesus “loved them to the end,” for “greater love has no man than
this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
and death his humanity became the free and perfect instrument of
his divine love which desires the salvation of men.
of love for his Father and for men, whom the Father wants to save,
Jesus freely accepted his Passion and death: “No one takes [my life]
from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”
sovereign freedom of God’s Son as he went out to his death.
At the Last Supper Jesus anticipated the free offering of his life
Jesus gave the supreme expression of his free offering of
himself at the meal shared with the twelve Apostles “on the night
he was betrayed.”
On the eve of his Passion, while still free, Jesus
transformed this Last Supper with the apostles into the memorial
of his voluntary offering to the Father for the salvation of men:
“This is my body which is given for you.” “This is my blood of the
covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of
The Eucharist that Christ institutes at that moment will be the
memorial of his sacrifice.
Jesus includes the apostles in his own
offering and bids them perpetuate it.
By doing so, the Lord insti
tutes his apostles as priests of the New Covenant: “For their sakes I
sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
53:7, 12; cf.
2:10, 17-18; 4:15; 5:7-9.
EP III, 110; cf.
17:19; cf. Council of Trent: DS 1752; 1764.