The Eucharist is the core of Catholicism. The more the Faithful flesh out how the Eucharistic celebration developed, the more readily will they be other Christs. Knowledge of the historical development sets the stage for personal and communal development.
When the Faithful go to Communion, they receive, as
The issue for these Notes is to show courage
that comes from Faith in the face of uncertainty emanating from differences in
the Lectionary readings and beyond.
A careful look at the record upsets the implicit certitude emanating from the Eucharistic prayers at Mass. While there is a sense in which the Mass does do what happened at the Last Supper, there is another sense in which the accouterments and ambience of the events is markedly different. From the beginning, Eucharistic celebrations were different. The Latin Rite offers but one version.
To begin, the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church
does recognize other conventions or rites, such as the Chaldean Anaphora of
Addai and Mari that omits the words of Eucharistic institution altogether. Furthermore, the Church took about four
centuries, through the golden age of patristic theology, to develop exactly
what happened with the institution of the Eucharist. Saint
The history of what happened between the Last Supper and the Fourth Century institutionalization of the celebration is fraught with difficulty. There are as many as six versions of religious table fellowship, if not Eucharistic celebrations, particularized as the Last Supper. Last Supper is capitalized because the Gospel descriptions of what happened do not fit the traditional Pascal meal.
Six stages of development can be imagined: (1) Jesus
opening his table to sinners as he walked this earth; (2) Jesus transforming
the nature of his meals after cleansing the Temple; (not a stage of
development) the institution of the Eucharist before the Resurrection; (3) a
Jewish focus on bread, rather than bread and wine; (4) Petrine exclusion of
outsiders from the Eucharistic celebration (Acts 2:46-47); (5) a Pauline and
Synoptic type of Eucharist; (6) a Johannine type of Eucharist, a full break
with Judaism with the recognition of the Eucharist as a sacrament. There also
seems to have been a yearly Seder practice with
Each of the Four Evangelists has a slightly different
description of the institution of the sacrament, differing from what the
primitive Church did in Acts 1:12-26; 2:46; and 3:1—4:37. Acts reflects more of the institution of the
Eucharist as described by
The completion of the sacrament does not occur with
the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of
The Greek for devoted
also applies to verse 46, they devoted
themselves … to breaking bread. Such
devotion is applicable to leading the Christ-life apart from private devotion
into public engagement. The first
Christians devoted themselves to the
A major question of piety concerns the presence of Judas
at the Last Supper. If
Where was the wine in the home-Masses of Acts 2:46? How did these first Christians both worship
constantly in the
If the primitive Christians reached out to their
fellow non-Christian Jews in the
The sense of happy rejoicing in the midst of the
troubles of the world helps transform the Faithful into other Christs. The reading from one
The doubting-Thomas Faith called for in the reading from John 20:27-29 applies to Eucharistic Faith. John 20:31 explains the purpose for which he wrote, but these [signs] are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name. Catholics are different in that we believe both in the physical presence of Jesus and in the unbloody sacrificial nature of the Mass. Others regard the Eucharist as symbolic and non-sacrificial.
Symbol, which the Eucharist is not, at least not entirely, is
not far from the signs that permeate John.
The function of signs in
Within the overall context of Easter, however, the
resurrection is the parallel sign to the Exodus, whereby
The Eucharist is not the only sacrament celebrated in these readings. The other special sacrament is Reconciliation or Penance. See below for where this sacrament is written up elsewhere, earlier. Reconciliation is often regarded as a pre-condition for participation in the Eucharistic meal.
To recapitulate, the religious leaders of his day challenged
The theme through these Notes is completing the
Eucharistic consecration of bread and wine through a personal self-consecration. Acts presents a primitive Christian community
getting along with everyone, worshipping in the
Scriptural references to the Lectionary follow. Since the main purpose of these Notes is annotating the scriptural references in the index at www.western-civilization.com, references pertinent, but not fitting the flow imposed above, are included below. I do not assume that the reader is following the readings cited either in the Lectionary or in the Bible. Like the footnotes, the citations are for reference purposes for anyone interested. The large, bold letters facilitate locating exactly what the Lectionary presents for these Notes.
Acts shows that owning property was present in the primitive church.
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
This is the first time these Notes observe that Psalm 118:15 is incomplete, both here in Cycle A and in Cycles B and C. Sloppy scholarship.
Lectionary (1998): (a) The Joyful shout of Victory
(b) In the tents of the just.
(c) … The Lectionary does not note (c) is missing.
The Vulgate (circa 410): (a)Vox iubilationis et salutis
(b) In tabernaculis iustorum:
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): (Psalm 117)
The voice of rejoicing and of salvation is in the tabernacles of the just.
The right hand of the LORD hath wrought strength: the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: the right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength.
In the tents of the virtuous:
Yahweh’s right hand is wreaking havoc,
New American (1970): (a) The joyful shout of deliverance
(b) Is heard in the tents of the victors:
(c) “The LORD’s right hand strikes with power;
New Jerusalem (1985): (a) Shouts of joy and salvation,
(b) In the tents of the upright,
(c)`Yahweh’s right hand is triumphant,
Verse 16 is included in the Douay-Rheims version because verse 16a is verse 15c in the other versions. There is a problem translating the poetry of the original into the prose of the English. Where translators solved this problem by indenting the lines, I inserted the appropriate (a), (b), and (c). Otherwise, I omitted (a), (b), and (c). Also, note that the Douay-Rheims Psalm is 117, not 118. The Lectionary is accepting the mainstream numbering of the psalms and, when it does, it may not use the omitted verse in Douay-Rheims to justify excluding the same in its own enumeration.
Funeral Rites uses Psalm 118 once.
These Notes also comment on Psalm 118 at
To recapitulate somewhat, the Lectionary uses this Psalm as follows.
Lectionary Verses used
41ABC 341 1-2, 16-17, 22-23 (alleluia) Easter vigil
42ABC 346 1-2, 16-17, 22-23 (24 or alleluia) today
43A 350-351 2-4, 13-15, 22-24 (1 or alleluia) Easter 2
44B 356-357 2-4, 13-15, 22-24 (1 or alleluia) Easter 2
45C 362-363 2-4, 13-15, 22-24 (1 or alleluia) Easter 2
50B 394-395 1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29 (22) Easter 4
The term misericordia may be translated either love or mercy. In the Lectionary, 1 Peter 1:3 translated misericordia as mercy. I think love more suited to the Eucharistic celebration, in this instance.
Pastoral Care of the Sick uses this reading.
These Notes also comment on this passage at:
This passage concludes the Book of Glory in
For more on sources see the Appendix file.
The whole thrust of these notes draws heavily from
 Bruce Chilton, unpublished paper: “Eucharist: Surrogate, Metaphor, Sacrament of Sacrifice,” The temple of Jesus: His Sacrificial Program within a Cultural History of Sacrifice (University Park: Pennsylvania State University, 1992), A Feast of Meanings: Eucharistic Theologies from Jesus through Johannine Circles (New York: E. J. Brill, 1994) in Robert J. Daly, S.J., “Eucharistic Origins: From the New Testament to the Liturgies of the Golden Age,” Theological Studies, Vol. 66, No. 1 (March 2005) page 7, fn. 11.
 International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 275.
 The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum: Approved for use in the dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See: Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy: a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1983) 278.