THE SACRED PASCHAL TRIDUUM: Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

“They will consume its meat that same night, eating it roasted with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.” (Exodus 12:8.)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass this evening.:

“Then too the unleavened bread is commanded to be eaten with bitter herbs; nor is it possible to attain the promised land unless we pass through bitterness. For just as physicians put bitter substances in medicines with a view to the health and healing of the infirm, so also the Physician of our souls with a view to our salvation has wished us to suffer the bitterness of this life in various temptations. [He knows] that the end of this bitterness gains the sweetness of salvation for our soul, just as, on the contrary, the end of the sweetness found in corporeal pleasure, as the example of that rich man teaches, brings a bitter end: torments in hell.” (Homilies on Numbers, 27.)

O God,
Who have called us to participate
in this most sacred Supper,
in which your Only Begotten Son,
when about to hand himself over to death,
entrusted to the Church
a sacrifice new for all eternity,
the banquet of his love,
grant, we pray,
that we may draw from so great a mystery,
the fullness of charity and of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen