Thursday, June 15, 2006

We need to EAT the Lamb! (Scott Hahn knocks me out)

During last night's Bible Study class (we focus on the readings of the upcoming Sunday) a guy brought up the fact that Jesus and the disciples didn't drink the Fourth Cup at the Last Supper.

From this Sunday's Gospel (Mark 14: 24-26)

Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.

Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

And therein lies the question.

What does Mark mean about "singing a hymn?" Well, after the third cup is drunk, according to the Passover liturgy, a hymn is sung — actually a number of hymns (disclaimer: I'm no Jewish scholar and I'm not even Jewish) — before the fourth cup is consumed.

Only no fourth cup was consumed!

No indeed, instead they all went off to the Mount of Olives.

The guy in the Bible study class had some really fascinating stuff to say about this. Not being even near a Scripture scholar, but none the less completely intrigued, I did what I usually do in situations like this.

"Kelly! You approached a priest! Or a rabbi! Or you prayed!"

Well, no. I went to Google. Or rather, Pro Life Search (powered by Google).

Parenthetical comment coming up and don't say you weren't warned!

(Please use Pro Life Search, powered by Google) whenever you can. If you don't already know about it, you can find the site here, but wait until I'm done with this won't be long.)


Using the key words "fourth cup passover Jesus" I found this presentation by Scott Hahn. Dr. Hahn does more than expound on the "Fourth Cup," which would be a gift in itself. He also engages his audience — and I hope you're among them — in a reflection on the most incredible Covenant ever.

A snippet:

Well, go back to the Old Testament, to the book of Exodus. Suppose that night as head of my household and father, I sacrificed an unblemished lamb with no broken bones, and I sprinkled his blood on the door post, and then I said, 'Family, we're safe, let's go to bed', and we went to bed. I'd wake up in the morning to tragedy. My firstborn would be dead. Why? You had to eat the lamb. It isn't enough to kill him. That is the satisfaction for sin, but the ultimate goal of sacrifice is not blood and gore and God making sure He sees the death. The ultimate goal is to restore communion, to have fellowship with God restored. And that's what's signified by eating the lamb. Who shares a common meal? Family. What is this a sign of? Covenant. And what is a covenant? A sacred family bond. In the Old Testament any family that sacrificed a lamb and sprinkled the blood had to eat the lamb. It wasn't enough to say, 'Well we don't like lamb do we, kids? Why don't we make lamb cookies? Little lamb wafers that symbolize the lamb? We'll eat those and those'll be enough, right? Symbolic presence of the lamb, and all that?' No, you'd wake up and you'd be dead.

Why not indulge in a little pre-Corpus Christi meditation — and enjoyment — and read the whole thing?

It's very cool. You'll not only impress your'll strengthen your soul.