Today the Church asks us to speak with Mary about the sorrows she endured, and we will do that; but in reading slowly through Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, we come today to a key passage, one to which we must give thought. Although Paul never met him during Our Lord’s lifetime, he here boldly asserts that Jesus came to him with an account of what happened at the last Supper. Paul here wrote, “I received from the Lord what handed on to you.”
(Since Mary was there at the Last Supper, I’m sure she doesn’t mind our talking about it.)
This is one of those cases in which our English translation does not accurately translate what Paul wrote.
Paul wrote that Jesus took up the bread and eucharistesas. Our version of First Corinthians translates that key Greek word as “after he gave thanks.”
Luke’s very similar account of the Last Supper also uses that word eucharistesas, but our English version there translates it as “said he blessing.”
Both free translations ignore two real meanings for the word eucharistesas.
First, they ignore the literal meaning of eucharistesas, which is “pleasing gift.”
Secondly, they ignore the way eucharistesas can be telling us that Jesus had come to the vital third part of the table blessing.
The table blessing the host pronounced at major Jewish meals had three parts. First, the host asked the guests to recall God’s favors. Next, he asked them to join him in asking down God’s presence among them. Thirdly, at the part called the eucharis, he asked them to join him as part of a pleasing gift to God.
We all know that at the Last Supper Jesus gave his body to us under the form of bread. But, we take no note of just when it was in the Last Supper that he did that. Perhaps, it was when he was making a gift of himself to the Father that he gave his body to us. The idea being that he wanted us to be, not only mentally, but physically part of the same pleasing gift as himself.