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Catechism of the Catholic Church

At the Last Supper Jesus anticipated the free offering of his life

610 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". 429 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 sins." 430

611 The Eucharist that Christ institutes at that moment will be the memorial of his sacrifice. 431 Jesus includes the apostles in his own offering and bids them perpetuate it. 432 By doing so, the Lord institutes his apostles as priests of the New Covenant: "For their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth." 433


429 Roman Missal, EP III; cf. Mt 26:20; I Cor 11:23.

430 Lk 22:19; Mt 26:28; cf. I Cor 5:7.

431 I Cor 11:25.

432 Cf. Lk 22:19.

433 Jn 17:19; cf. Council of Trent: DS 1752; 1764.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.