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Pope speaks on Christ's prayer at the Last Supper

Catholic World News - January 11, 2012

“The Eucharist is the supreme prayer of Jesus and of his Church,” Pope Benedict XVI told the 4,000 people who attended his weekly general audience in the Paul VI auditorium on January 11.

Continuing his series of talks on the prayers of Jesus, the Holy Father focused on the Last Supper. As he shared this final meal with his disciples, the Pope said, Jesus was observing the Passover. The prayer that Jesus uttered as He instituted the Eucharist was the Hebrew berakah, “which includes both thanksgiving and the gift of a blessing,” the Pope said. But to the traditional Passover feast, He added “an important novelty.” The Pope explained: “It was His Supper, in which He gave something completely new: Himself.”

Pope Benedict also reminded his audience that Jesus prayed for at the Last Supper for his disciples, to support them in their weakness and in the trials they would face. To this day, he added, the Eucharist gives strength “for those who are weary, worn out, and bewildered.” The Pontiff concluded:

Let us ask the Lord that, after due preparation also with the Sacrament of Penance, our participation in the Eucharist, which is indispensable for Christian life, may always remain the apex of all our prayers.

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