To perpetuate this gift of the Eucharist, Jesus instituted the priesthood at the Last Supper.
Three Points of the Homily:
1. The Gift of the Eucharist
St. Paul recalls in 1 Cor 11:23-26 how Jesus instituted the Eucharist during the Last Supper, the Passover Meal. He is presenting himself as the new Passover Lamb that will be slaughtered. There is a new unleavened bread, the Bread that is the Body of Jesus. The blood of the lamb is now replaced with the blood of Jesus and instead of putting in the doorpost and it will be put on our lips, the door post of our soul.
St. John Chrysostom explains how the blood of Christ sanctifies our lips, just as the blood of the Passover lamb sanctified and protected the Jewish homes in Egypt. He said that, “In those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not that figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of believers, the doors of the temple of Christ.”
St. Ignatius of Antioch talks about the eucharist, “as breaking the one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent us from dying.”
2. Institution of the Priesthood
In order to perpetuate this gift of the eucharist, during the last supper he also instituted the priesthood. He conferred on the apostles the two fold power of bringing Jesus, the son of God, to earth, in the Eucharist and to offer Jesus to His heavenly Father in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Without a priest, there will be no mass, without the mass, there will be no Eucharist.
3. Our predisposition in receiving the Eucharist.
Yes, there are graces in the Eucharist made available by the Priest, but it has also to do with our predisposition before receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. That predisposition Jesus demonstrated to us is in the foot washing of his disciples.
What Jesus is teaching us is that we need put up with the messiness of our neighbor: their faults and imperfections by loving them, forgiving them, and serving them.