Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Last Supper

HOLY THURSDAY commemorates the Last Supper, on the night before Jesus was betrayed; at this feast, Our Lord instituted the priesthood, the Mass, and the Eucharist, as well as giving us a new commandment, or mandatum: “That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man has, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Our Lord also revealed that Judas was going to betray Him, and that Peter would deny Him. He also spoke about the Kingdom of Heaven, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the need to observe all the Commandments, and the coming persecution.

Here are some of my photos of artistic depictions of the Last Supper.

Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, in Cuba, Missouri, USA - stained glass window of the Last Supper

Holy Cross Church, in Cuba, Missouri. Photo taken September, 2011. This window shows a basin, where Jesus washed the feet of His apostles.

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, in Crystal City, Missouri, USA - Tabernacle and Last Supper

Sacred Heart Church, in Crystal City, Missouri. October, 2007. This is modeled after Leonardo daVinci's famed Last Supper fresco.

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri, USA - mosaic of the Last Supper

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri. March, 2011. We see Saints Peter and John here.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - mosaic of Last Supper in sanctuary

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. January, 2010.

Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Detail of Last Supper

Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis. February, 2012.

The Last Supper cannot be understood unless we have a good knowledge of the Jewish Passover, the great festival of the liberation of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. Likewise, the Last Supper reveals to us the fulfillment of the Passover in the Church, as the liberation of humanity from the slavery of sin. This analogical or typological understanding of scripture is often found in church art: at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, the mosaics opposite to the Last Supper  depicts Old Testament types of Christ,  seen here.

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