Vatican City, Jan 11, 2012 / 10:25 am
Pope Benedict XVI continued his series of reflections on prayer at his Jan. 11 general audience by explaining why the Eucharist stands at “the apex” of all Christian prayers.
“By participating in the Eucharist we have an extraordinary experience of the prayer which Jesus made, and continues to make for us all,” he said to the 7,000 pilgrims gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.
Jesus offers us this prayer, he taught, so that “the evil we encounter in our lives may not triumph, and that the transforming power of Christ’s death and resurrection may act within each of us.”
The Pope’s reflections today were part of his ongoing set of discourses on prayer. He devoted his Jan. 11 words to explaining the deep significance of the Last Supper in salvation history, with “its overtones of the Passover and the commemoration of Israel’s liberation.”
This connection is why the prayer of Jesus “echoes the Hebrew berakah, which includes both thanksgiving and the gift of a blessing.” Christ’s act of “breaking the bread and offering the cup on the night before he died” thereby becomes “the sign of his redemptive self-oblation in obedience to the Father’s will,” the Pope said.