CCC 443 Peter could recognize the transcendent character of the Messiah’s divine sonship because Jesus had clearly allowed it to be so understood. To his accusers’ question before the Sanhedrin, “Are you the Son of God, then?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am.”1 Well before this, Jesus referred to himself as “the Son” who knows the Father, as distinct from the “servants” God had earlier sent to his people; he is superior even to the angels.2 He distinguished his sonship from that of his disciples by never saying “our Father”, except to command them: “You, then, pray like this: ‘Our Father’”, and he emphasized this distinction, saying “my Father and your Father”.3
CCC 444 The Gospels report that at two solemn moments, the Baptism and the Transfiguration of Christ, the voice of the Father designates Jesus his “beloved Son”.4 Jesus calls himself the “only Son of God”, and by this title affirms his eternal pre-existence.5 He asks for faith in “the name of the only Son of God”.6 In the centurion’s exclamation before the crucified Christ, “Truly this man was the Son of God”,7 that Christian confession is already heard. Only in the Paschal mystery can the believer give the title “Son of God” its full meaning.
CCC 473 But at the same time, this truly human knowledge of God’s Son expressed the divine life of his person.8 “The human nature of God’s Son, not by itself but by its union with the Word, knew and showed forth in itself everything that pertains to God.”9 Such is first of all the case with the intimate and immediate knowledge that the Son of God made man has of his Father.10 The Son in his human knowledge also showed the divine penetration he had into the secret thoughts of human hearts.11
CCC 474 By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate, Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal.12 What he admitted to not knowing in this area, he elsewhere declared himself not sent to reveal.13
CCC 574 From the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, certain Pharisees and partisans of Herod together with priests and scribes agreed together to destroy him.14 Because of certain acts of his expelling demons, forgiving sins, healing on the sabbath day, his novel interpretation of the precepts of the Law regarding purity, and his familiarity with tax collectors and public sinners15 –- some ill-intentioned persons suspected Jesus of demonic possession.16 He is accused of blasphemy and false prophecy, religious crimes which the Law punished with death by stoning.17
CCC 585 On the threshold of his Passion Jesus announced the coming destruction of this splendid building, of which there would not remain “one stone upon another”.18 By doing so, he announced a sign of the last days, which were to begin with his own Passover.19 But this prophecy would be distorted in its telling by false witnesses during his interrogation at the high priest’s house, and would be thrown back at him as an insult when he was nailed to the cross.20
CCC 597 The historical complexity of Jesus’ trial is apparent in the Gospel accounts. The personal sin of the participants (Judas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate) is known to God alone. Hence we cannot lay responsibility for the trial on the Jews in Jerusalem as a whole, despite the outcry of a manipulated crowd and the global reproaches contained in the apostles’ calls to conversion after Pentecost.21 Jesus himself, in forgiving them on the cross, and Peter in following suit, both accept “the ignorance” of the Jews of Jerusalem and even of their leaders.22 Still less can we extend responsibility to other Jews of different times and places, based merely on the crowd’s cry: “His blood be on us and on our children!”, a formula for ratifying a judicial sentence.23 As the Church declared at the Second Vatican Council:
... [N]either all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his Passion. .. [T]he Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture.24
CCC 603 Jesus did not experience reprobation as if he himself had sinned.25 But in the redeeming love that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”26 Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all”, so that we might be “reconciled to God by the death of his Son”.27
CCC 1009 Death is transformed by Christ. Jesus, the Son of God, also himself suffered the death that is part of the human condition. Yet, despite his anguish as he faced death, he accepted it in an act of complete and free submission to his Father’s will.28 The obedience of Jesus has transformed the curse of death into a blessing.29
CCC 1328 The inexhaustible richness of this sacrament is expressed in the different names we give it. Each name evokes certain aspects of it. It is called:
Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. The Greek words eucharistein30 and eulogein31 recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim – especially during a meal – God’s works: creation, redemption, and sanctification.
CCC 1335 The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves, when the Lord says the blessing, breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist.32 The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus’ glorification. It makes manifest the fulfillment of the wedding feast in the Father’s kingdom, where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ.33
CCC 1339 Jesus chose the time of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum: giving his disciples his Body and his Blood:
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the passover meal for us, that we may eat it. ..” They went. .. and prepared the passover. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”... And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.”34
CCC 1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.”35
CCC 1403 At the Last Supper the Lord himself directed his disciples’ attention toward the fulfillment of the Passover in the kingdom of God: “I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”36 Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist she remembers this promise and turns her gaze “to him who is to come.” In her prayer she calls for his coming: “Marana tha!” “Come, Lord Jesus!”37 “May your grace come and this world pass away!”38
CCC 2605 When the hour had come for him to fulfill the Father’s plan of love, Jesus allows a glimpse of the boundless depth of his filial prayer, not only before he freely delivered himself up (“Abba. .. not my will, but yours.”),39 but even in his last words on the Cross, where prayer and the gift of self are but one: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”;40 “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise”, “Woman, behold your son” – “Behold your mother”;41 “I thirst.”;42 “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”;43 “It is finished”;44 “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”45 until the “loud cry” as he expires, giving up his spirit.46
CCC 2701 Vocal prayer is an essential element of the Christian life. To his disciples, drawn by their Master’s silent prayer, Jesus teaches a vocal prayer, the Our Father. He not only prayed aloud the liturgical prayers of the synagogue but, as the Gospels show, he raised his voice to express his personal prayer, from exultant blessing of the Father to the agony of Gesthemani.47
CCC 2849 Such a battle and such a victory become possible only through prayer. It is by his prayer that Jesus vanquishes the tempter, both at the outset of his public mission and in the ultimate struggle of his agony.48 In this petition to our heavenly Father, Christ unites us to his battle and his agony. He urges us to vigilance of the heart in communion with his own. Vigilance is “custody of the heart,” and Jesus prayed for us to the Father: “Keep them in your name.”49 The Holy Spirit constantly seeks to awaken us to keep watch.50 Finally, this petition takes on all its dramatic meaning in relation to the last temptation of our earthly battle; it asks for final perseverance. “Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake.”51
1 Lk 22:70; cf. Mt 26:64; Mk 14:61-62.
2 Cf. Mt 11:27; 21:34-38; 24:36.
3 Mt 5:48; 6:8-9; 7:21; Lk 11:13; Jn 20:17.
4 Cf. Mt 3:17; cf. 17:5.
5 Jn 3:16; cf. 10:36.
6 Jn 3:18.
7 Mk 15:39.
8 Cf. St. Gregory the Great, “Sicut aqua” ad Eulogium, Epist. Lib. 10, 39 PL 77, 1097 Aff.; DS 475.
9 St. Maximus the Confessor, Qu. et dub. 66 PG 90, 840A.
10 Cf. Mk 14:36; Mt 11:27; Jn 1:18; 8:55; etc.
11 Cf. Mk 2:8; Jn 2 25; 6:61; etc.
12 Cf. Mk 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34; 14:18-20, 26-30.
13 Cf. Mk 13:32, Acts 1:7.
14 Cf. Mk 3:6; 14:1.
15 Cf. Mt 12:24; Mk 2:7,14-17; 3:1-6; 7:14-23.
16 Cf. Mk 3:22; Jn 8:48; 10:20.
17 Cf. Mk 2:7; Jn 5:18; 7:12, 52; 8:59; 10:31, 33.
18 Cf. Mt 24:1-2.
19 Cf. Mt 24:3; Lk 13:35.
20 Cf Mk 14:57-58; Mt 27 39-40.
21 Cf. Mk 15:11; Acts 2:23, 36; 3:13-14; 4:10; 5:30; 7:52; 10:39; 13:27-28; I Th 2:14-15.
22 Cf. Lk 23:34; Acts 3:17.
23 Mt 27:25; cf. Acts 5:28; 18:6.
24 NA 4.
25 Cf. Jn 8:46.
26 Mk 15:34; Ps 22:2; cf. Jn 8:29.
27 Rom 8:32; 5:10.
28 Cf. Mk 14:33-34; Heb 5:7-8.
29 Cf. Rom 5:19-21.
30 Cf. Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24.
31 Cf. Mt 26:26; Mk 14:22.
32 Cf. Mt 14:13-21; 15:32-39.
33 Cf. Jn 2:11; Mk 14:25.
34 Lk 22:7-20; Cf. Mt 26:17-29; Mk 14:12-25; 1 Cor 11:23-26.
35 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1642; cf. Mt 26:26 ff.; Mk 14:22 ff.; Lk 22:19 ff.; 1 Cor 11:24 ff.
36 Mt 26:29; cf. Lk 22:18; Mk 14 25.
37 Rev 1:4; 22 20; 1 Cor 16 22.
38 Didache 10, 6: SCh 248,180.
39 Lk 22:42.
40 Lk 23:34.
41 Jn 19:26-27.
42 Jn 19:28.
43 Mk 15:34; cf. Ps 22:2.
44 Jn 19:30.
45 Lk 23:46.
46 Cf. Mk 15:37; Jn 19:30b.
47 Cf. Mt 11:25-26; Mk 14:36.
48 Cf. Mt 4:1-11; 26:36-44.
49 Jn 17:11; Cf. Mk 13:9, 23, 33-37; 14:38; Lk 12:35-40.
50 Cf. 1 Cor 16:13; Col 4:2; 1 Thess 5:6; 1 Pet 5:8.
51 Rev 16:15.