Fr. Ben J. Cameron, C.P.M.
Dr. Brant Pitre, a layman who is a professor of Biblical Theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, has published a beautiful and eye-opening book entitled Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper. I have just finished reading the book, and I found it to be very well-written, easy to understand [unlike some books of theology which might leave a Ph.D. scratching his head, wondering what the author is trying to say], and truly enlightening. I have been a priest and missionary with the Fathers of Mercy for 18 years now, and have preached literally hundreds of mission and retreat conferences on the Mystery of our Faith, the Most Holy Eucharist, but I definitely learned some new insights through this beautiful book.
The book is very well-organized, and each chapter has a three section format:
(1.) It explains something in the Old Testament which is a foreshadowing (“type”) of the Holy Eucharist — such as the Exodus, the Manna, the Passover and the Bread of the Presence.
(2.) It delves into how that Old Covenant reality was celebrated in the time of Our Lord, and uses both Christian and Jewish sources to do so.
(3.) It explains how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament and first-century Jewish expectations in the Last Supper — in other words, it explains how the Last Supper, Calvary and the Mass which we celebrate today are, in fact, the fulfillment of the hope of the Jewish people for the Messiah. The Last Supper is the fulfillment of all of the expectations of what the Messiah would bring about.
If you would like to take a deeper look at the mystery of the Holy Eucharist, and to strengthen your Catholic Faith in this divine mystery of our salvation, then I would highly recommend this book. It can serve not only for study of our Faith, but for spiritual reading as well. May it nourish and strengthen the faith of many Catholics in the Holy Eucharist!