Ave Maria Meditations
Let us be renewed so that we may thus attend the new feast of the new Lamb, for today we shall not be feasting on the flesh and blood of brute animals as the Jews did, but on God himself, on our Lord Jesus Christ who was sacrificed as our Passover. He is our new, completely sufficient, and rich banquet.
This banquet is new because of its nature; it is free from the staleness of sin, which is shown because it imparts its own newness to us if we eat it worthily. It is completely sufficient because Christ was sacrificed as the one true victim offered once for all in place of the many prefigurative and inadequate victims offered over and over in accordance with the Law. For although Christ is sacramentally offered, sacrificed, and broken daily on many altars, he was in fact sacrificed only once as the one true victim, for Christ, having risen from the dead, dies no more. And whereas the many sacrifices of the Jews – their sacrifices for sin, their peace offerings, their votive offerings, their victims – were insufficient, Christ is a sufficient sacrifice for everything and for everyone: to atone for sins, restore peace between God and humankind, win a hearing for human prayers, and overcome enemies.
Finally, this banquet is a rich one because our Lord Jesus Christ is, as it were, “fat” with the fullness of grace, charity, and mercy. He is the fatted calf which the father ordered to be slain when his son returned from the land of unlikeness. So now that we have been invited to this new, bountiful, and rich banquet, let us be careful to do as the wise man says: If you sit at a lavish table, know that you must prepare a similar one. Since we have been invited to the table of Christ, let us prepare a similar one for him: let us love him as he has loved us, humble ourselves for him as he humbled himself for us, and be ready to die for him as he died for us.
Ralph the Fervent (+1101) was a priest in the diocese of Poitiers, France.