And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said,
Take, eat; this is my body.
All Commentaries on Matthew 26:26 Go To Matthew 26
But the evening is a sure sign of the fullness of times and that the things were now come to the very end. [He took bread] and gave thanks to teach us how we ought to celebrate this sacrament and to show that he does not unwillingly come to the Passion. He is teaching us so that whatever we may suffer, we may bear it thankfully. So it is a sign of good hope. If the [Mosaic] type pointed to deliverance from bondage, how much more will the truth he embodies set free the whole world. He is being delivered up for the benefit of our whole human race. This is why he did not ordain the sacrament before this time. But from then on, when the rites of the law were no longer in effect, Jesus ordained it. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily