Mazza, Enrico. "Chapter Eighteen: The Last Supper and the Church's Eucharist." The Celebration of the Eucharist: The Origin of the Rite and the Development of Its Interpretation. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press/Pueblo, 1999, 297-306.
Mazza has concluded that the eucharist is best understood in reference to the Last Supper, and that there is a strong analogy between the two (Mazza 1999, 297). Therefore, he considers only the New Testament texts to clarify the actions and desires of Jesus in the meal. The liturgy enables us to relive what Christ gave us when he said, "Do this in remembrance of me" (Mazza 1999, 298).
The Last Supper gives us a meal which is related to Jewish ritual but which, as Jesus acts and speaks, depart from that ritual (Mazza 1999, 299). Mazza sees this as behavior characteristic of a prophet. The passing of the cup is symbolic of a passing around of a special blessing from the head of a family or group (Mazza 1999, 300). Jesus' references to his body and blood refer to the crucifixion and to his death as that which bears witness to his mission. Mazza sees it also as an eschatological statement, as the farewell Jesus gives also signifies the completion of Jesus' tasks (Mazza 1999, 301). The explanation that the bread is Jesus' body speaks to Jesus' mortality (Mazza 1999, 303). However, its being "for you" shows that Jesus' gift is for the particular good of his disciples. Likewise, the cup is important, not only because of the blood, but also because a cup is related to establishing a covenant (Mazza 1999, 304). This is also pertinent to the blood of a c ovenant which is poured out for a sacrifice (Mazza 1999, 305).
Mazza concludes that the Last Supper has pointed effectively to all the significance of the eucharist. The meal is a complex sign of salvation (Mazza 1999, 306).