The Feast of the Passover when the paschal lamb is sacrificed...
Today is, for Jews, the great Feast of the Passover (Hebrew: Pesach). It starts today with the Seder meal, the precursor of the Last Supper of Christ, and extends over 8 days.
Today would normally be the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, which is on 25 March every year, save when, as today, it falls in Holy Week.
It celebrates the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would conceive of the Holy Ghost and bring forth the Saviour, JESUS CHRIST, whose name means "anointed saviour" (Y'shuah Moshiach, in Hebrew - literally Joshua the Anointed).
It is exactly 9 months before Christmas, the birth of Christ, and often coincides with Passiontide.
St Ephraim the Syrian taught that the date of the conception of Christ fell on 10 Nisan in the Hebrew Calendar, the day in which the passover lamb was selected according to Exodus 12.
Some years 10 Nisan falls on 25 March, as, indeed, it does this year for today is all the Feast of the Passover in the Jewish Calendar.
Let us recall those great words of the Prophet Moses as he told the Jewish people what God had ordered them to do on the very first Feast of the Passover since it so starkly pre-figures the great Christian feast of love, the Maundy Mass of the Last Supper of the Lord when Christ our Lord gave us an order or mandate (the "Maundy"):
Mandatum novum do vobis, ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos
A new commandment I give you, love one another as I have loved you
Let us read these words and look forward with pious expectation and joy to the coming Feast of the Lord's Supper wherein we shall not merely eat lamb and unleavened bread but shall instead, eat the very Body and drink the very Blood of our Lord's own body in the form of bread and wine.
Mandatum novum do vobis...