Q. In which city or town was the Last Supper held? Was it Jerusalem?
J.S., via e-mail
A. Here’s a reply from TCA columnist Father Ray Ryland, Ph.D., J.D:
Indeed, the Last Supper was held in Jerusalem. That city was the focal point of Jesus' entire earthly ministry. It had long been the center of ancient Jewish religious practice, because the Temple was there.
Recall the famous Gospel account in which Mary and Joseph lost track of the young Jesus but finally find Him in the Temple. When Mary remonstrated with Him for staying behind in the Temple in Jerusalem, He asked, perhaps rhetorically, "Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" (Lk 2:49).
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus referred to Jerusalem as "the city of the great King," quoting the psalmist (see Mt 5:35; Ps 48:2).
Several times Jesus told His disciples that His passion must take place in Jerusalem (see Mt 16:21; 20:17-19). "It cannot be," He observed, "that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem" (Lk 13:33). At His transfiguration, Moses and Elijah spoke to Him about "His exodus [His passion] that He was going to accomplish in Jerusalem" (Lk 9:31). (Notice the word "accomplish" -- not simply "endure.")
In anguish for all those who would not accept Him, Our Lord wept over Jerusalem: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling!" (Lk 13:34).
Obviously, the city was dear to His heart.