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HOLY THURSDAY EVENING MASS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER APRIL 6, 2023





Gospel

He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.



REFLECTION


Today begins the most sacred Holy Triduum- the three greatest Feasts of the Church--Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Easter. Tonight we celebrate the Last Supper with our Lord. We are invited to enter the Paschal Mystery through the Eucharist.


On Holy Thursday we celebrate the institution of the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and the institution of the Priesthood (Holy Orders). We keep vigil in prayer until midnight.


"On the night that He was betrayed, Jesus transformed this Last Supper with the apostles into the memorial of His voluntary offering to the Father for the salvation of men. The Eucharist that Christ institutes at that moment will be the memorial of His sacrifice, a memorial of His death and resurrection; a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us." (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) # 1322)


Jesus includes the apostles in His own offering and bids them perpetuate it. By doing so, the Lord institutes His apostles as priests of the New Covenant. (CCC#610, 611)

At the Last Supper, Jesus commanded, "Do this in remembrance of me."


Every time the Mass is celebrated, the saving events of the Paschal Mystery are truly present. It is the sacrifice of the New Covenant which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the "blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins". (CCC # 613)


The Sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." " In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered Himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner" (CCC, #1367)


When we participate in the Mass we are participating in the Sacrifice of Christ, on the Cross, in a non bloody manner. We are truly there, truly present in Calvary. The most profound respect, modest dressing and reverence is necessary. This is the greatest act of love by Jesus Christ.


All we do is in the presence of Mother Mary and her Son, experiencing and receiving His saving grace. All we do should be in love, no distractions, no rushing, no thoughts that take us away from the Mass. It is the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving in awe for His victory over sin and death.


The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is accomplished once for all. It is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's priesthood: "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only His ministers." (CCC, # 1545)


The priest is separated by God to be His. (Kadosh). We hear the command of Christ, "Do this in memory of me". Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and man.


In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ Himself who is present to His Church as Head of His Body, Shepherd of His flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona in Christi Capitis. (CCC #1548)


Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers. (CCC #1549)


PAPA prays for priests to have the zeal, passion and love for God and His Spouse, the Holy Catholic Church:: To remain detached from the world, to heal the wounds of sinners, be kind, caring, and available when called upon. To be more like Jesus. An absolute gift of self. "To be more bold, courageous, and fearful of nothing that might happen." (St Catherine of Siena)


Visit papamio.org for the PAPA Prayer for Priests, Meditations for Holy Thursday and many devotions and novenas.


*(Catechism of the Catholic Church=CCC)


God Bless You







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