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Posts Tagged ‘Last Supper’

Holy Thursday

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2013/03/27 at 12:00 AM
  • With this Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we begin our solemn 3-part vigil in preparation for Easter Sunday known as the Triduum.
  • As its name suggests, the Triduum is three liturgies in one, consisting of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which we are now celebrating, the Passion of the Lord, which we will celebrate tomorrow, and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night.
  • Tonight, with this Mass, we sit with Christ at the Last Supper as He gives us the inseparable gifts of the priesthood and the Eucharist, and at the end of the Mass we will follow our Lord into the Garden of Gethsemane to watch and pray with Him.
  • Tomorrow we will witness all that He suffers for us, and we will stand at the foot of the cross with His Mother as Jesus dies for our sins. And finally, on Holy Saturday night, we will peer into the empty tomb and experience anew the glory of His resurrection.
  • Tonight’s Gospel tells us that Jesus “loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.” In celebrating the liturgies of Triduum, we see the many ways that our Lord shows His love for us.
  • In tonight’s Mass our Lord shows us His love by giving us His two most powerful and important gifts: the priesthood and the Eucharist.
  • Tomorrow, we witness our Lord’s sacrificial and self-emptying love poured out for us on the cross. In His great love for us, Jesus will suffer and die a most ignoble death, even though He is innocent, and He will do so to save us from our sins.
  • And on Holy Saturday night we will experience His love through the power of His resurrection, a gift that He lovingly promises to give to each of us if we simply believe in Him and live our lives as witnesses to our belief in Him.
  • The liturgies of the Triduum also show us God’s greatness, and in tonight’s Mass we see our Lord’s greatness expressed paradoxically in humble service.
  • Although Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He kneels before His disciples and washes their feet like a common slave, an action that we memorialize in this Mass.
  • Our Lord’s humility does not end there, though. We see Christ’s humility expressed in two other important ways in tonight’s Mass.
  • We see His humility in the fact that He is willing to become our food and drink. In His great love for us, He hides His infinite greatness in bread and wine so that we might eat and drink of our redemption in Holy Communion.
  • Not only does Jesus become bread and wine, but He even extends His power to confect the Eucharist, to forgive sins, to bless and heal and counsel and teach to weak and broken men like myself in the gift of the priesthood.
  • And our Lord does this not so that He can elevate priests above the people entrusted to their care, but so that there might be men in this world who will perpetuate His love and continue His humble service throughout history.
  • And all this: His humble service, His love, His twin gifts of the Eucharist and the priesthood we experience and live anew in this Mass.
  • As we experience our Lord’s loving and humble service, as we receive His gifts of the priesthood and the Eucharist, we are called to give thanks to our Lord.
  • We show our gratitude first by our willingness to follow our Lord into the Garden tonight so that we might stay and pray with Him. As such, at the end of this Mass we will have a Eucharistic Procession and Adoration until midnight.
  • Yet the gratitude demanded of us for such awesome gifts cannot be satisfied by prayer alone. Indeed, our gratitude to Christ is best shown through humble imitation of Him.
  • Like our Lord, we also must be willing to humble ourselves before others and serve them. We must be willing to give of ourselves fully through charitable words and actions, most especially through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
  • We must also show our love and gratitude to our Lord by treating the Eucharist with profound reverence and love, maintaining a reverent decorum whenever we are in its presence, only receiving the Eucharist when we are properly disposed to do so.
  • Lastly, we show our thanks to our Lord by the way we treat our priests, recognizing that by the grace of Holy Orders, priests stand in Christ’s place here on earth.
  • I make this last point with a great deal of trepidation, because although by grace I am a priest of Jesus Christ, I am a weak and sinful man. I sincerely ask for your forgiveness for the times that I have failed to be a priest like Jesus Christ.
  • But even though priests are weak and sinful, we must treat them with a certain respect and reverence because they stand in the person of Christ. Indeed, because of the great dignity priests possess, we must treat priests as we would treat Jesus Himself.
  • Truly, I’ve found that most of you here at St. Ann’s do just that, and I’m so very grateful for the respect, affection, and love you show me despite my faults and failings.
  • But if I may be so bold as to ask something of you, I ask that you pray for me an d for all priests. Pray that we may be truly holy, truly Christ-like in every way so that we can be proper pastors and shepherds of souls.
  • It can be a frightening thing to stand at the altar and call down our Lord from Heaven, holding Him, Who is our Creator, in my hands. It’s an awesome responsibility to stand in His place and bless, heal, counsel, teach, and forgive sins. So we need your prayers.
  • Pray that we may be always fervent, chaste, prudent and charitable. Pray that we have the courage to live our vocations with reverence and integrity. Pray most of all that we be effective in helping you on the path to salvation.
  • Looking back over the last 4 years that I’ve been at St. Ann’s, I am so very grateful for your prayers, support, and love. Truly, it’s hard for me to imagine a parish that I’d rather be serving than this one.
  • I am most grateful for your willingness to bear with me as we’ve made so many changes, especially to our church and to our liturgy. I’m quite conscious of the fact that I’ve asked a lot of this parish.
  • The guiding principles I’ve followed in making these changes have been fidelity to Church law, teaching and tradition, and fidelity to what I believe the Lord has asked of me in prayer. My hope in making these changes has been to help you grow in holiness.
  • Specifically, I’ve hoped to increase your reverence and devotion to the Eucharist, and to increase your love and appreciation for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because this is the very heart of our beautiful Catholic faith.
  • It is through the Eucharist that we receive in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that our Lord gives Himself to us most profoundly. It is here that He gives us every grace we need to be saved. It is here that we are most closely united to Him.
  • As we honor our Lord tonight for the twin gifts of the Eucharist and the priesthood, let us show our gratitude by giving ourselves to Him whole-heartedly and without reserve.
  • Let us show our love for Jesus by always honoring the Eucharist and the priesthood, by which Christ is made present to us.

Copyright 2011 by Reverend Timothy S. Reid

Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic  Church in Charlotte, NC

Eucharistic Communion and Contemplation Are Inseparable

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2013/02/28 at 12:00 AM

Pope Benedict pronounced a homily in which he focused on the sacredness of the Eucharist, and in particular on the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.”A unilateral interpretation of Vatican Council II has penalized this dimension”, the Holy Father explained, “effectively limiting the Eucharist to the moment of celebrating Mass. It is, of course, very important to recognize the importance of celebration, in which the Lord calls His people, bringing them together around the table of the Word and Bread of life, nourishing them and uniting them to Himself in the sacrificial offering. This interpretation of the liturgical gathering, in which the Lord works and achieves His mystery of communion, naturally retains all its validity, but a rightful balance must be restored. … By concentrating our relationship with the Eucharistic Christ only on Mass we run the risk that the rest of time and space is emptied of His presence. Thus our perception of Jesus’ constant, real and close presence among us and with us is diminished”.

“It is a mistake to establish a contrast between celebration and adoration, as if they were in competition with one another. The opposite is true. The cult of the Blessed Sacrament represents the spiritual ‘environment’ within which the community can celebrate the Eucharist correctly and truthfully. Only if preceded, accompanied and followed by this interior attitude of faith and adoration, can liturgical activity express its full meaning and value”, the Pope said.He then went on to explain that, at the moment of adoration, we are all at the same level, “on our knees before the Sacrament of Love. The common and ministerial priesthood come together in the cult of the Eucharist. … By remaining together in silence before the Lord, present in His Sacrament, we have one of the most authentic experiences of being Church, one that is complementary to our celebration of the Eucharist. … Communion and contemplation cannot be separated, they go together”, and if contemplation is lacking “even sacramental communion can become a superficial gesture on our part”.

Turning then to consider the sacredness of the Eucharist, Benedict XVI noted that here too, in the recent past, there has been “some misunderstanding of the authentic message of Holy Scripture. The Christian novelty of worship has been influenced by a certain secularist mentality of the 1960s and 1970s. It is true, and it remains valid, that the centre of worship is no longer in the ancient rites and sacrifices, but in Christ Himself, His person, His life, His Paschal Mystery. Yet this fundamental novelty must not lead us to conclude that the sacred no longer exists”.

Christ “did not abolish the sacred but brought it to fulfilment, inaugurating a new worship which is entirely spiritual but which nonetheless, as long as our journey in time continues, still uses signs and rites. These will only fall into disuse at the end, in the celestial Jerusalem where there will be no temple”.

Moreover, the Holy Father went on, “the sacred has an educational function. Its disappearance inevitably impoverishes culture, and especially the formation of the new generations. … Our Father God … sent His Son into the world, not to abolish the sacred but to bring it to fulfilment. At the culmination of this mission, at the Last Supper, Jesus established the Sacrament of His Body and His Blood, the Memorial of His Paschal Sacrifice. By doing so he put Himself in the place of the ancient sacrifices, but He did so in the context of a rite, which he ordered the Apostles to perpetuate as a supreme sign of the true sacrifice, which is Him. With this faith, … day after day we celebrate the Eucharistic Mystery, and adore it as the centre of our lives and the heart of the world”.

VIS 120608

New Passover

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/04/21 at 2:08 PM

“…this farewell meal was not the old Passover, but the new one, which Jesus accomplished…It was Jesus’ Passover.  And in this sense he both did and did not celebrate the Passover: the old rituals could not be carried out when their time came.  Jesus had already died.  But he had given himself, and thus he had truly celebrated the Passover with them.  The old was not abolished; it was simply brought into its full meaning.”

Ratzinger, Joseph (Pope Benedict XVI) JESUS OF NAZARETH, Part Two. Ignatius Press.

Importance of a Preposition

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/04/21 at 2:00 PM

The preposition “for” has tremendous importance in the history of redemption.

“The Son…gave his life as a ransom FOR many.” (MK 10:45)

“Christ died FOR our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.” (I Cor. 15:3)

“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is FOR you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  (I Cor.15:23-24)

“Recent theology has rightly underlined the use of the word “for” in all four (Gospel) accounts, a word that may be considered the key not on only for the Last Supper account, but to the figure of Jesus overall.  His entire being is expressed by the word “pro-existence” – he is there, not for himself, but for others.  This is not merely a dimension of his existence, but its innermost essence and its entirety.  His very being is a “being-for”.  If we are able to grasp this, then we have truly come close to the mystery of Jesus, and we have understood what discipleship is.”

Ratzinger, Joseph (Pope Benedict XVI) JESUS OF NAZARETH, Part Two. Ignatius Press.