Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper

HOLY THURSDAY, is a day very dear to those who love the Mass and the most blessed Sacrament, for it is the day that Jesus gave us these great Gifts.

Christ Washing Peter's Feet, Ford Madox Brown

Christ Washing Peter’s Feet, Ford Madox Brown

In the Mass of the Lord’s Supper celebrated in our parish, we remember and make present that Last Supper which Jesus shared with his disciples. We are in the upper room with Jesus and the Apostles and do what they did. Through the ritual of washing the feet (Jn 13:1) of 12 parishioners, we unite in service to one another. Through our celebration of this first Mass (Mt 26:26), we unite ourselves to Jesus and receive his Body and Blood as if for the first time. At this Eucharist, we especially thank God for his gift of the sacred priesthood.

After the Last Supper (which was the first Mass) the apostles and Jesus made a short journey across the Kidron Valley to the Garden where he asks them to pray and he experiences his agony (cf Mt 26:30). We too will process in Church with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose. The liturgy ends in silence. It is an ancient custom to spend an hour before the reposed Blessed Sacrament tonight. We are with Jesus in the Garden and pray as he goes through his agony. Our parish church will remain open until midnight. It was near Midnight that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, was arrested and taken to the house of the High Priest (cf Mt. 26:47).

3rd quarter of 16th century

Msgr. Douglas A. Raun
Pastor
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
Rio Rancho, NM

 

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Wheelchair-bound man moves three million hearts in Copacabana :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Felipe, 23, spoke at the World Youth Day prayer vigil July 27 at Copacabana Beach.

He told how at the end of the past World Youth Day, held in Madrid in 2011, he made two spiritual promises. He promised to stay chaste until marriage and to work hard so his prayer group of Ponta Grossa, in Brazil’s southern state of Paraná, could participate in this year’s World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

With few resources, Felipe and his friends began saving money by working several hard jobs at the same time that they prepared themselves spiritually: praying, adoring the Blessed Sacrament, fasting and doing works of solidarity.

Then a horrible thing happened.

“In January of this year, two days before turning 23, two youths entered my house, armed, to rob the money we had gathered with so much sacrifice,” said Felipe.

“I thought of the months of great efforts, of my family’s sacrificing, of my friends and colleagues… in what would have been snatched from us and I decided I would not give it,” he added July 27.

Felipe saved the savings of the group, but received a gunshot wound that almost ended his life.

“I was clinically dead, I had several cardiac arrests, and the doctor told my parents in the hospital ‘this boy has no hope,’ but I’m here and my community is here because of God’s mercy,” remarked Felipe.

In front of a shocked crowd and in front of Pope Francis, who looked at him attentively, the Brazilian told how he was in coma, breathing through a tube, while his community offered prayer intentions and sacrifices so he would heal.

Finally, when he became conscience, the first thing he did was ask for the Eucharist and after receiving it, he recovered rapidly.

But Felipe, who was then bound to a wheelchair, stated “this is my cross, the cross the Lord sent me to come closer to him, to live more openly his grace and love.”

When the three million youths broke out clapping, Felipe interrupted them.

“Silence!” he said. “Let’s listen to the Holy Spirit!”

The 23-year-old then asked each of the youths present to take the cross they had hung around their neck, to hold it and look at it.

Felipe invited them to meditate in silence on the questions: “What is the cross that the Lord has given me? What is the cross that he wants me to carry for his love?”

Everyone present, including bishops and cardinals, contemplated their own cross around their neck. The wheelchair-bound young man’s words created a unique moment of profound silence along the entire Copacabana beach.

via Wheelchair-bound man moves three million hearts in Copacabana :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

divineoffice.org – The eucharist, pledge of our resurrection

From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop
The eucharist, pledge of our resurrection

If our flesh is not saved, then the Lord has not redeemed us with his blood, the eucharistic chalice does not make us sharers in his blood, and the bread we break does not make us sharers in his body. There can be no blood without veins, flesh and the rest of the human substance, and this the Word of God actually became: it was with his own blood that he redeemed us. As the Apostle says: In him, through his blood, we have been redeemed, our sins have been forgiven.

We are his members and we are nourished by creation, which is his gift to us, for it is he who causes the sun to rise and the rain to fall. He declared that the chalice, which comes from his creation, was his blood, and he makes it the nourishment of our blood. He affirmed that the bread, which comes from his creation, was his body, and he makes it the nourishment of our body. When the chalice we mix and the bread we bake receive the word of God, the eucharistic elements become the body and blood of Christ, by which our bodies live and grow. How then can it be said that flesh belonging to the Lord’s own body and nourished by his body and blood is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life? Saint Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that we are members of his body,of his flesh and bones. He is not speaking of some spiritual and incorporeal kind of man, for spirits do not have flesh and bones. He is speaking of a real human body composed of flesh, sinews and bones, nourished by the chalice of Christ’s blood and receiving growth from the bread which is his body.

The slip of a vine planted in the ground bears fruit at the proper time. The grain of wheat falls into the ground and decays only to be raised up again and multiplied by the Spirit of God who sustains all things. The Wisdom of God places these things at the service of man and when they receive God’s word they become the eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ. In the same way our bodies, which have been nourished by the eucharist, will be buried in the earth and will decay, but they will rise again at the appointed time, for the Word of God will raise them up to the glory of God the Father. Then the Father will clothe our mortal nature in immortality and freely endow our corruptible nature with incorruptibility, for God’s power is shown most perfectly in weakness