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