Holy Thursday

(from the 2010 Magnificat Lenten Companion)

A New Presence
"Do you realize what I have done for you?" Today', Jesus Christ addresses this question to the Church. What has Christ done for us? Three mysteries come to mind: First, he gives us the sacrament of his body and blood. The cenacle provides a place where friends gather to share. The Eucharist is no ordinary meal. The Last Supper could not have taken place in a fast-food restaurant where people stop to find something to eat. Because Christ wants to remain amond his friends, he institutes the sacrament of Real Presence. Second, Christ ordains men priests to serve in his name and Person. Priestly ministry stands at the heart of the practice of the Christian religion. Without priests, there is no perfect way for men to worship God, no sure way for us to be found pleasing before him. Without the words of absolution spoken by the priest, we remain in our sins, bent on those things that dishonor instead of ennoble. Without the gift of the Eucharist brought by the priest, we find ourselves alone in the world, isolated from neighbor and God. Both Reconciliation and Eucharist bring a new Presence that is God's very own. This Presence introduces the third mystery: Love. When we meet Christ in the sacraments, his love becomes our own. Do you realize what Christ has done for you?

Reflection based on John 13:1-15
Father Romanus Cessario, O.P.

Loving Father, you have given us the sacraments that wash
away our sins and make us lovers of the truth.
Make me sorry for my sins so that I may approach worthily
the Easter mystery.

Today's suggested penance: Buy someone a meal or something to drink.