Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus is a pocket... Read more
By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Apr 9, 2009)
Readings: Chrism Mass: Is 61:1-3, 6, 8-9; Rev 1:5-8; Lk 4:16-21
Mass of the Lord's Supper: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Jn 13:1-15
"As I have done for you, so you should also do." Jn 13:15
On Holy Thursday, we celebrate Christ's institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper.
But the main reading is from the Gospel of John, the only one of the four Gospels that doesn't mention the Institution of the Eucharist. Instead, it shows us Christ washing the feet of His disciples.
Why? Because John wants us to understand what Eucharist really means. Who is this Christ we receive in the Eucharist? What is He all about? Why did He come? Why did He choose to remain with us in this Sacrament? What kind of response does He want from us?
Christ was sent by God the Father on a mission of mercy (see Is 61:1). His whole purpose is to bring us the Father's love. He doesn't come to us in the Eucharist so that we can enjoy a few warm, fuzzy spiritual moments and then go back to life as usual. He comes to free us, heal us, and transform us so that we can become like Him and participate with Him in bringing the Father's merciful love to others.
As Pope John Paul II explains, "The Eucharist is a mode of being, which passes from Jesus into each Christian, through whose testimony it is meant to spread throughout society and culture" (Mane Nobiscum Domine, 25). As we receive, we are supposed to enter into communion with Christ, adopting His attitudes, His values, His love, His desires, and His entire way of being. We then are to "pass it on" to others.
"It is not by chance," John Paul continues, "that the Gospel of John contains no account of the institution of the Eucharist, but instead relates the 'washing of feet.' ... By bending down to wash the feet of His disciples, Jesus explains the meaning of the Eucharist" (28).
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for inviting me to share in Your divine life through the Eucharist. Fill me more and more with the desire to bring Your message of mercy to others. Amen.