From bread and wine into Christ’s flesh and blood, soul and divinity
Reflections on the readings for Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (April 18, 2019): EX 12:1-8,11-14; PS 116:12-13,15-16,17-18; 1COR 11:23-26; JN 13:1-15
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
In the first reading for this Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we hear how Moses saved the Jews from the slaughter of their first-born by marking their doors with the blood of a lamb.
More than that, God instructs Moses that this event – which leads to the rescue of His people from slavery in Egypt – would become a memorial feast for generation after generation. And it was this Passover feast that Jesus celebrated with His Apostles the night before He died.
As we begin the Triduum that concludes with the Resurrection on Easter, we leave Lent behind and enter the most solemn time of the year for Christians. At that final supper with His followers, our Lord and Savior revealed the necessity for faithful and humble service by washing the feet of each of the Apostles. On that same evening, Jesus also established the priesthood and instituted the Holy Eucharist. He wanted those who follow Him to share in the wondrous gift of being nourished by His own body, blood, soul and divinity. Bread and wine become Christ’s flesh and blood that we would consume for the wellbeing of our immortal souls. “How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for Me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:12-13). Tomorrow we contemplate the Passion of Christ. Meditating on His incomprehensible love and the terrible crucifixion that ended His life on earth, we need to ponder our own lives as His beloved children for time and eternity.
Suggested missionary action: We can ask our Lord to help us grow in appreciation for the great gift of the Holy Eucharist and to receive the Sacrament as frequently as possible by attending Mass throughout the week.