Holy Thursday Service
A Celebration of Eucharist
A Celebration of Holy Orders
A Call to Serve
who have called us to participate
in this most sacred Supper,
in which your Only Begotten Son,
when about to hand himself over to death,
entrusted to the Church
a sacrifice new for all eternity,
the banquet of his love,
grant, we pray,
that we may draw from so great a mystery,
the fullness of charity and of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
The Eucharist, instituted at the Last Supper, which we commemorate today, is called the “source and the summit of Christian life” (Lumen Gentium 11).
The idea is that we become what we eat, that we take on the characteristics of Jesus by consuming his body.
Because of the centrality of the Eucharist—and to uplift its unifying force—the U.S. bishops have organized a Eucharistic Revival that includes a Eucharistic Congress in July 2024, to be followed by a “year of mission.”
As these sacred days unfold, allow the Eucharist to unite you to Christ and your sisters and brothers.
FOCUS: Serve one another, and love one another.
The community surrounding Moses, the people of Corinth, and the disciples present at the Last Supper all were given Godly instructions – “do this,” for the Lord who has made a covenant with you has provided the means of salvation. We, like the people of old, are commanded to hear God’s word, partake of the Eucharist, and go forth transformed to serve and love one another.
The Triduum is underway as we celebrate Holy Thursday. This is the great day of celebration for the institution of the Eucharist, the Mass, and the Priesthood. The events of the gospel occur during a meal…this is the first meal at which Jesus in the Eucharist will be shared.
Before the Eucharist is share though, Jesus places Himself at the service of others in a very lowly position. Only those who were more or less desperate for wages in order to survive would have taken such a job, Jesus would be among the meek. Peter was of course one of the Apostles closest to Jesus, but even Peter did not understand the level to which Jesus would go to serve others.
As Peter does finally get it, Peter wants more and more of it. Peter wants to be close to Jesus, as close as he could get so that Peter could do what it is Jesus will ask of Peter. One big thing we need to make a focus is who was at this foot washing…Judas. There was the one who had already turned toward satan in his actions, still being served by Jesus.
Jesus is open to forgiving our mistakes as He forgave Peter in this gospel and Jesus will again forgive Peter after Peter denies Jesus three times. Jesus is also ready to forgive Judas, to take Judas close to Him, but Jesus was not going to share Himself in the Eucharist while Judas was not ready to reconcile himself with Jesus. The breaking of the bread would occur after Judas left the Last Supper.
We need to be careful to engage Jesus in the Eucharist when we are worthy, when we are in a state of grace, when we are free of grave of mortal sin. Reflect on your conscience. Grave, or mortal, sin entails something of grave or significant matter, knowing it is wrong, and doing it anyway. It is never too late to reconcile! Jesus wants us to be with Him for eternity!
Now, go smile at God today! You are loved!