“When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now.” ~ St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Today begins the holiest three days of the Christian calendar as the Triduum starts with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper this evening. On Holy Thursday evening, we gather to commemorate the great gift that Jesus gave to His people: the gift of His Body and Blood. Before doing so, He washed the feet of His Apostles and instructed that they do the same in the future. Jesus almost always taught by example. If service was to be important, He would serve. That showed His followers that no one should consider themselves too important to serve.
After washing their feet, they gathered for the Passover meal. There, Jesus instituted a new meal. He told them that the bread and wine were His Body and Blood and He instructed them to eat and drink so that they would have life within. Such great love, Jesus has, to give us His very Body and Blood as nourishment on the way to the Kingdom.
Mother Teresa was big on holy hours. She instituted a rule that all of her sisters should spend an hour before the Eucharist so that they always have an appreciation of that wonderful gift. Mother Teresa had a deep appreciation of the crucifix as well as the Eucharist. She saw Jesus at work in both. The crucifix a symbol of love in that perfect act of sacrifice and the Eucharist a perpetual gift that strengthens, heals, and unifies.
Darryl Ducote’s hymn, Look Beyond, reflects Mother Teresa’s passion: “Look beyond the bread you eat, see your savior and your lord. Look beyond the cup you drink, see His love poured out as blood.” The bread we eat is bread no more and the cup we drink is no longer wine. What we eat and drink is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. That wondrous gift is celebrated this evening as the Triduum begins.
FAITH ACTION: Spend some time before the crucifix today and, if you are able, go to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper tonight to thank Jesus for the gift of His Body and Blood.
[Please note that, due to the pandemic, there will be no Eucharistic Procession this evening, the Eucharist will not be installed in an altar of repose, and the church will not remain open for visiting after the Mass. Let’s pray that next year’s Easter finds us free from the pandemic which is necessitating many changes to liturgies.]