“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him. The people who give you their food give you their heart.” ~ Cesar Chavez
What a poignant quote to stumble upon as we reflect upon Holy Thursday and what begins the Triduum: the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Jesus, the night before He died, gathered his friends together for a sacred meal. The meal was at the very roots of their faith, the Passover. Yet, at the meal, Jesus gave an entirely new definition to the meal and changed the substance of it as well.
While at supper, He told His friends that He was giving them His very own Body and Blood and challenged them to remember Him every time they gathered together for that sacred meal. Throughout the centuries, when we gather around the altar at church, we receive that same meal, the Body and Blood of Christ.
Jesus gave us more than food. He gave us His very self. We nourish ourselves on His Body and Blood. That food provides the sustenance that our souls need while we are here on earth. That food reminds us of the selfless act of Jesus Christ as He willingly gave Himself into the hands of those who hated Him. That meal also reminds us of our need to serve one another as the Lord showed by example when He washed the feet of His disciples.
Because that meal and the Eucharist have such an impact upon us, there are many who grieve the fact that they cannot consume that very gift today because of the prohibition for public gatherings. The best that we can do is ask God to give us Spiritual Communion as we watch Mass live-streamed from many churches.
We might not be able to receive the physical Eucharist tonight; however, that does not prevent us from participating in the victory Christ won for us. It does not separate us from Christ. It does not separate us from one another.
Do not be too sad as you gather in front of your computer monitor or television to watch the Masses and services of the Triduum this year. Jesus has not abandoned us. If anything, we might be more keenly aware of His ever-present love.
FAITH ACTION: In prayer this day, thank Jesus for the gift of the Eucharist, even if you cannot receive that Eucharist at this time.