Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper




Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 39

1st Reading – EX 12:1-8, 11-14

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
“This month shall stand at the head of your calendar;
you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
Tell the whole community of Israel:
On the tenth of this month every one of your families
must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.
If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
and shall share in the lamb
in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month,
and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present,
it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
They shall take some of its blood
and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel
of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh
with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

“This is how you are to eat it:
with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand,
you shall eat like those who are in flight.
It is the Passover of the LORD.
For on this same night I will go through Egypt,
striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast,
and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD!
But the blood will mark the houses where you are.
Seeing the blood, I will pass over you;
thus, when I strike the land of Egypt,
no destructive blow will come upon you.

“This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 116:12-13, 15-16BC, 17-18.

R.. (cf. 1 Cor 10:16) Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
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.
R.. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R.. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R.. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

2nd Reading – 1 COR 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Verse Before The Gospel – JN 13:34

I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:
love one another as I have loved you.

Gospel – JN 13:1-15

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Humility of Service, Nourished by the Eucharist

Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper

“This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Cor. 11:24

We begin, today, the Triduum – the three great celebrations of our Catholic Faith. Yes, there are numerous celebrations that take place throughout the year. But these three celebrations are the heart of our faith and are the culmination of all of our worship. We begin today with the celebration of the Lord’s gift of the Most Holy Eucharist given through the priesthood He instituted. Tomorrow we enter into the mystery of His Crucifixion. Saturday after sundown we enter into the glory of His Resurrection.

On Holy Thursday evening, we begin the Triduum with the commemoration of the Last Supper. This event in history, which took place as a Passover meal shared with Jesus and His Apostles, begins the gift that brings us salvation.

On Holy Thursday, we hear the Lord say for the first time, “This is my body that is for you.” We hear Him point to the gift of the Holy Eucharist as His gift to us, given for our holiness and fulfillment. It’s a gift we will never be able to fathom or comprehend. It’s the gift of His complete self-giving and sacrificial love.

If we could only understand the Eucharist! If we could only understand this precious and sacred gift! The Eucharist is God Himself, present in our world, and given to us to transform us into that which we consume. The Eucharist, in a real way, transforms us into Christ Himself. As we consume the Holy Eucharist we are drawn into the divine life of the Most Holy Trinity. We are made one with God and are given the food of eternity.

On that first Holy Thursday, Jesus also offered an example of the perfect humility and service that we are called to imitate as we become one with Him. He washed the feet of His Apostles so as to teach them and us that His Body and Blood are given so as to enable us to love as He loved. The Eucharist transforms us into true servants who are called to humility. We are called to humble service of others. This service will take on various forms but it is what we are called to.

Do you serve those around you? Do you humble yourself before others to care for their most basic needs? Do you show them you love them by your actions? This is at the heart of Holy Thursday. Humble service is a beautiful expression of our own intimate union with the Son of God.

So often, true “greatness” is misunderstood. Greatness is often perceived with a secular understanding of success and admiration. Too often we want others to admire our accomplishments. But Jesus offers another view of greatness. On Holy Thursday, He shows that true greatness is found in this humble act of service. Imitating Him requires that we surrender our pride. And this is made possible when we consume the Holy Eucharist with faith. The Eucharist enables us to love and serve others in this humble way. And that love and service is an act that will win the hearts and souls of others for the Kingdom of God.

As we celebrate Holy Thursday, we are all challenged to ponder our humility and to commit ourselves to a radical and total gift of self to others.

Reflect, this night, upon whether or not you imitate the humility of our Lord. Are you committed to seeking ways in which you can serve others, showing them you love and care for them? Let Holy Thursday transform you so that you can imitate the great love that Jesus offered us on this glorious night.

Lord, help me to understand what it means to be a servant. Help me to live this humility in my actions. May the gift of Your most Sacred Body and Blood transform me into the person You desire me to be. Jesus, I trust in You.

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