Thursday, April 9, 2020

Maundy Thursday

On the night before he suffered, Jesus instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. In doing so Christ draws his friends, his Apostles into communion with his own paschal sacrifice. Take, eat, this is my body given for you... this is my blood shed for you, given and shed upon the cross for our redemption. 

Jesus invites us too into this saving mystery, into union with his own sacrificial action on Calvary. In the words of Austin Farrer:

"Do the disciples understand the nature of the bond? Jesus has blessed his food, to be the body he will offer in his sacrifice; do they know that they are committed to membership in such a body as that?  A body flogged, broken, crucified - see, he crumbles the loaf before their eyes.  Do they perceive the new meaning in the ancient custom, the breaking of the bread?  Are they willing to be parts of such a body, are they willing that his body, with its sacrificial destiny, should be theirs?  
The disciples were not yet fully willing, but they came to be, and so we all must; for if we do not want to be given and surrendered to God, why touch religion at all?  By partaking of the sacrificial body, we are to be made capable of sacrifice, taken up, as we are, into the sacrificial being of Christ." (From This is my Body, 1958 Eucharist Congress)

Tonight, as we watch and pray with Jesus in the Garden before his betrayal, ask him to fill our hearts with his love. The same love given on the cross and commanded of us at the Last Supper, "Love one another as I have loved you." (John 13:34-35) The same love which takes us up into the "sacrificial being" of Christ himself.

ALMIGHTY Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, did institute the Sacrament of his Body and Blood; Mercifully grant that we may thankfully receive the same in remembrance of him, who in these holy mysteries giveth us a pledge of life eternal; the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

God bless,



Anonymous said...

The quote gives good insight to the suffering that falls to each of us at times. It's the body we've received a part of. Please friends, re-read it. Don't be afraid to offer a prayer too.

LSP said...

Anon, such powerful words from Farrer. My Godfather, curiously, and thank you for the encouraging comment -- "Don't be afraid to offer a prayer too."

How hard it is to see our own suffering in union with the cross which redeems and beatifies it all! But there it is, and salvation with it.