Following Jesus’ Example, Holy Thursday (A), March 28, 2002

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Espirito Santo Parish
Holy Thursday
March 28, 2002
Ex 12:1-8, 11-14; Ps 116; 1Cor11:23-26; Jn13:1-15
Espirito Santo School Mass

1) Jesus has desired with desire to eat this Passover with us.
• Just as he said to the apostles in the Upper Room, so he says to us.
• Jesus wants us here. He wants to renew this with us and have us share in it.
• We participate in the Last Supper live every time we come to Mass.
• Do we want to do what God wants?

2) At the Mass, we receive the most awesome thing in the world, Jesus’ own flesh and blood.
• He is the Passover lamb of God. Just like the Israelites had to eat the Lamb, so we have to eat the lamb. Unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we don’t have his life within us.
• Therefore, after the solemn words of consecration, there is no bread left, no wine left. If we held a chalice under him at the Cross, the blood would be the same as that which comes into the chalice, except for the fact that now it is Jesus’ risen body and blood and the appearances aren’t like blood but are like wine. But it is really Jesus.
• Could anything be more important than this?
• That’s why the Mass is so important.

3) To be able to share in this incredibly awesome gift, we need the gift of the priesthood.
• Priests continue the sacrifice Christ instituted. Without priests, there would be no Eucharist.
• “Do this in memory of me” has been followed. Pope celebrated it today. Those imprisoned in China did it today with some pieces of bread and smuggled wine. Priests in the Sudan did it today at the risk of their lives. Some priests will do it today for the last time, with lay people who will receive the Eucharist for the last time. Today I have the privilege of celebrating the Mass for the 1517th time.
• God is calling some of you boys here to do this, to be sent out by Him, to continue to do this so that all people can have access to this great gift. Are you willing to say yes if God is calling you?
• Some priests haven’t been faithful to Jesus. Judas was there at the Last Supper, but he went out and betrayed Jesus. He wasn’t chosen to betray him, but he was always free. He started to doubt Jesus when Jesus told him we had to eat his flesh and drink his blood. There’s a real connection that that is what happened when he left during the Last Supper: he allowed Satan to enter into him and followed through with his turning over Jesus. Even after he realized he had done wrong, he didn’t come to Jesus for forgiveness.
• Our fidelity to Christ really starts here at the Eucharist.
• All of us need to pray for priests and to help priests be holy, so that they can make us holier.

4) Finally, Jesus calls us all to service. He, our God, washed the feet of his disciples. He washes us from our sins by his own blood. He tells us to serve others in love. If we do this, he’ll gird himself with an apron again and wait on us at table in the heavenly banquet! That’s his promise.

5) What’s our response? The only adequate response is to give ourselves in return. Jesus this is my body, given for you! (Possibly recite together “When I survey the Wondrous Cross.”)