This evening is the beginning of Sacred Paschal Triduum, the holiest 3 days of the year in which the mystery of the Passion, Death and Resurrection are made present. We can actually enter into it. Holy Thursday is when Jesus instituted the Eucharist:
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”– John 6:51
It’s not just the night when Jesus washed the stinking feet of Galilean fishermen – – he ordained them as priests to perpetuate the events of these 3 days and to make him available to us.
It’s easy to feel abandoned by God at this time this year but he doesn’t abandon us – – he gives himself to us, whole and entire, body and blood, soul and Divinity. I think this plague allows the opportunity to really appreciate what – – who – – we take for granted so often. Jesus is there under the appearance of bread and wine. But we cannot receive him at this time. God even uses that.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Love increases so that when it’s possible to receive him, people will be even more on fire and appreciate the treasure they have. Far, far greater is his longing for us. “And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15).
I believe that God has allowed our inability to partake of the flesh of the Lamb in order that our appreciation and devotion for the Holy Eucharist may grow exponentially especially at a time when so many don’t believe. I’m thinking of the recent poll of Catholics in which a majority said that they didn’t believe in the real, substantial, actual presence of Jesus Christ. That piece of bread, that drop of wine, it’s transformed entirely in substance so totally that it’s no longer bread and wine!
While it’s not the same thing, it’s good to make spiritual communions, asking the one who marked us with his own blood, to give us his heart tissue. We can’t love our neighbor as he loves us without his gift to us. That’s why we have to continually ask him to give himself to us. Not to do so is to risk remaining in Egypt.
This night Christ begins the Exodus of the human race from slavery of sin and death – – the real plague, and the cause of every plague. The cosmic battle begins. The blood of the Lamb delivers us from eternal destruction.
Originally posted on Facebook.