Tag Archives: Holy week

Holy Thursday under Quarantine

A depiction of the Last Supper. Jesus sits in the center, his apostles gathered around on either side of him.

By Juan de Juanes[2], Public Domain, Link

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.

Holy Week is Different this Year

Holy Week is different this year.

It was sad to watch (not just watch, but remotely participate in, prayerfully and with as much reverent attention as possible) – – the Mass for Palm Sunday.

“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Many feel abandoned at this time. Why has God allowed us to be plunged into this darkness? As I watched, I thought about the suffering that Christ went through. We must go the way that the Master went. If he suffered how can we be exempt? The Church is the Body of Christ. If the Head suffers, the Body suffers as well. God has allowed the Members of Christ to actively participate – – not just theoretically, but actually, concretely and experientially in the sufferings of Christ. We feel it. We enter into it. But if we share in the sufferings of Christ, we will certainly share in his glorious resurrection from death. It turns out that he really is the victorious king. Psalm 22, that Jesus also prays on our behalf), which begins with the words, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” ends in praise of God, “for he not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.”