Thursday17th April – Holy Thursday
Reflection: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
THE PASSOVER LAMB
Today is Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) and is the first day of the Easter Triduum (the three days preceding Easter Sunday). Holy Thursday marks the Institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood. The feast of Maundy Thursday finds its root in the Jewish feast of Passover, the night on which the Last Supper is recorded to have occurred (John13:1-2). The Jewish people celebrate the feast of Passover in commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in ancient Egypt that was ruled by the Pharaohs, and their birth as a nation under the leadership of Moses (Exodus 12:21-42). Thus, Passover reminds them of the passing from slavery to liberty.
By celebrating the Last Supper with His apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning (CCC1340). Jesus’ passing over to his Father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the Kingdom of God (Luke22:18). Thus, the celebration of the Eucharist is our own new Passover feast and Christ is the new Passover lamb, whose blood consecrates the home of all believers.
Dear Friends, each time we celebrate and partake of the Eucharist, we pass from death into life (John 6:54), from darkness into the incomprehensible light of God (John 8:12), and from slavery of sin into the freedom of God’s children. As Christ has commanded us to partake of the Eucharist in his remembrance, let us strive to partake daily that we may receive the sanctifying grace it gives in abundance.
Prayer: Lord as I strive to daily partake of your Body and Blood, may my life be transformed by you. Amen
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 216 – In what way is Christ there when the Eucharist is celebrated?
Christ is mysteriously but really present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. As often as the Church fulfills Jesus’ command, “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24), breaks the bread and offers the chalice, the same thing takes place today that happened then: Christ truly gives himself for us, and we truly gain a share in him. The unique and unrepeatable sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is made present on the altar; the work of our redemption is accomplished.
HIDE A TREASURE: “I am the Living bread which has come from heaven; whoever eats of this bread will live forever” John 6:51 CCB
Readings for today: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14, Psalm 116:12-18, 2 Corinthians 11: 23-26; John 13:1-15