Holy Thursday

We gather here this evening and called by the Lord to celebrate the anniversary of the First Mass and the priesthood. On this special night, we will break the bread with the Lord and we will remember that First Eucharist. As Bishop Fulton J. Sheen used to say: «The greatest love affair the world has ever known is contained in a tiny wafer of bread»[1]. And after the celebration of the mass we, the apostles of the Lord of Christ, will be asked and invited to stay with Him for a moment, to watch with Him for just a little bit, because He is so distressed; he does not want to leave us, but His heart is telling Him He must answer the Father’s call. And He is sad, and He is frightened, and He is asking us, His friends, His people, and His faithful to stay with Him. And of course we will wonder how the Lord’s original twelve apostles could have abandoned Him in His passion. And this reflection should lead us to a personal examination of conscience and to make some resolutions.

So we will wait with Him in the chapel tonight, you and me. We will watch with Him for a while and then we will leave, renewed in faith, spirit, with a big desire to serve Him and to serve our brothers and our sisters and our parish.

My brother, my sister, tonight is a good opportunity to weep with regret and shame for all our mistakes and wrong behaviors, knowing that the Lord himself will forgive us again and again. We should give thanks to God that He sent His only beloved son to save us from ourselves...again and again.

And perhaps we will remember the lesson Jesus taught us at His Last Supper. Jesus not only gave Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist, but He showed us how to receive Him. He showed us how to find Him right here and now on earth. Though He was the guest of honor at that Last Supper, and Lord of the Universe, Jesus got down on His knees, and despite the protests He lovingly, tenderly washed the feet of each apostle, one by one.

And so must we follow the Lord’s example to serve the lowly, the poor and the needy. We must wash their feet, and when we do so, we will be washing the feet of Christ. Where do we find them? Don’t worry…they will find us. We need only open our eyes and hearts to them

Tonight we can borrow the words of His Holiness Benedict XVI: Lord, today you give us your life, you give us yourself. Enter deeply within us with your love. Make us live in your “today”. Make us instruments of your peace![2]

[1] Fulton John Sheen, born Peter John Sheen (1895–1979) was an American archbishop known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. His cause for canonization for sainthood was officially opened in 2002, and so he is now referred to as a Servant of God.
[2] www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2009/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20090409_coena-domini_en.html

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris