Let our glory be in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; in Him we have salvation; through Him we are rescued and set free. Psalm: May God have mercy on us and bless us; may He cause His face to shine upon us and may He have mercy on us. Reprise: Let our glory be in the Cross...
Whoever eats of this bread will live forever. The bread that I will give Is my flesh, for the life of the world.
My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Time had come when our Saviour was to realize this marvel of His love for us. Since He had promised He would give us His flesh and His blood, He was to wait for the hour of His immolation. Now His Passion is started; He has already been sold to his enemies; His life is therefore in their hands; he can now offer Himself as a sacrifice, and share among his disciples His own flesh and His own blood, as a sacrificial victim.
Today The Holy Church intends to repeat once again, with a particular solemnity, what our Saviour has accomplished during the Last Supper, as He ordered his disciples and said: « Do this in memory of me» Jesus comes to the table where the lamb is served; ;His disciples take place with Him; they faithfully observe the rites that the Lord had prescribed to Moses; these rites were to be kept by his people. At the beginning of the meal, Jesus starts to speak and says to his apostles : « I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.» Jesus was saying this because this Passover would be the opportunity to establish the new Passover he had prepared in his love for mankind; for « having loved his own who were in the world, as Saint John says, he loved them to the end. »
What is happening today in the Cenacle isn’t an event that has happened only once in the mortal life of the Son of God, and the Apostles are not the only privileged guests invited at the table of Our Lord. In the Cenacle, what is happening is more than a meal, something else as well as a sacrifice, even though this victim which is offered by the sovereign High Priest is divine. Here is taking place a new Priesthood.
How could Jesus have said to men: « Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will have no life in you », if he hadn’t thought establishing on earth a ministry through which he would renew, till the end of times, what he had accomplished in the presence of these twelve men?
Here is what he said to those men he had chosen: By these words he gives them the power to change his flesh into his body and the wine into his blood: till the end of times, this sublime power shall be transmitted in the Church through holy ordination. « You will do this in memory of me » Through the ministry of mortal men and sinners, Jesus will continue to operate the marvel he accomplished in the Cenacle; and as he is endowing his Church of the unique and immortal Sacrifice, According to his promise, he is giving us through this heavenly Bread, the means to « abide in Him, and He in us». Today, let us celebrate the institution of Christian Priesthood
The ceremony of the washing of the feet, opened by the reading of the Gospel of the Evening Mass of this day, is called MANDATUM, on account of the first word of the first Antiphon which is sung at this office. After the reading in the Gospel of the account of what Our Saviour did, the celebrant ties a towel around himself and walks towards those he is to wash the feet. He kneels in front of each one and kisses his foot after washing it.
Mandatum novum do vobis: I give you a new commandment, which is to love one another as I have loved you, says the Lord.
When the Lord got up from the table, he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet: he has set this an example. «Do you know what I have done to you, I, your Teacher and Lord? I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you» « By this everyone will know that you are my disciples: if you have love for one another…» said Jesus.
Where love is found to be authentic, God is there. The love of Christ has gathered us together into one. Let us rejoice and be glad in Him. Let us love each other from the depths of our heart Where love is found to be authentic, God is there. Therefore when we are together, Let us heed not to be divided in mind. And in our midst may Christ Our God be.
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask my Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever »
Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid. If you loved me you would rejoice that I am going to the Father.
« I will no longer talk much with you; for the ruler of this world is coming; he has no power over me.» « But I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way. » Affected, the disciples rose; the Hymn of Thanksgiving was recited, and Jesus went out with his Apostles and headed for the Mount of Olives.
« One of my disciples will betray me today; woe to that man by whom I am handed over.» « The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me, will hand me over to sinners.»
JESUS, in order to sanctify the people by his own blood, suffered his PASSION outside the city gate. Let us then go to him, outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city; but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through JESUS, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is an act of faith, fruit of lips that confess name.