Celebrating Christ In The Holy Eucharist
Rdgs: (1st: Ex 12, 1-8; Ps 115; 2nd: 1Cor, 11, 23-26: Gos: Jn 13, 1-15)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holy Thursday is both the day of the institution of the Holy Eucharist and our birthday as both sacramental and ministerial Priests. It is a day of humbly rededicating ourselves to Christ’s mission.
Today the Church celebrates the wonderful gift of God to her and the entire world – the institution of the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist is the food that God has generously and providentially made available to us in order to nourish us on our spiritual journey. According to Pope Francis, “The Eucharist is not just a weekly way of celebrating our faith, but should radically affect our relationship with others.”
The Eucharist gives us the grace to feel forgiven and be ready to forgive others. We go to Mass, not because we are worthy, or want to appear better than others. Rather, it is because we know that we are always in need of God’s love, grace, and mercy. These come to us through the body and blood of Christ. The Eucharist affects the life of our Christian communities. So, the church receives her mission and identity from the Eucharist.
The institution of the Holy Eucharist by Christ on Holy Thursday equally marks the institution of the ministerial priesthood. So, the priesthood is both God’s gift and a mystery. This means that it is God who freely calls and, decides who to call. The mystical nature of the priesthood derives first, from the priesthood of Melchizedek and Christ.
This mystical nature also reaches its fullness at the Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday and at every Mass. That is, the consecration of bread and wine, which is transformed into the real body and blood of Christ. Therefore, the priest is the defender of the truth. He stands with the angels to give glory to God. He causes sacrifices to rise to God. He shares in Christ’s priesthood, refashions creation, and restores it in God’s image.
Finally, today we are called to emulate the humility of Christ. In today’s Gospel, he chose to wash the feet of his disciples. He also fed them not only with physical food, but also with spiritual food. This is in order to teach us that we must be ready to serve our brothers and sisters. Instead of struggling to be the leader at all times, like Jesus, let us aspire to be the servant of others.
The joy of working in the vineyard of the Lord comes mostly from serving others, rather than from being served. However, this is possible only through a humble heart prepared for service. Once again, congratulations to all the faithful of God, who love Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Peace be with you all!