Celebrating Christ in the Holy Eucharist
Rdgs: 1st: Ex 12, 1-8; Ps 115; 2nd: 1 Cor, 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.
Today the Church celebrates God’s wonderful gift to humanity, the Holy Eucharist. It is the spiritual food nourishes us on our journey. According to Pope Francis, “The Eucharist is not just a weekly way of celebrating our faith, but radically affects our relationship with others.”
The Eucharist gives us the grace to feel forgiven and be ready to forgive others. 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 on Holy Thursday equally marks the institution of the ministerial priesthood. So, the priesthood is also God’s gift to the church. This means that, it is God who freely chooses who to serve him in this office. The mystical nature of the priesthood derives from the life of Christ our high priest.
This mystical nature of the priesthood reaches its fullness at the Lord’s Supper 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 shares in Christ’s priesthood.
Today we must emulate the Humility of Jesus. In today’s Gospel, he chose to wash the feet of his disciples. He also feeds them, not only with physical food, but, with spiritual food. This humble gesture teaches us how to serve 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.
Jesus is the Lord, not in domination, but through the love and humility that he communicates which makes us children of God and qualified to imitate him.
Peace be with you all!