Celebrating Christ In The Holy Eucharist
Readings: 1st: Ex 12, 1-8; Ps 115; 2nd: 1 Cor, 11, 23-26: Gos: Jn 13, 1-15
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at: 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. So, I would like to begin this brief reflection by congratulating all of us, the faithful. It is a day of rededicating ourselves to Christ’s mission. Today Christ demonstrated his humility by washing the feet of his disciples. So are invited to follow the example of Christ’s humility.
Today, the Church celebrates God’s beautiful gift 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 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, especially with those most in need.”
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. Instead, 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 lives of Melchizedek and second from Christ.
This mystical nature also reaches its fullness at the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and every Mass. That is the consecration of bread and wine, which transforms 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 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 also with spiritual food. This is to show and teach us that we must be ready to serve our brothers and sisters. Instead of struggling to be the leader and the chief at all times, let us, like Jesus, aspire to be the servant of others.
The joy of working in the vineyard of the Lord comes from serving others more than from being served by others. However, this is only possible through a humble heart prepared for service. Once again, congratulations to all God’s faithful servants who love Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Peace be with you all!