Holy Thursday 2018
Today’s feast is the spatial one. The Memorial of the Last Supper. The Institution of the Eucharist as a gift of the presence of the loving God through Christ into the life of the disciples. It is also the feast of the institution of the priesthood as service of the community throughout the Eucharist.
It is easy to imagine the scene. Jesus with his disciples sharing a meal, and sharing his live. Both. As it happened so many times before. But there, it is the last time before Jesus` Passion and Cross.
Meal sharing is a way for sharing life. When we bring people to our table it is an invitation to share our lives. Meal sharing is persons sharing. In this sense, I am “invitable” willing to share a supper just after the Saturdays’ mass celebrated in this chapel.
This night, we are together. We are sharing the Holy Thursday mass. You, the Dominicans` community welcoming us, the French speaking community. Thus we are in communion because of Jesus who put us together. During the Chrism mass presided by our bishop Michael Yeung in the cathedral this midday, a great many priests, religious and deacons came to renew the promises of Holy Orders together.
This night, right now, we are celebrating the last supper of our Lord. He is present among us. He identifies himself with the food and drink that are being shared during the meal, the last Supper.
In the Eucharistic meal we have the bread and wine that Jesus, through the hands of the community, takes as the food and drink that carries his risen self to us.
The identification of Jesus during the Last Supper and each celebrated mass with the food and drink is total. At that time the disciples couldn`t understand well. They had to see their Master on the Cross, and rise again to discover what was going on. We are as the disciples at the present time. We have to look at the Cross first, before being able to apprehend total identification between the bread and body given up, between wine and blood poured out.
The body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ are truly present in.
We are invited to become the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And coming to the altar to receive Holy Communion, when we answer Amen, we express our will to be in fact on the way of the divine communion with him as well as between us and all humankind.
Jesus said, unless you eat my body and drink my blood you cannot be part with me. Do we want to be part of Him?
So the Eucharist is pushing us to be servants. In the Gospel of John instead of the Eucharistic institution, we find the washing of feet. And today is the best time to remember that the priesthood is marked by such service. Amen.