April 14, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, as supper time falls slowly from east to west over the Earth, so will Christians worldwide seek communion with Christ and the believing community.
A great surge of intentional communion will join us in an irrepressible wave of faith. The evening skies will echo with the precious words that, despite whatever distances, gather us into one people in Christ:
Jesus took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
Our Gospel reminds us that there are two equally significant dimensions to a full understanding of Eucharist:
- the Body and Blood we share in Eucharist
- the sacrificial service we live daily among the People of God
who are the living Body of Christ for us.
In these times of worldly suffering and war, that second dimension sustains us.
Eucharist is offered when we wash the feet of our sisters and brothers:
- by those who tend and comfort the sick, poor, war ravaged, and desolate.
- by the suffering themselves who endure in faith and hope
- by those who serve other’s needs for sustenance and safety
- by those who pray for the healing, courage and restoration of all Creation
- by each one of us as we turn from self toward the good of the Whole
As Jesus leans to wash the feet of his disciples, so may we lean in service over our suffering world. Jesus asks us:
Do you realize what I, your Lord and Master, have done for you?
We do not realize fully, Lord, what You have done for us.
But we are daily learning a new depth of understanding.
The realization rises like a slow dawn over the shadows of our selfishness.
It is a sunrise which continues throughout our lives.
Please help us to rise with You no matter how the darkness weighs on us.
Like the fragile bread and fluid wine which hide your Omnipotent Presence,
may we become holy nourishment and joy for one another
– a true and living memorial to your infinite act of love for us.
Prose Prayer: excerpts from Mass on the World – Pierre Teilhard De Chardin, SJ
Receive, O Lord, this all-embracing host which your whole creation, moved by your magnetism, offers you at this dawn of a new day.
This bread, our toil, is of itself, I know, but an immense fragmentation; this wine, our pain, is no more, I know, than a draught that dissolves. Yet in the very depths of this formless mass you have implanted — and this I am sure of, for I sense it — a desire, irresistible, hallowing, which makes us cry out, believer and unbeliever alike:
‘Lord, make us one.’
You have come down, Lord, into this day which is now beginning. But alas, how infinitely different in degree is your presence for one and another of us in the events which are now preparing and which all of us together will experience! In the very same circumstances which are soon to surround me and my fellow-men you may be present in small measure, in great measure, more and more or not at all.
Therefore, Lord, that no poison may harm me this day, no death destroy me, no wine befuddle me, that in every creature I may discover and sense you, I beg you: give me faith.
Music: Pange Lingua – Chant of the Mystics
Written by St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century
English lyrics below
Sing, my tongue, the Saviour’s glory,
Of His Flesh, the mystery sing;
Of the Blood, all price exceeding,
Shed by our Immortal King,
Destined, for the world’s redemption,
From a noble Womb to spring.
Of a pure and spotless Virgin
Born for us on earth below,
He, as Man, with man conversing,
Stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
Then He closed in solemn order
Wondrously His Life of woe.
On the night of that Last Supper,
Seated with His chosen band,
He, the Paschal Victim eating,
First fulfils the Law’s command;
Then as Food to all his brethren
Gives Himself with His own Hand.
Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature
By His Word to Flesh He turns;
Wine into His Blood He changes:
What though sense no change discerns.
Only be the heart in earnest,
Faith her lesson quickly learns.
Down in adoration falling,
Lo, the sacred Host we hail,
Lo, o’er ancient forms departing
Newer rites of grace prevail:
Faith for all defects supplying,
When the feeble senses fail.
To the Everlasting Father
And the Son who comes on high
With the Holy Ghost proceeding
Forth from each eternally,
Be salvation, honor, blessing,
Might and endless majesty.