Holy Thursday – Sacrament & Service

Holy Thursday - 1

Study:  Where do you find strength in your spiritual life?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for guidance and wisdom to recognize his face in the poor, the suffering, and those in need.

Serve:  Are you being drawn to help another right now?  How can you serve those God has placed in your life today?

Holy Thursday Readings

Growing up in rural northern Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to work on several dairy farms.  The work was hard, but we were always well fed.  Many times I recall hearing the words, “Eat up, we’ve got work to do.”

It’s a simple message really.  There is work to be done; it will be demanding and require a lot of energy.  If you don’t have the necessary strength you won’t be able to follow through.

The same holds true for the spiritual life.  Life makes many demands upon us, and as we serve and love others we, too, require sustenance for the work before us.

The Lord knew this.  He left us the Sacrament of his Body and Blood – food that nourishes our souls and gives us the grace and strength of Jesus himself.  Receiving Holy Communion, as the apostles did at the Lord’s Supper, is the primary way that we are fed spiritually.

But this grace has a purpose.  At the Lord’s Supper, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and gave them an example of service to direct their actions toward one another.  As modern day disciples, we witness our faith every time we genuinely serve others with sincerity and respect.

Consider this:

  • We receive the Body of Christ (Holy Communion) to become the Body of Christ (the Church).
  • As the Body of Christ is transformed (at the altar) we are transformed (in the world).
  • As the Body of Christ is broken (in shared communion) we are broken (sharing our lives in service for others).
  • As the Body of Christ nourishes us (in communion) we nourish others (in action that brings help, strength, and comfort).

In other words, receiving Holy Communion – instituted at the Lord’s Supper – strengthens us for the Lord’s work as his disciples.  May our next reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood give us the grace we need to recognize the face of Jesus and respond with loving service.

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About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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