Study: Reflect on the readings today. How is the Lord inviting you to serve? How has the Lord provided opportunities for you to receive him in Eucharist?
Pray: Go to Mass and recommit your life to Christ – giving your life and receiving from Him what you need.
Serve: Who has the Lord placed in your path to help? What can you do right now to make a difference?
Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast (8 minutes)
Assembled together on the night before he died, the disciples celebrated the Passover meal with Jesus. The recalled the great story of deliverance: how the people of Israel had been freed from bondage and slavery by God’s power through the prophet Moses. They remembered how the blood of the lamb marked the lintel and doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass by the people as it brought devastation to the land of Egypt. They ate the unleavened bread, mindful that the Israelites were in such a hurry to depart Egypt that their own bread had not yet risen.
And in the context of this great story of freedom, Jesus teaches and commands them to do two crucial things:
- Give your life in service to others
- Receive Christ in his Body & Blood
The Lord demonstrates by his own example: he washes the feet of his disciples – work that is reserved for servants – and commands them to do the same for one another. There is no ambiguity in this moment, no chance to say it is merely a symbol. Christ shows them what to do and tells them to do it (John 13:1-15); the path that leads from freedom from sin and death is marked by our care for our brothers and sisters. Simply put, our lives are meant to be offered for others – giving ourselves in service.
During the course of the meal Jesus took that flat, unleavened bread and did something amazing. Again, he teaches them that “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood” (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-23). Note: this is not some vague, hazy statement! The Lord defines the bread & wine in a new way, revealing to his disciples that he will nourish them as they embrace the new covenant of freedom through his death and resurrection. And then he commands them to “take and eat…and take and drink…”in his name.
Giving and Receiving. Offering our lives as we are strengthened by the Lord, we are fed so that we might live for one another. God blesses us with the gift of life and faith so that we in turn might be a gift to those around us. May we come frequently to the altar – fulfilling the command of Christ – so that we might be renewed to live each day for the one who died and rose for our salvation.