Tag Archives: Lord’s Supper

Holy Thursday: The Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Catholic Inspiration

Holy Thursday gives us the opportunity to reflect upon two powerful themes: Sacrament & Service.  As we receive the Lord’s Body and Blood may we be strengthened by Christ to serve one another.

Mass Readings – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Youth Rally: Why go to Mass and Adoration? Catholic Inspiration

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Fr. Andrew addresses teenagers about the Eucharist and Adoration at the Youth Rally in New Richmond, WI on October 11, 2017. (28 Minutes)

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Holy Thursday – Service & Sacrament

basin and towel

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?

Holy Thursday Readings

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.

eucharist


Holy Week Preparations

Holy Week

Pastoral Note: This post was originally given on April 12, 2014.  I share it once again in the hope that all of us will enter more fully into the gift of this sacred time.  Fr. Andrew

Study:  Recall a time in your life when you experienced death and new life.  Where did you find the strength?  Who helped you through this time?

Pray:  Spend some time reflecting on the death and resurrection of Jesus this week.  Read Mark 14-16; Matthew 26-28; Luke 22-24; and John 18-21.  Take in as many prayer opportunities as possible in your parish.

Serve:  Who in your life is dealing with life and death issues right now?  How might you be present to them to offer help, comfort, or strength?

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We enter into the heart of the Christian mystery: Holy Week offers us a time to pause, reflect, and pray as the Church ponders on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This mystery, often called the Paschal Mystery, recalls us to the saving work of the Lord.  His death frees of from the burdens of sin and death, and his resurrection opens for us the path to eternal life.  This mystery is profoundly experienced over the Triduum – the 3 Great Days:

  • Holy Thursday – the Mass of the Lord’s Supper
  • Good Friday – the Passion of the Christ
  • Easter (Vigil/Day) – the Resurrection of the Lord

On Holy Thursday we find ourselves in Jerusalem, eating with the disciples at the Lord’s Supper and feeling awkward as he washes their feet – wondering how we would react if he did that for us.  We might identify with Peter or Judas – especially when we consider the times we have willingly betrayed or turned our back on the Lord.

On Good Friday we experience the physical pain, emotional abandonment, and personal humiliation on the path to Calvary (also called Golgotha or Skull Place) and look on with horror at the cruel death of Jesus.  We might also consider the times we have helped others – as Simon did when he was forced to carry the Cross of Christ.    And then we stand in profound sorrow with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, helpless as the innocent suffer injustice.

On Easter we wait in vigil and rise early in the morning with Mary Magdalen, only to find to our wonder and joy that the tomb is empty:  Christ is alive!  Our world, like that of the apostles, is changed forever as we experience new hope and life.

A word to the wise – we get out of Holy Week what we put into it.  Here are some simple ways for an incredible experience.

  • Make church services a top priority – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter (Vigil or Day).
  • Take time to read and reflect on the scriptures (see at the top under “Pray”).
  • Make Holy Thursday an opportunity to offer a special act of service or kindness to another.
  • Make Good Friday fasting extra special with a gift to a particular charity that helps the poor.
  • Make Easter a time of gratitude – take a quiet moment to count our blessings and thank the Lord.
  • Find some time throughout this week to tell the people in our lives how much we love them.

May this be a time for all of us to grow closer to the Lord and one another.


Walking with the Lord in Holy Week – Holy Thursday – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

This is the 2nd of four presentations given at a Parish Mission on March 9-12, 2015 for Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Green Valley, Arizona.

Fr. Andrew’s Presentation Podcast #2 – Holy Thursday (33 minutes)

At the Last Supper on the night before he died, the Lord Jesus imparted two key commands that he gave to his disciples:

  • Service
  • Sacrament

In SERVICE the Lord taught with through his example of washing the disciples’ feet.  Found in John 13:1-15, Christ shows his disciples in a clear and direct way that following Jesus demands a call to serve one another.  Service is the path that invites us to give our lives, sharing the unique skills, resources, experiences, and talents we have for the good of others.

In SACRAMENT the Lord defined the bread and wine as his body and blood.  In addition to the Institution of the Eucharist found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke – St. Paul writes of this in 1st Corinthians 11:23-26.  Jesus teaches his disciples about his Body & Blood, and then commands his followers to eat and drink.  The Sacrament of the Eucharist is a crucial way in which we receive the Lord into our lives – providing us with the strength and grace we need to serve as his disciples.