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Thursday, March 20, 2008

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Holy Thursday

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Psalm 116
John 13:1-15

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free love

"As I have done, so you must do." —John 13:15

The night before He died, the Lord instituted the way He would remain with us forever. He could have remained with us in awesome majesty, in fire and cloud, as He did with the Israelites (Ex 19:16ff; 40:34-38). Instead, Jesus set aside His majesty and humbled Himself (Phil 2:6-8). He decided to remain with us in His eucharistic body and blood.

Jesus' Last Supper took place on the eve of the Jewish feast of Passover. The first Passover brought freedom from physical slavery and from the tyranny of Pharoah (Ex 12:39ff). The New Passover (1 Cor 5:7), the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, brings freedom from slavery to sin, and from the tyranny of Satan and his kingdom of darkness. We are free from sin and free for loving one another. Once freed from sin, we are free to put ourselves aside and concentrate on others, to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Jn 3:16).

Because we're not used to this, Jesus gave us an example. He washed the feet of his beloved disciples (Jn 13:5). Washing feet was the duty of a slave. Though Jesus was free, His amazing love for us led Him to make Himself a slave (Phil 2:7). In Baptism, Jesus has set us free (Jn 8:36). Though we are free, in imitation of Jesus we freely decide to make ourselves the servants and even slaves of others.

Receive the body and blood of Jesus often at Mass, even daily if at all possible. Receive free love. Then go forth to love and serve the Lord and His beloved people.

Prayer:  "Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore. O make us love Thee more and more."

Promise:  "This is My body, which is for you." —1 Cor 11:24

Praise:  All honor and glory to You, Eucharistic Savior, for giving Your all for the sake of love!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007

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