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Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Holy Thursday begins the Sacred Easter Triduum with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. At that Mass, we celebrate the beginnings of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Priesthood (that makes the Eucharist possible for us). Jesus uses common bread and wine to be an instrument of his Body and Blood. He uses common men to be an instrument of his priestly presence at the head of the altar table.
What is very interesting about tonight is that the Gospel comes from St. John, who does not give us the words of institution. Unlike the other Gospels that talk about Jesus taking bread, blessing it, breaking it and sharing it, John assumes that we already know this. It is not found anywhere in his Gospel. What he relates, instead, is the washing of feet on Holy Thursday.
What should we make of this?
It seems to me that John is emphasizing that if we understand the Eucharist and partake of it at Holy Mass, then it must transform us into being people of service, just as Jesus has served us. This is what Jesus himself said, “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”
We are fed by the Bread of Life to become Christ’s servants in the world, to give what we have received.