Holy Thursday of the Lord's Supper (7 pm CST)
The video for Holy Thursday of the Lord's Supper will be live at 7 pm (CST)
The Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper begins what is called the Triduum (Latin for three Holy days).
Dear Friends of Your Catholic Voice, Catholic Online and Students of the Catholic Online School
I AM TRULY HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU FOUR NEW INVITATIONS to make the Holy Days truly special. As we all know, this Lent has been a very unusual one for Catholics around the world. Due to the pandemic, the Corona Virus, many Catholic faithful are currently unable to receive the Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist.
For safety, Public Masses are not being offered. Though our wonderful priests and Bishops around the world are offering Mass for all of us. As a result, many of the beautiful services associated with the Easter Triduum (Three Days) of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Mass are not available to the faithful.
I serve as a Deacon in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, under Bishop Joseph Strickland. He has been offering Holy Mass and providing it by either video or Live Stream. These beautiful services are being offered through the St. Philip Institute for Catechesis and Evangelization which he founded in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas. Bishop Strickland and the Leaders of the Institute have graciously offered these wonderful Streamed services to us to share with all of you.
HOLY THURSDAY OF THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper begins what is called the Triduum (Latin for three Holy days). The Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper of Holy Thursday deepens our understanding of the self-emptying love of Jesus Christ. On this day we celebrate the gift of the ministerial priesthood which continues to make present the Priesthood of Jesus Christ present in the Church in our own day.
When the Priest stands at that altar, he stands in Jesus Christ the High Priest. Christ is the Priest and the Victim. Jesus gave Himself to us and in the Eucharist, he comes to reside within us. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the Holy Oblation of Incarnate Love.
At the Last Supper, Jesus Sacramentally anticipated the altar of the Cross at which He would willingly pour out the last drop of His Blood, out of love for the world. He did so to set us free from the bondage of sin and death. St. Paul told the Galatian Christians, "For freedom Christ set us free." (Gal. 5:1)
When the Lord rose from that table, He showed us the naturally supernatural expression of Love; an expression that reveals the heart of the Christian vocation. He, who is Lord and Master, King of Kings, took off His Cloak of Royal Splendor and became a Servant.
He washed the feet of those whom He had chosen to continue His Redemptive work. He showed them what they were chosen to do. Then, He enlisted them to live lives of self-emptying Love for the world. To bear the name "Christian" is to walk in this love offering it to a broken and wounded world that is waiting to be reborn.
Our Priest, or Bishop, stands, to use the Latin phrase, "in persona Christi" (in the Person of Christ). He will rise and take the basin, towel and washcloth. Then he will wash the feet of twelve people chosen to symbolize the members of the Body of Christ, the Church.
The Love of the Incarnate Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, is expressed in a symbolic action. Love is a verb. Love is a command, a mandate. The foot-washing is more than a re-enactment of an actual historic event; it is an invitation to participate in the ongoing redemptive mission of Jesus Christ by making it real. We do that by washing one another's feet.
The Gospel I proclaim as the Deacon at the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper ends with these words: "So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. 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." (John 13:1-15)
Here, in this poignant scene we encounter Jesus the Servant. After He washes feet, he shares a final meal with his closest friends. All of this before He would suffer and freely stretch out His sacred arms to embrace the entire world and join heaven to earth, showing the depth and substance of true love.
During the Supper, Jesus inaugurates the holy exchange, the Eucharist. He gives Himself as food for those who will make the journey with Him back to the Father and then sends them out to bring the whole world with them, by continuing His mission. He also institutes the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the beautiful gift of the ministerial priesthood.
Come back tomorrow, Friday, April 10, for the Good Friday liturgy at 3 pm (CST).
We invite you to join with faithful throughout the world in prayer and worship in an online experience of the Easter Triduum Liturgies. Let us pray that the Lord, in His Mercy, reach out from heaven to heal those afflicted with the virus - and intervene by the Power of the Holy Spirit - to bring an end to its devastation.
Let us pray for the Church - and for all of her clergy and faithful - that she would be a witness to the Power of Living Faith in Jesus Christ and share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world steeped in fear and darkness. Let us pray for those in Civil leadership, that the Lord would give them the wisdom they need to make right decisions for the health, safety and welfare of people in every Nation.
Let us pray for those in the scientific and medical community, that they would be inspired by the Lord to find a cure for this virus. Let us pray for one another.
And finally, let us believe the words and he promise of Jesus Christ. Even in the midst of this current crisis, He is at work, healing, delivering and setting people free from death.
The Father hears our prayers as we turn to Him, in the name of His Son and Our Savior. He sends forth the Holy Spirit to heal, inspire and give us hope in this time of despair. The Lord will intervene to help us.
May the Lord bless you, your families, the Church and the Nations of the world
Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation
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