“Do This…” — Holy Thursday

At the Last Supper, the night before he suffered for us, Jesus took some bread. He thanks to God for it and He broke it. And He declared it to be His body which would be given up for others. Then He offered it to those He loved. When the supper was ended, Jesus took a cup of wine. Again He gave thanks and praise to the Father. And He declared it to contain His blood, blood to be shed for all. Then He offered the cup to His disciples and said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

At the Last Supper, Jesus ordained His apostles the first priests of the New Covenant. They and their successors would do this in remembrance of Him, throughout the centuries, up to this very night, and until He comes again. When you and I celebrate the Mass we remember Him and what He did, and more than just recalling it, we re-encounter it as that same sacrifice is offered in front of us. But Jesus’ words, ‘to do this in memory of Him’ means more than just coming to Mass.

Jesus is calling and commanding us to do the thing that He is doing. We must give God thanks and praise for what He has given us. We must take our bodies and give them up. We must take our life’s blood and pour it out. And we can do this, for God and for each other, in as many ways as there is to love. The sacrifices of your daily life, at home, at work, and at prayer; the work of washing feet; may not seem significant to you now, but these sacrifices shall your glory in Heaven forever.

As Jesus washed His apostles’ feet He said, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” And when He had finished He said, “If I, … 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.” At the Last Supper, Jesus said to His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Tonight, He says the same to us as well.

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