Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 28, 2013 - Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper

Holy Thursday: Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper
Lectionary: 39

Reading 1 Ex 12:1-8, 11-14

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
“This month shall stand at the head of your calendar;
you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
God spoke to Moses and directed when they should celebrate the Jewish Passover.  It is still calculated the same way, according to a Lunar calendar.  

Tell the whole community of Israel:
On the tenth of this month every one of your families
must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.
On the tenth day of the first month of the year, they must obtain a lamb.  One for each household.

If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
and shall share in the lamb
in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
If a family is small and can't consume the entire lamb, they must share the lamb with another family, in order that the entire lamb be consumed in one night.

The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
It can be taken from the sheep or the goats, but must be at least one year old, without blemish.

You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month,
and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present,
it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
It must be kept until the fourteenth day and killed at sunset.

They shall take some of its blood
and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel
of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh
with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
Then they shall take the blood and mark their doors with it.  And then eat the entire lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

“This is how you are to eat it:
with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand,
you shall eat like those who are in flight.
It is the Passover of the LORD.
For on this same night I will go through Egypt,
striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast,
and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD!
But the blood will mark the houses where you are.
Seeing the blood, I will pass over you;
thus, when I strike the land of Egypt,
no destructive blow will come upon you.
“This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.”
This is the ORIGINAL Passover.  The one where God actually passed over the Jews and killed the first born of the Egyptians.  Yet God had them celebrate the Passover as though they were running from the Egyptians.  They were bringing to the present, something which had not yet happened.

This is the way they were to celebrate every Passover.  In the next Passover, they would bring to the present the experiences of this original Passover.

This is also how we celebrate the Mass.  We do it in remembrance of Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross for our sins.  The Priest "re-presents" His death on the Cross.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18

R. (cf. 1 Cor 10:16) Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
When we drink the chalice of Christ's blood, we confirm and accept the Covenant He struck with His people when He died on the Cross giving us an example to follow in His steps.

When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we call upon the name of the Lord.  We remember His Sacrifice upon the Cross.

Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
God is merciful to all who love Him and obey His Commandments.  We should all do what the Lord commands.

To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
I will praise God all my days and continually give thanks, calling on the name of the Lord.  I will fulfill all my vows which I have made to God.

This is a reference to our Baptismal vows.  When we were baptized, we made a vow to obey God.  And we repeat that vow, every Sunday in Mass.  It is called the Creed.

Eucharist means thanksgiving.  But the very act of taking communion, we are thanking God for all He has done for us.   

Reading 2 1 Cor 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters: I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
 St. Paul first explains that he learned this directly from Jesus Christ.  And he goes on to describe the Mass and Communion.  

Gospel Jn 13:1-15

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
In my opinion,  Before the feast of Passover, describes what Jesus was thinking before the Last Supper.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
In my opinion, during supper, describes events which occurred during the Last Supper.  This Last Supper was a Jewish Passover and the first Christian Mass.

He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
Then, Jesus gave the Apostles and example of service.  Humbling himself before them and washing their feet.  He also predicted the betrayal by Judas Iscariot.

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.”
This example Jesus set and has been followed by every Priest of the Catholic Church to this day.

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