Lent is over today. Now, that doesn’t mean that you stop with your Lenten penances and practices. Those should continue into Saturday evening. Tonight we begin the Sacred Triduum. It is one long liturgical celebration that encompasses Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. I hope you will make it to church for all of the services. Tonight’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper is one of the most moving liturgies of the Church year. Tonight parishes all over the world will reenact the washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus.
Holy Thursday is about much more than just the washing of feet. Tonight we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist, and the institution of the priesthood. While the Gospel reading is from John, in the second reading from 1 Corinthians 11, St. Paul recounts recounts the words of Jesus at the Last Supper. "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
With those words, Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the priesthood. As He changed the bread and wine into His Body and Blood, He gave the Apostles, our first priests, the power and authority and ability to do what He had just done. Pray this night for our priests and for vocations to the priesthood. For without the priest, we have no Eucharist.
Father, we thank you for the gift of the Eucharist and the priesthood. Bless our priests and help other men hear the call to priesthood. Amen.