My Dear Good People,
Today is the Feast of Love. For the three years of His public life Jesus had given so much: His healing power, His mercy, His preaching about the Father and His wisdom regarding the Old and New Covenants. Now, on Holy Thursday at the Passover Meal which we call the Last Supper He gives us His most precious gift.
The institution of the Holy Eucharist is perhaps the greatest mystery of time and eternity. Although one is dazzled by the coming of our God as a tiny child in Bethlehem, this Gift of Himself is beyond our comprehension. Until the end of time He is truly present among us in the form of bread and wine, no longer bread or wine. Without asking us to understand it, He brings Himself to us each morning at Holy Mass and remains within the tabernacle in each Catholic Church for our comfort, our companionship and our adoration.
Is it the tenderness of His Eucharistic presence that mystifies us? His silence? His vulnerability? Or is it His humility, dwelling in the tabernacles of our churches and chapels, often going the week without anyone visiting Him, a Prisoner of Love, as it were? We are humbled by the love He manifests to us in this Sacrament of Love.
Throughout this Lent we have been reflecting on our act of surrender to God. We have found in our surrender to Him the perfect freedom that makes us fully human as we express our complete trust in His Will for us. Now, on this Holy Thursday, we celebrate, though with hearts breaking, the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist—the Sacrament of the Surrender of Jesus—to us.
On this night Jesus gave up His own Will as it were, to do our will in whatever way we choose to take Him to ourselves. When we come to Him to receive Holy Communion, He cannot refuse to give Himself to us absolutely, in an intimacy that the world has never seen even between two lovers. He gives up everything to be with us in the closest manner possible, even beyond possibility, in Holy Communion and in adoration. We don’t ask His permission or discuss with Him His schedule or His plans for the day. We come to the altar, we open the door of our hearts, and He enters, yielding Himself to us without reserve, prepared to go where we take Him, to wait for us to honor Him, to speak to Him, to love Him.
Is this not what we do when we ourselves surrender to Him? We ask no questions; He stoops to ask us if we will give up our own will, and we respond with all the courage we can find within ourselves. Now, by this Sacrament, He does the same for us.
So, in Holy Communion, in our taking to ourselves Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, there is a marriage of wills—His with ours, ours with His. Perfect, mutual surrender.
This is Love. And this is the Love we celebrate today. He becomes one with us, and we become one with Him. It would be hard to take the moment of Eucharistic Communion for granted when we realize the Love with which He comes. The humility of His giving Himself to us is far beyond any act of surrender we might make to Him. But He does not measure. He only loves.
Today is Love’s Great Day.
Have a Blessed Holy Thursday.