HOMILY FOR HOLY THURSDAY.
THEME: The greatest mysteries of our redemption.
BY: Fr Francis Onwunali
Today, we begin the Sacred Triduum in which the Church solemnly celebrates the greatest mysteries of our redemption, keeping by means of special celebrations the memorial of her Lord, crucified, buried, and risen. Traditionally, on Holy Thursday, in the morning, we celebrate the Chrism Mass, which the bishop concelebrates with his presbyterium, a manifestation of communion. At this Mass, the oils are blessed for pastoral ministry- oils for the sick, for baptism, and Chrism for consecration.
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In the evening, we commemorate the Last Supper, during which, recalling the Passover Meal (Ex. 12: 1-8, 11-14), Jesus instituted the Sacrament of His Body and Blood – the Holy Eucharist – and also instituted the Sacrament of Holy Orders- the Ministerial Priesthood. The Eucharist makes the Priest and the Priest makes the Eucharist present. Within this Last Supper, Christ established the ministry of service by washing the feet of His disciples (John 13: 1-15).
The Eucharist is the Body and Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus. It is not only a gift from God, but the Gift Who is God. “In the Eucharist, Jesus does not give us a “thing” but Himself” “(Sacramentum Caritatis, 7)”. Our response to this greatest gift is Communion, that is, sharing in His unconditional love.
Dear friends, on this Holy Thursday, let us respond to the greatest Gift by giving ourselves radically, unconditionally, and totally to Jesus. Though many may not be physically able to receive Communion today, however, spiritually, let us not only go to receive Holy Communion but also be in communion. May Holy Communion not only be part of our lives, but may our lives be lived in communion with the eternal and infinite Trinity. May we love others as God has loved us in Christ. At this perilous time, may Jesus Who is Present, Body and Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament be our nourishment and victory. Have an enriching presence of the Most Awesome Gift.
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