A thought for Holy Week – Holy Thursday

‘Jesus leaves us the Eucharist as the Church’s daily remembrance of, and deeper sharing in, the event of his Passover’. (Par. 13)

Taken on their own the first three words- Jesus leaves us – suggest a departure, an ending even in the final scene of death. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper tells us that the Eucharist is not simply the memorial of the last evening of Jesus on earth but that he left it to us an abiding sign of his presence. ‘The Church’s daily remembrance’ invites us to enter into ‘the event of his Passover’ and to encounter the living Christ. Daily meeting with Christ in the Mass develops into a ‘deeper sharing in’ the paschal mystery. By following the path that he has travelled and opened up we find, as the Second Vatican Council said, ‘life and death are made holy and acquire a new meaning’.

The Eucharist is not earned by our efforts or even achievements but given for the journey so that we can ‘go forward, strengthened by hope, to the resurrection’. Holy Thursday reminds us that the celebration of the Last Supper remains forever.