Basic Information

Mass Location: St. Mary Magdalen Chapel, 2532 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93010
Mass Time: Sunday 10 a.m. (check parish website bulletin for special feastdays which may be different)
Confessions: 9:00-9:45 a.m. - see schedule below

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Homily - Holy Thursday - April 17, 2014

1 Cor. 11:20-32; Jn. 13:1-15

On Holy Thursday, we commemorate the Last Supper in a particular way, and we remember the surpassing gifts God has given to us at this moment in our Lord’s life and ministry:  the Eucharist, the Priesthood, and the Great Mandate of charity as the Lord washes the feet of His disciples.

In the Epistle, St. Paul gives us the earliest account of the institution of the Holy Eucharist, the words of consecration.  He says to the Corinthians that what he has received from the Lord he has handed on to them.  The Eucharist is the gift of the Lord Himself.  He did and said many things during His earthly ministry, but of this alone, He said, “Do this in memory of me.”  The Eucharist is the memorial He has given us and commanded us to enact, of His death on the cross and His resurrection.  St. Paul tells the Corinthians that they must participate in the Eucharist worthily, without rancor or division.  Those who do so are guilty of not discerning the Body and Blood of the Lord.  The Eucharist is no ordinary commemoration.  It is the real presence of the Lord, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.  He tells them that as often as they celebrate the Eucharist, they show the death of the Lord until He comes.  The Eucharist is the Lord’s cross and resurrection and His real presence in time.  It is a sacrament.  It reaches back to a past event, an event for all time, and brings it forward.  It is a present reality.

In the Mass and in the Eucharist the Lord brings His cross and resurrection and real presence forward to every time and place, because He wants us all to encounter Him in the full grace of His redemption.  And He expresses this intention in two of the most beautiful words in the Institution Narrative and in the Mass:  “for you.”  We are so accustomed to encountering in the world, in its fallen state, those who are “for me, for me, for me.”  What a wonderful gift it is, and a true measure of the love of God, that Jesus comes into the world, for you.  Where there is love, there is one who loves and one who is beloved.  Love says, “for you.”  God is love.  Jesus, in his coming among us, at the Last Supper, on the cross, says, this is my Body, this is my Blood, “for you.”

In order to bring these sacred realities forward, He gives us the Mass, and so, He institutes the Priesthood.  He gives us priests, who, conformed by their ordination to Christ the Head, are able to offer, in His Person, the Mass, and to confect the Eucharist.  As an alter Christus, another Christ, He is sent for others, and so, psychologically, must continually be converted after the likeness of Christ into a man “for you.”

And, in order to bring these realities forward, He gives us the Great Mandate.  In the same gesture in which He gives us the Eucharist, Jesus washes the feet of His disciples, and says, as I have done, so you must do.  The love which flows from the altar of the Cross, and from the altar in time, He asks us to express in our acts of charity, the encounter of the world with Christ.  He invites all of us to be a person like Him, a person for others, a person “for you.”

The Eucharist is the heart of the Church.  But it is even more.  It is a living reality.  It is the heartbeat of the Church.  In every Mass, in every place and time, we come to the altar, we offer to the Lord our concerns and those of the world, we are nourished by His cross and resurrection and His presence in the Eucharist, we go out with these spiritual goods, we come forth, we go out, we come forth, we go out.  The Eucharist is thus the heartbeat of the Church, the Lord’s life-giving cross and resurrection, His real presence, for all time, and for our time, the love of God, for you, for you, for you.