Holy Thursday - Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist


Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 13 April 2017 - 20:34:37 | by admin

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On this night, in which the Sacred Liturgy joins us by anamnesis to the Lord's Supper, His Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, and of His giving of Himself totally to His Passion in the Garden of Gethsemane, it seems appropriate to contemplate the following words from St. Alphonsus de Liguori.

The Love of Jesus in Leaving Himself for Our Food Before His Death

Jesus, knowing that His Hour was come that He should pass out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end (John 13:1).

Our most loving Redeemer, on the last night of His life, knowing that the much-longed-for time had arrived on which He should die for the love of man, had not the heart to leave us alone in this valley of tears; but in order that He might not be separated from us even by death, He would leave us His whole Self as food in the Sacrament of the Altar; giving us to understand by this that, having given us this gift of infinite worth, He could give us nothing further to prove His love: He loved them to the end. 

Cornelius a Lapide, with St. Chrysostom and Theophylact, interprets the words ''unto the end'' according to the Greek text, and writes thus: ''He loved them with an excessive and supreme love.'' 

Jesus in this Sacrament made His last effort of love towards men, as the Abbot Guerric says: ''He poured out the whole power of His love upon His friends.'' 

This was still better expressed by the holy Council of Trent, which, in speaking of the Sacrament of the Altar, says that our Blessed Saviour ''poured out of Himself in It, as it were, all the riches of His love towards us.'' 

The angelical doctor, St. Thomas, was therefore right in calling this Sacrament ''a Sacrament of love, and a token of the greatest love that a God could give us.'' 

And St. Mary Magdalane of Pazzi said that a soul, after having communicated, might say, ''It is consumated''; that is to say, My God, having given Himself to me in this Holy Communion, has nothing more to give me. This saint, one day asked one of her novices what she had been thinking of after Communion; she answered, ''Of the love of Jesus.'' ''Yes,'' replied the saint; ''when we think of this love, we cannot pass on to other thoughts, but must stop upon love.'' 

O Saviour of the world, what dost Thou expect from men, that Thou hast been induced even to give them Thyself in food? And what can there be left to Thee to give us after this Sacrament, in order to oblige us to love Thee? 

Ah, my most loving God, enlighten me that I may know what an excess of goodness this has been of Thine, to reduce Thyself unto becoming my food in Holy Communion! 

If Thou hast, therefore, given Thyself entirely to me, it is just that I also should give myself wholly to Thee. 

Yes, my Jesus, I give myself entirely to Thee. I love Thee above every good, and I desire to receive Thee in order to love Thee more. 

Come, therefore, and come often, into my soul, and make it entirely Thine. Oh, that I could truly say to Thee, as the loving St. Philip Neri said to Thee when he received Thee in the Viaticum, ''Behold my love, behold my love; give me my love.'' 

We pray that all who read this will receive the graces which overflow on the earth, to those who are open and disposed to receive them, on this very holy night in the Christian year.


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