We all know the account of the Last Supper. The liturgy of Holy Thursday pivots around this great and glorious day. A sad day, yes. But great, because it was at the Last Supper that Jesus instituted the Blessed Sacrament. It was this body and blood of His own self that, once shown to and shared with his disciples, would become our own sustenance, our own salvation.
At the heart of our Abbey Church is the Blessed Sacrament. Nothing is more central, nothing more pivotal, than this great and glorious presence. We rotate around Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Our day, our life, rotates around the Tabernacle just as the earth rotates around the Sun, the driving force of life and warmth and light and the promise of a new dawn.
Today, then, is an opportunity to reacclaim our devotion, to renew our love, to re-dedicate our lives to the Sacramental Christ.
As we approach the Altar to receive, let us remember that we are ARE meeting Jesus, and that he us meeting us, in an intimate and mysterious way. There is no ‘if only he were here’… for he IS here, deep in the footprint of the bread and wine that we see and take from the priest. Nothing is more central to our faith. We should pivot around this extraordinary mystery and give ourselves to spending time before the Sacramental Christ.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark
Glory to you, O Lord
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there,’ The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.
And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’
After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives.
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.