The Great Sacrament

Holy Thursday
Beloved in Jesus Christ, tonight we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper; we commemorate that night, when Christ the Lord gave us the Holy Mass, his Sacred Body and Blood.
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Jesus said that he would be with us all days, even to the end of the world, and this is how he has done it, in Holy Communion.
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Our first reading today was of the Passover, when the perfect, unblemished Lamb was sacrificed, and then the people ate the Lamb – they participated in that sacrifice. As we know, this was a sign, pointing forward to the New Testament, to the Holy Mass; Christ is the True Lamb of God, offered for us; and when we eat the Lamb, we are participating in this Sacrifice, in the very life of God.
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The Passover foreshadowed the Holy Eucharist, but there are so, so-many places in the Scriptures, where this Holy Banquet is signified. In the Old Testament, we see that, Melchizedek offered Bread and wine; this was a sign of the Holy Eucharist some 2000 years before Christ, and we still recall it in Eucharistic Prayer I.
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The miraculous manna, that white, thin, bread-like food by which God fed his people on their desert journey – it was a sign of the coming Bread of Life.
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There was, at the time of Elijah, the miraculous bread, by which the woman and her son were saved from famine.
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The thin, round, bread used in the holy temple, along with wine, was changed by the priests every week; this too foreshadowed the Holy Banquet here on our altars, that Jesus would give us.
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In so many ways and signs, the Bible is literally loaded with references to this most Holy Sacrifice. If we consider also the New Testament – Look at when Christ multiplies the loaves to feed 5000 people, this is most certainly a Eucharistic Sign. It says, he ‘blessed, broke, and gave then to the disciples. These are special words: blessed, broke, and gave – these were the words used in the early Church to refer to the Mass. And notice, Our Lord did not himself give the miraculous bread to the people, he told his disciples, his first priests, ‘YOU give it to them.’ And His priests still do this today.[i]
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In the 24th chapter of the gospel of St. Luke, we see there that after Jesus had risen, he appeared to two disciples, and it says they finally ‘recognized him in the Breaking of the Bread,’ and then he disappeared. The ‘Breaking of the Bread’ was another phrase referring to the Mass in the early Church. Notice that Jesus disappeared – he is teaching that he is now with us in a new way: under the appearance of Bread, in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and this is how he stays with us through all time.
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A final example, of images in Scripture: In Acts of the Apostles, we read that when St. Paul was on a boat, caught in a terrible storm, the men think they will all die, they want to abandon ship. But St. Paul says, ‘Unless you stay in the boat, you will all die.’ This means, you have to stay in the boat – in the Church; the boat is a symbol in the scriptures of the Church, the ‘Barque of Peter.’ Then what does St. Paul do? It says: He took bread, and giving thanks, broke it, and they ate. And in the end, they were all saved.
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Friends, the Great Sacrament we commemorate tonight, is to be found everywhere in the Holy Bible. Scripture was written in a special way, with lots of signs and images, so that those who do not have the True Catholic Faith, will not understand many of it’s profound teachings. But we DO understand, because we are of the Faith.
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The Holy Eucharist, the Mass, is the center of our life, it is our salvation, and that is why it is to be found, sometimes clearly, often hidden, throughout the Holy Text. Our Lord said that this is the Bread that has come down from heaven, he says ‘it is my flesh.’ Many did not believe, and they no longer walked with him. But we believe.
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Lord, help us to love Thee in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar; O Lord, give us this day, our daily Bread.

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[i] We can see also, that after multiplying the loaves, the apostles are in a boat, there is a storm, they are afraid. The boat is a sign of the Church. Jesus comes to them, walking on the sea, and when he gets into the boat the storm ceases. It says, they had not understood about the loaves of bread. The meaning is: when Jesus comes into the boat, into the Church, we are safe from the storms. Jesus comes into the boat in the miraculous bread, every Mass.

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