Thursday, March 20, 2008

I give to you a new commandment....

Happy and blessed Maundy Thursday to all. Today we celebrate so much. With the morning Chrism Mass (some of us already celebrated earlier in the week) and the Mass of the Lord's Supper in the Evening, today is a celebration of the Ministerial Priesthood of Jesus Christ. \
The Chrism Mass is not just for blessing of the Holy Oils for the year. It is a Mass about the Priesthood. All of the readings selected by the Church bespeak the anointing of the Priest to bring glad tidings to the poor. The Bishop is directed to speak to his brother Priests in the homily, exhorting them to model their lives after Christ, as he had done at their ordination.
The Mass of the Lord's Supper recalls that night when Our Lord instituted the Priesthood. It was the intention of Christ, when he offered that bread and wine as His Body and Blood, not only to offer the Sacrifice of Calvary the next day, but also to offer every sacrifice that would be offered by the members of His Mystical Body. In order to facilitate the Priestly offering of the members of His Mystical Body, Christ established the Ministerial Priesthood. With the daily offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, the Ministerial Priests provide, as it were, a vehicle for the offering of our daily sacrifices (i.e., the morning offering).
The Priest is a living Sacrament of the presence of Christ in the world. Whereever he goes, he brings with him the Divine Mercy. The Priest always can provide the healing touch of the hand of God.
The Servent of God, John Paul II, reminded his brother Priests that Christ called them two thousand years ago. From the Upper Room, these men were called, before they were ever conceived, with the words of Christ, "Do this in memory of me." For two thousand years that call has been headed. Many of us have heard the call and await the day when we can obey it fully. Please pray for your Bishop, Priests, Deacons and Seminarians. Pray for more vocations to the Ministerial Priesthood. As Archbishop Sheen once said, the world could live longer without the sun than without the Mass.

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