Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to the disciples. ‘Take it and eat,’ he said, ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he handed it to them saying, ‘Drink from this, all of you, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. From now on, I tell you, I shall never again drink wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in the kingdom of my Father.’ [Matthew 26:26-29]
Today in every Catholic Church around the world, at the end of the Holy Thursday liturgy in the evening, the Blessed Sacrament is removed to the Altar of Repose. The altar is stripped, and the church becomes bare, empty. It is perhaps one of the most significant, complex, and profound days in the Catholic Church. On this day, we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist as the true body and blood of Jesus Christ, and the institution of the priesthood.
After Holy Thursday, no mass is celebrated again in the Church until the Easter Vigil, where we celebrate and proclaim the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It’s important as Christians to really allow ourselves to open our hearts during these two days of Holy Thursday and Good Friday, and experience the pain and sacrifice Our Lord endured. Perhaps dedicating time to reading and meditating over Scripture; prayer and recitation of the Holy Rosary; almsgiving and fasting; cut off time on the computer, phone, social media, or TV as an offering to Our Lord.
By observing these two solemn days, we can really help make our Easter more meaningful, while at the same time help elevate our faith. Also let us not forget the Blessed Mother, Mary, who stood beneath the cross of her Son during His suffering and became our Mother, too.
Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. [John 18:26-27]
Let us stand beside her beneath the cross of her Son, our Redeemer, and allow her to teach us and lead us to Jesus on the glorious day of His Resurrection!
March 2, 2012 Medjugorje Message – “Dear children; Through the immeasurable love of God I am coming among you and I am persistently calling you into the arms of my Son. With a motherly heart I am imploring you, my children, but I am also repeatedly warning you, that concern for those who have not come to know my Son be in the first place for you. Do not permit that by looking at you and your life, they are not overcome by a desire to come to know Him. Pray to the Holy Spirit for my Son to be impressed within you. Pray that you can be apostles of the divine light in this time of darkness and hopelessness. This is a time of your trial. With a rosary in hand and love in the heart set out with me. I am leading you towards Easter in my Son. Pray for those whom my Son has chosen that they can always live through Him and in Him – the High Priest. Thank you.”