Thursday of Holy Week: April 9
This is my homily for our Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
In these days of the pandemic, Coronavirus, and in the necessary directives that we do not gather together, as Catholics we are hearing much more about “Spiritual Communion,” a concept that was fairly forgotten…
We have the prayer:
An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen!
For practicing Catholics, not receiving the elements of Bread and Wine that are the Body and Blood of Christ, is a very painful reality.
But we must trust in the mercy, compassion, and love of our God who always takes care of us, and if our desires are true, fulfills our needs.
So in the desire to receive Holy Communion, that desire fulfills our need and we share in the Body and Blood of Christ.
In this celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Gospel of John is proclaimed.
It is in this Gospel, that the Words of Consecration, “This is my body, take and eat…This is my Blood, take and drink” are not found.
The Words of Consecration are found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
But only in the Gospel of John are the Words of Consecration missing, and in their place is the action of Jesus washing the feet of the Disciples.
John connects the model of loving service, the washing of the feet of another person, with the Eucharist, with the Mass.
So in these difficult days of this Global Illness, I remind all of us regarding another form of “Spiritual Communion,” one more way to take Jesus into our hearts and souls, into our lives.
Each time that we perform an act of love, an act of service, each time we go out of our way to help someone in need, to offer that kind word or deed, we are receiving “Spiritual Communion.”
The Washing of the Feet of another is intimately connected to the Eucharist as John proclaims in today’s Gospel.
So for all who are fasting from the Table of the Lord, out of necessity, and are feeling the pain of this reality, know that our God will not leave us hungry or thirsty.
Our God is feeding us, and is giving us to drink.
Rejoice and trust in this reality!
“This is my body…take and eat! This is my blood…take and drink!”
Our God comes to us in many ways…Our God never abandons us or walks away from us.
We celebrate that reality in this Mass of the Lord’s Supper!