Posted by: fvbcdm | April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday (17 April 2014)

Holy Thursday is always a very special day for us priests, since it is the anniversary of Our Lord’s institution of the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of Holy Orders—the two sacraments which give to us our identity and purpose as Catholic priests.

Satan, who has been so active in the past forty or so years in his attacks upon the Church, has sown the seeds of doubt in the value of the Eucharist. And doubt, of course, leads to neglect, to abuse, and then to loss of faith and the loss of human souls. Nothing could please Satan more. If statistics can be believed, many Catholics nowadays claim to believe that the Eucharist is only a symbol of Christ, and thus they deny the Real Presence and the fact that any substantial change takes place in the bread and the wine when the words of consecration are spoken over them.

If the Holy Eucharist is merely symbolic, why bother attending Mass? If I believed that it is only symbolic, I would never have become a priest; I would not continue in my priesthood now, and I would give up my Catholic faith since the Eucharist is the very heart of Catholicism.

But, fortunately for all of us, the Holy Eucharist is not merely symbolic. It is very real. “This is my body,” Jesus assures us. “This is the cup of my blood.” That remains profoundly true, despite the errors of many today, despite the falling away from the Catholic faith on the part of many, despite the way some people dress and behave in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and despite the fact that they often receive it in the state of serious sin, thus committing the grave sin of sacrilege.

Be all that as it may, Our Divine Lord, on the night before he died, instituted the Holy Eucharist and gave to his apostles and their successors the fullness of the priesthood so that they could bring the Eucharist into being among his people until the end of time. One of those apostles was Saint Peter, the rock upon which Christ built his church. That church will last forever, and will continue to make Christ present among his people in the Eucharist until the end of time. You and I have the great advantage of believing that, and of receiving the Eucharist with deep faith, devotion, and gratitude all our lives. Join me in celebrating these two great sacraments on this very special day when we observe Christ’s precious gifts to us.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago

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