Daily Readings Reflection for 4/09/09

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Reflection on the Daily Readings for 4/09/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Holy Thursday. Exodus 12:1-8,11-14. Psalm 116:12-13.15-16.17-18.
I Cor.11:23-26. John 13:1-15. Lectionary # 40:
Jesus speaks to us on this last full day of his life and he saves the
best of what he has to say and give us for this day.  John, the Evangelist,
whom we consider to be the Beloved Disciple is the one who has mulled over
his words and handed them on to us.  Jesus says, “I have given you an
example, as I have done, so you must do.”  These words motivate us and
assist us in realizing how great a gift Jesus gives us in the Eucharist. We
are led to focus on Jesus’ gift–the complete outpouring of himself in
selfless love. The Eucharist is life and the gift of love. It is our hope
as we celebrate Jesus’ Passover meal with his most loved friends, the
apostles.  His testimony of love is found in this most striking sentence of
the Fourth Gospel:  “Before the feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that
his hour has come to pass over from this world to the Father, having loved
those who were his own, he loved them to his utmost.” (author’s
translation). This is Jesus’ testimony of his love for us and the Eucharist
expresses it through the sacred bread and wine which becomes his precious
Body and Blood.
St. Paul gives us in I Corinthians the earliest words of the
Eucharist that Jesus gave us at his “Last Supper.”
This sacrament has been handed down to us from the Last Supper till now and
the end of time.  Paul wrote this tradition in 57 A.D. The whole narrative
is beautiful and very challenging. It is found in I Corinthians 11:23-34
and part of it is in our second reading while the first recalls the Exodus’
account of the Passover. Paul has not invented these words and their
narrative; he has received them, therefore, they were already being
remembered and said well before his conversion.They were handed down by
those who had gathered with Jesus at the supper mentioned in the Gospels on
the day before he died.  The Gospels then in the last half of the first
century put the words into their narratives before the Passion and Death of
the Lord.  So as Paul says, ” Everytime, then, you eat this bread and drink
this cup you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.”
Psalm 116 is a perfect prayer to help us meditate on these other
readings.  We can through reciting it make it our act of thanksgiving for
the gift of Jesus’ love seen in the Eucharist. The Psalm and its response
expresses our love and our participation this evening is our loving
response to Jesus’ words, his actions, and his gifts to us. Amen.

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