Friday, March 30, 2018

March 29 - Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday – March 29, 2018

+ Tonight we begin the solemn Three Day observance of the Passion and Death and Resurrection of the Lord.  In this Mass we remember how the Lord Jesus designated his desire for all people of all time to not only remember, but also to be an actual witness of his unspeakable agony and torture and crucifixion, and also his glorious and astounding resurrection to newness of life! He did it by the events of his Last Supper with his closest friends, the Apostles. It was during that highly ritualistic Passover supper that Jesus added something new: he added an extra step to it: he took bread and wine that was already on the table and changes them into his own very real, substantial and tangible Body and Blood – really and truly -  a supernatural event that requires faith to make any sense. And then he told the Apostles to do this always in his memory!

What was contained in that new ritual, that new consecration, that new transubstantiation was all of the events that would follow that evening, up to not only his resurrection from the dead three days later, but also his ascension into heaven in forty days’ time, and the sending of the Spirit fifty days hence. Therefore, when anyone attends the Holy Event of the Mass from then on they would not just be a witness, but also a participant in its life-saving, sin-forgiving effects!

And then to punctuate the meaning of tonight’s service, Jesus tells us that it is not only necessary for us to be there at the Cross and Tomb with him, but we must also take the spiritual insight and strength taken from each new participation and allow it to make a difference in the way we live our everyday lives: in this way we resemble him all the more and the Father looks down on us and is very pleased.
For the Baptized Catholic Christian there must be evidence of putting the belief that all of this is real into the action of loving service. This is why Jesus, in the gospel passage tonight, washes the feet of his disciples; thus, demonstrating both the humility required a member of his Body the Church, and also the spirit and activity of service to those in need which is essential to the definition of a Catholic Christian! Christianity without loving service is like a body without a heart!

May our hearts beat with the very love of Jesus whom we will receive adoringly in this most special of all Eucharistic Celebrations – and lead us out into the highways and byways to make that all-inclusive love known everywhere!

I give you a new commandment, says the Lord: love one another as I have loved you.


Today we celebrate the memory of the First Eucharistic meal, at which our Lord Jesus Christ shared also with his Apostles his call to the priestly service of his Church. Now, in your presence, dear brothers and sisters, as representatives of all of the holy people of the Diocese of Richmond, I renew my own dedication to Christ, as a priest of his new covenant…

·       Out of love for the Lord Jesus and his Church, I, Father Bill Dinga, am resolved to unite myself more closely to Christ and to try to become more like him by joyfully sacrificing my own pleasure and ambition to bring his peace and love to the people of this Diocese of Richmond….

·       I am resolved to be a faithful minister of the mysteries of God, to celebrate the Eucharist and the other liturgical services with sincere devotion…

·       I am resolved to imitate Jesus Christ, the Head and Shepherd of the Church, by teaching the Christian faith without thinking of my own profit, solely for the well-being of the people I am sent to serve…

I ask the Lord’s blessing and the fullness of his love, so that, with his help, I may be a faithful minister of Christ the High Priest, and able to lead his flock safely to the fountain of salvation – Who is Christ our Lord!

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