Reading: On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” Mark 14:12
Good morning, happy Thursday, and many blessings my dear family.
In today’s Gospel (Mark 14:12a 22-25) we hear a passage that hearkens back to Holy Thursday. It is Mark’s version of the Last Supper and the institution of the Body and Blood of Christ. What a wonderful gift Christ has given us! He not only gave his life for us, he remains alive and present to us in the celebration of the Eucharist! Jesus has not left us; He remains among us “alive and well.” He continues to love us, nourish us and grace us!
In other words, today we are reminded once again of the great gift Jesus has given us in the Eucharist. Do I value this gift, or has it become so familiar that I have lost the sense of its greatness? As we read in today’s Gospel about the first Eucharist, we also see that there was a lot of preparation involved. A suitable place had to be found, furnished and ready, and in that place, preparations had to be made to receive Jesus.
This means that to receive the Eucharist, it must be in a well-prepared place. The question is: Where should we find a place to receive the Holy Eucharist? My heart is now the place that needs to be prepared and made ready to receive Jesus. Do I take time to do this? I reflect upon this today, and I ask Jesus to give me a realization of the amazing gift that is given to me each time I receive communion.
Jesus also calls us to live as he did. Jesus works among us in many and varied ways. And Jesus works through you and me. He calls us to pour out our lives and love to the people and the world around us!! We all have gifts to give. They may not be extraordinary, unusual or astonishing. Most likely the greatest gifts we have to give are our love, care, attention, time, listening, support and hope.
Today may be a good day to ask: what are the gifts that God/Jesus has given me? How do I share them with the people around me and with our world? Do I share them freely and spontaneously? Or do I only share them when I am asked to? Each day we are called to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. He calls us to freely share what we have, even though it may seem insignificant to us. What we think is insignificant or small may be a great gift to someone we encounter today! Truly, we are the Body and Blood of Christ in our world today! We are to “pour ourselves out” as Jesus did! The question is: will we?
However, the Eucharist has been used not as a religious liberation experience, but as a magic gathering. We need to understand that in the face of any form of injustice, participation in the Eucharist impels us toward healing. In the face of domineering structures of sin, participation in the Eucharist urges that we transform those structures. In the face of social and political division, participation in the Eucharist is a bonding agent that reconciles. The Eucharist can provoke and aid us along this radical transformation as we become witnesses of love in the communities to which we belong.