Holy Thursday is the day on which Jesus consecrated the apostles to be bishops. It is also the day He instituted the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Most Catholics no longer know that the Holy Mass is the unbloody sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary re-made present on every altar were ever the Holy Mass is offered. This is because of the way the New Mass is offered. In it we have the priest praying to the people, lots of talking and activity and make me feel good music.
Most Catholics are told that the Holy Mass is only the Last Supper. The hip hop music sets a tone of a performance for the priest with holding hands and clapping and a party environment. Therefore it is very hard to imagine the Holy Mass is really the, re-made present, death of Jesus on the cross at Calvary.
At this Sacrifice on Calvary, Blessed Virgin Mary is bitterly weeping as she watches and supports her Son be slowly tortured to death. St. John the apostle and the other women are there in extreme and silent sorrow as they watch their friend and savior die an excruciating death.
The holy Mass, is not and never will be, what is wrongly taught, a fiesta, a party, a celebration of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yes, at every Holy Mass we recall, read about, remember, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Yes, Jesus conquered death and gave us new life on Calvary and continues to give us this through the Holy Mass. But the Holy Mass is not Easter Sunday celebration, but the Last Supper of Holy Thursday combined with the Crucifixion of Good Friday.
“On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover Lamb, his disciples said to Him: “Where do you want us to go and prepare (In no place can I find the word “celebrate” in this Gospel passage), for you to eat the Passover.” Mark 14: 12. Jesus is the Passover Lamb to be sacrificed. Jesus is the Lamb of God who will be slain and whose blood will be poured out on the cross like the Passover Lamb’s blood was put on the lintel of the Israelites doors so that the angel of death might pass over and not kill the first born.
We see the Lamb of God being sacrificed at every Latin Mass when the priest consecrates the Body and Blood of Jesus.
“This is My Body”.
“For this is the Chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal Testament, the Mystery of Faith; which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins. As often as you do these things, you shall do them in remembrance of Me“. The Jewish word “remembrance” means “re-made present”.
The same concept of Sacrifice is in the Novus Ordo words of consecration:
“Take this all of you, and eat of it, for this is My Body, which will be given up for you.”
Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the Chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.
No where do I find words of a party, fiesta, celebration, in the Passover Sacrifice of the Lamb or in the words of Jesus at the Last Supper contained in Consecration formulae of either the Latin or Novus Ordo Mass.
As so well portrayed in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”, Jesus is seen offering His Body and Blood from the Cross as He gives His Body and Blood to the Apostles at the Last Supper. The Last Supper is consummated on the Cross the next day.
Jesus becomes the Eternal Lamb of God, slaughtered, blood poured out on the lintel of the cross. He becomes the sacrificial lamb of the new and everlasting covenant. No longer do the Israelites need to sacrifice animal blood over and over again for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus did it, once and for all, on Good Friday on the Cross. His unique Sacrifice on the cross is mystically renewed at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. God’s actions are eternal and outside of time.
The Old Testament Covenant was:
1) Obeying the Laws of God.
3) Offering Sacrifices according to the Law.
The New Testament Covenant is:
1) Obey Jesus’ Laws.
3) Continue to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as Jesus commanded us to do.
Padre Pio experienced in his own body the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, Alter Christus, at every Holy Mass he offered. His wounds would bleed and hurt. He said he experience the passion and death of Jesus each time he would offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. One priest who was able to be close to the altar at one of Padre Pio’s Masses said that he would never want to be there again to see him in such agony.
Holy Thursday is the day of the Priesthood. Holy Thursday is the day of the Holy Mass. For this reason we need to meditate on the greatest gift ever that Jesus left us. We want to continually thank Him for this eternal covenant. The night before Jesus was to be sacrificed, He left us the Holy Mass and His Body and Blood to be in the Holy Tabernacles of the Catholic Church. He died, rose and ascended into His glory at the right hand of the Father. But He did not leave us alone. We can be in His presence, experience His love and receive His help whenever we go to Him present in all the tabernacles of the Catholic churches all over the world.
We are so blessed to be Catholics and have the real presence of Jesus in our churches. We are so blessed to have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to continue to wash away the our sins and those of the world. But we are ever more blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know that the Holy Mass is a sacrifice and not a show where the priest is the star and we are the co-actors. No, Jesus is the only Star and we are simply His servants, there to adore, thank and receive Him into our souls.