TRUE GREATNESS IS IN OUR SERVICE
Dear brothers and sisters, these are unusual time and indeed they are. Just like in a war, it is the task of the commandant to continue to give hope and fresh spirit to the soldiers, to keep on fighting. As Bishop, I am pained as we have to go through this very tough time. For many of us who have always celebrated Easter and the Triduum as part of our Catholic Christian existence every year have to stay at home following some television or Facebook or other social media. Again I say to you, DO NOT LOSE HEART, THIS TOO WILL PASS AWAY.
We thank you all for your patience and understanding of respecting the government’s directives. We know how tough it can be when we have gotten so used to being on the road and being active and now we are told to stay at home.
On this Holy Thursday, we have the beginning of the celebration of the first Eucharist. It is true Jesus had broken bread, and fed so many at different times in his public ministry, but today He gives it a new interpretation. When He fed the five thousand, or the four thousand, He never said, ‘take and eat, this is my body’. It is on this day as part of His parting gift to His apostles and to the Church He says “TAKE AND EAT, THIS IS MY BODY”, “TAKE AND DRINK THIS IS MY BLOOD”. And again He said “DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME”. Jesus by this action replays the old Testament’s Passover meal.
A new Passover, the Eucharist which is celebrated in the spirit of communion admits us into union, communion and friendship with God. It introduces us into a new way of living whereby we now begin to have the life of Jesus in us. Jesus gives us this life in a spirit and context of service. It is within this context that Jesus celebrates the first Eucharist, for at the end of the meal He ties a towel around His waist, and washed the feet of the apostles and by that action, He says you too must serve your fellow men/women.
Dearly beloved, true greatness is not in our acquisition but in our service. No matter what we have, no matter what we possess, if we do not use it to serve people, nobody will remember us. This is a strong teaching of Jesus.
What Jesus says to Peter, He says to us also, ‘you are clean already’. However, it is a statement that should challenge us to reflect whether or not the Word of God truly purifies us. Unless the word purifies us we find ourselves still struggling with decisions for God. We find ourselves still falling into old sins because we have refused to confront ourselves with the Word… and at the end of his actions he said, you called me teacher, true, but now I give you an example, an example of service.
MAY THE PEACE OF THE LORD BE WITH US NOW AND FOREVER.
Excerpt from the homily for Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper.