Blessed Holy Thursday!
We begin at noon, at the cathedral, as our bishop, our successor to the apostles,
gathers his brother priests to celebrate the Chrism Mass.
At this Mass, chrism, the perfumed oil
which is used to signify the indelible gift of the Holy Spirit
in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders,
will be consecrated.
As Christ (literally, “the anointed one”) was anointed priest, prophet and king
(see Exodus 29: 1-9, I Kings 19:16, Samuel 10:1 & 16:1-13, Acts 10:38),
so are Christians–with chrism.
The Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick will be blessed at this Mass,
and priests will renew their commitment to the ordained priesthood
which Christ instituted on this day when He commanded His first bishops,
Do this in remembrance of Me
Readings for the Mid-day Chrism Mass:
Isaiah 61:1-9 (The Lord anointed me to bring glad tidings to the lowly)
Psalm 89:21-22, 25-27 “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord”
Revelation 1:5-8 (Christ has made us into a Kingdom, priests for His God and Father)
+Luke 4:16-21 (The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me)
the devastated soul.
What is my response to this stupendous gift?
Do I spread this good news?
The Sacred Triduum
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
At long last we enter the Sacred Triduum,
literally “three days” that form a single celebration
of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We see, hear, we smell, we taste, we touch
–we are immersed–
in the mysteries of our salvation.
There are significant intermissions in this one celebration,
so that we can go home and rest,
but the celebration we begin tonight will not end until Easter Sunday.
This is the culmination, the highest point, of the entire year.
Come, let us worship…
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 (the first Passover)
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18 “Our blessing-cup is a communion with the blood of Christ”
I Corinthians 11:23-26 (the institution of the Eucharist)
+John 13:1-15 (Jesus washes His disciples’ feet)
to all of history
is centered on this night,
on passing over
to a life as yet unknown,
a humbling of self
in a giving
that transcends the jaws of death.
How fully do I participate in the Passover of the Lord?
How well do I imitate the model He left for me to follow?
There is a plenary indulgence available for the asking
for praying the “Tantum Ergo (Down in Adoration Falling)
during reposition after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper tonight,
with the usual conditions of Confession, Communion, prayer for Pope Francis’ intentions
and no attachment to sin.