Gospel Reflection: Holy Thursday
Malvern Minute


HOLY WEEK — MARCH 21 – MARCH 27, 2016

HOLY THURSDAY, March 24, 2016


1 CORINTHIANS 11: 23-26

(The Eucharist is integral to Christian living!)

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.     

 The Word of the Lord



Contrary to many current thoughts, the celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays and even daily is not an ADD-ON or a MAN-MADE burden arbitrarily initiated by Catholic authorities.   Saint Paul so clearly and forcefully states: I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you….

In addition, Saint Paul recalls that Jesus clearly established His expectation …as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.  The celebration of the Eucharist is central to the Christian’s responsibility to give witness to who Jesus is, and what Jesus has done for us.   The celebration of the Eucharist is inherent to proclaiming the value of Christ’s Death and Resurrection!

This reading from First Corinthians testifies to the early Church’s understanding of the connection between the Last Supper and the Sacrifice of Calvary.   Someone else did not legislate this!   Jesus Christ Himself first offered His Body and Blood at the Last Supper and then on the Altar of the Cross, and asked us to DO THIS in remembrance of me!

Why is it that we hear and see that Catholic members still resist the significance of participating in the weekly Sunday Eucharist?  Poor excuses like this are still heard: I can worship God in an equally or even more significant way by doing something else?   This excuse and the thinking it represents is a direct challenge to the simple and loving request of Jesus Christ who died for us:  Do this in remembrance of me!

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts!

There is an additional portion from this section of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians that, while not included for Holy Thursday is still important:

            A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup.     For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.  

Truly, the early Christian community believed that the Eucharist was and is the Body and Blood of Christ Himself!   And, therefore every believer should be deeply aware of the gift we hold in our hands or on our tongues.

The Eucharist was Christ’s foremost gift to us so that we could remember and experience His lasting self-sacrificing love.  By our celebration of the Eucharist we are empowered to love our neighbor as Christ Loves us!   May His love in the Eucharist transform us so that we can love others as He has loved the world!



Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com


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