Maundy Thursday

The Lord’s Supper, when Christ Jesus, the day before he was crucified for our salvation, gave to his disciples the mysteries of his Body and Blood, to be celebrated by them.

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Today the Church begins Her walk with Christ, following Him in every mystery and suffering of His Sacred Passion and Death. On this night before He was betrayed, Christ washed the feet of His Apostles and gave them the new commandment:

“Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos”

 (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”)

John 13:34

That same night Our Blessed Lord fed His Apostles with His Body and Blood, the same Body and Blood that is truly present in every tabernacle in the world and which we receive at every Holy Communion.

On this night we recall Christ’s institution of the Sacred Priesthood and pray that the Lord will send many more labourers into His vineyard, especially to our Order and community. We pray too for His Vicar on Earth, the Servant of the Servants of God, Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI.

Our Holy Father Saint Norbert built his life and work around the Mass and his own vocation to the Sacred Priesthood. He preached it, mediated upon it and led it to bloom in others. He wrote:

“O Priest, who are you?
You are not yourself because you are God.
You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ.
You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man.
You are not from yourself because you are nothing.
What then are you? Nothing and everything.
O Priest!
Take care lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you:
‘He saved others, himself he cannot save!’”

Our Holy Father Norbert

On this night we follow Christ from the Upper Room and to the Garden of Gethsemane, to wait and to watch. Like Him we pray for His disciples, that they may not be put to the test, and with Him we impore the grace to accept the will of the Father in all things, even unto death, that we may be, like Him in His Passion, “nothing and everything”.

 

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