Holy Thursday, 8 April 2004


Mass of the Lord's Supper

1. "He loved them to the end" (Jn 13: 1).

Before celebrating the last Passover with his disciples, Jesus washed their feet. With an act that was normally done by a servant, he wanted to impress upon the Apostles' minds a sense of what was about to take place.

Indeed, his passion and death constitute the fundamental loving service through which the Son of God set humanity free from sin. At the same time, Christ's passion and death reveal the profound meaning of the new commandment that he entrusted to the Apostles: "even as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (Jn 13: 34).

2. "Do this in remembrance of me" (I Cor 11: 24, 25), he said twice as he distributed the bread that had become his Body and the wine that had become his Blood. "I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you (Jn 13: 15)...