Thursday, January 15, 2015

J.M.J. I loved Thursday as a schoolboy because it meant that Friday was close (and Thursday's lunch menu at school was usually favorable).

I love Thursday as a priest because if there is no obligatory liturgical celebration, then I am free to offer the Votive Mass of "Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest" or of "The Most Holy Eucharist."

Who can forget the attention that Saint John Paul II gave to the "Woman of the Eucharist" in his final Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, dated April 17, 2003 (Holy Thursday)?

"57. 'Do this in remembrance of Me' (Lk 22:19). In the 'memorial' of Calvary all that Christ accomplished by His passion and His death is present. Consequently all that Christ did with regard to His Mother for our sake is also present. To her He gave the beloved disciple and, in him, each of us: 'Behold, your Son!'. To each of us He also says: 'Behold your Mother!' (cf. Jn 19: 26-27).

"Experiencing the memorial of Christ's death in the Eucharist also means continually receiving this gift. It means accepting – like John – the one who is given to us anew as our Mother. It also means taking on a commitment to be conformed to Christ, putting ourselves at the school of His Mother and allowing her to accompany us. Mary is present, with the Church and as the Mother of the Church, at each of our celebrations of the Eucharist. If the Church and the Eucharist are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist. This is one reason why, since ancient times, the commemoration of Mary has always been part of the Eucharistic celebrations of the Churches of East and West.

"58. In the Eucharist the Church is completely united to Christ and His sacrifice, and makes her own the spirit of Mary. This truth can be understood more deeply by re-reading the Magnificat in a Eucharistic key. The Eucharist, like the Canticle of Mary, is first and foremost praise and thanksgiving. When Mary exclaims: 'My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior', she already bears Jesus in her womb. She praises God 'through' Jesus, but she also praises Him 'in' Jesus and 'with' Jesus. This is itself the true 'Eucharistic attitude'.

"At the same time Mary recalls the wonders worked by God in salvation history in fulfillment of the promise once made to the fathers (cf. Lk 1:55), and proclaims the wonder that surpasses them all, the redemptive incarnation. Lastly, the Magnificat reflects the eschatological tension of the Eucharist. Every time the Son of God comes again to us in the 'poverty' of the sacramental signs of bread and wine, the seeds of that new history wherein the mighty are 'put down from their thrones' and 'those of low degree are exalted' (cf. Lk 1:52), take root in the world. Mary sings of the 'new heavens' and the 'new earth' which find in the Eucharist their anticipation and in some sense their program and plan. The Magnificat expresses Mary's spirituality, and there is nothing greater than this spirituality for helping us to experience the mystery of the Eucharist. The Eucharist has been given to us so that our life, like that of Mary, may become completely a Magnificat!"

No comments:

Post a Comment