Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord's Supper

Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper


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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 04-13-17 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 04/12/2017 9:41:56 PM PDT by Salvation

Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Reading 1 Ex 12:1-8, 11-14

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
“This month shall stand at the head of your calendar;
you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
Tell the whole community of Israel:
On the tenth of this month every one of your families
must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.
If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
and shall share in the lamb
in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month,
and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present,
it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
They shall take some of its blood
and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel
of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh
with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

“This is how you are to eat it:
with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand,
you shall eat like those who are in flight.
It is the Passover of the LORD.
For on this same night I will go through Egypt,
striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast,
and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD!
But the blood will mark the houses where you are.
Seeing the blood, I will pass over you;
thus, when I strike the land of Egypt,
no destructive blow will come upon you.

“This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18

R. (cf. 1 Cor 10:16) Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

Reading 2 1 Cor 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
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.

Verse Before the Gospel Jn 13:34

I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:
love one another as I have loved you.

Gospel Jn 13:1-15

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
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1 posted on 04/12/2017 9:41:56 PM PDT by Salvation

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2 posted on 04/12/2017 9:43:08 PM PDT by Salvation (“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26)

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3 posted on 04/12/2017 9:44:18 PM PDT by Salvation (“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26)

To: All

From: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14

The Institution of the Passover


[1] The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, [2] “This month shall
be for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you.
[3] Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month they shall
take every man a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household;
[4] and if the household is too small for a lamb, then a man and his neighbor next
to his house shall take according to the number of persons; according to what
each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. [5] Your lamb shall be with-
out blemish, a male a year old; you shall take it from the sheep or from the goats;
[6] and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole as-
sembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs in the evening. [7] Then
they shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel
of the houses in which they eat them. [8] They shall eat the flesh that night, roa-
sted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. [11] In this manner
you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in
your hand; and you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s passover. [12] For I will
pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will smite all the firstborn in the
land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute
judgments: I am the Lord. [13] The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the hou-
ses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague
shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

[14] “This day shalt be for you a memorial day, and you shalt keep it as a feast
to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance for
ever.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

12:1-14 This discourse of the Lord contains a number of rules for celebrating the
Passover and the events commemorated in it; it is a kind of catechetical-liturgi-
cal text which admirably summarizes the profound meaning of that feast.

The Passover probably originated as a shepherds’ feast held in springtime, when
lambs are born and the migration to summer pastures was beginning; a new-born
lamb was sacrificed and its blood used to perform a special rite in petition for the
protection and fertility of the flocks. But once this feast became connected with
the history of the Exodus it acquired a much deeper meaning, as did the rites
attaching to it.

Thus, the “congregation” (v. 3) comprises all the Israelites organized as a reli-
gious community to commemorate the most important event in their history, de-
liverance from bondage.

The victim will be a lamb, without blemish (v. 5) because it is to be offered to God.
Smearing the doorposts and lintel with the blood of the victim (vv 7, 13), an essen-
tial part of the rite, signifies protection from dangers. The Passover is essentially
sacrificial from the very start. The meal (v. 11) is also a necessary part, and the
manner in which it is held is a very appropriate way of showing the urgency im-
posed by circumstances: there is no time to season it (v. 9); no other food is ea-
ten with it, except for the bread and desert herbs (a sign of indigence); the dress
and posture of those taking part (standing, wearing sandals and holding a staff)
how that they are on a journey. In the later liturgical commemoration of the Pass-
over, these things indicate that the Lord is passing among his people.

The rules laid down for the Passover are evocative of very ancient nomadic desert
rites, where there was no priest or temple or altar. When the Israelites had set-
tled in Palestine, the Passover continued to be celebrated at home, always retai-
ning the features of a sacrifice, a family meal and, very especially, a memorial of
the deliverance the Lord brought about on that night.

Our Lord chose the context of the Passover Supper to institute the Eucharist:
“By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course of the Passover
meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus’ passing
over to his Father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipa-
ted in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Pass-
over and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the kingdom”
(”Catechism of the Catholic Church”, 1340).

12:2. This event is so important that it is going to mark the starting point in the
reckoning of time. In the history of Israel there are two types of calendar, both
based on the moon—one which begins the year in the autumn, after the feast of
Weeks (cf. 23:16; 34:22), and the other beginning it in spring, between March
and April. This second calendar probably held sway for quite a long time, for we
know that the first month, known, as Abib (spring) — cf. 13:4: 23:18; 34:18 —
was called, in the post-exilic period (from the 6th century BC onwards) by the
Babylonian name of Nisan (Neh 2:1; Esther 3:7). Be that as it may, the fact that
this month is called the first month is a way of highlighting the importance of the
event which is going to be commemorated (the Passover).

12:11. Even now it is difficult to work out the etymology of the word “Passover”.

In other Semitic languages it means “joy” or “festive joy” or also “ritual and fes-
tive leap”. In the Bible the same root means “dancing or limping” in an idolatrous
rite (cf. 1 Kings 18:21, 26) and “protecting” (cf. Is 31:5), so it could mean “punish-
ment, lash” and also “salvation, protection”. In the present text the writer is provi-
ding a popular, non-scholarly etymology, and it is taken as meaning that “the
Lord passes through”, slaying Egyptians and sparing the Israelites.

In the New Testament it will be applied to Christ’s passage to the Father by
death and resurrection, and the Church’s “passage” to the eternal Kingdom: “The
Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when
she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” (”Catechism of the Catho-
lic Church”, 677).

12:14. The formal tone of these words gives an idea of the importance the Pass-
over always had. If the historical books (Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) har-
dly mention it, the reason is that they allude only to sacrifices in the temple, and
the Passover was always celebrated in people’s homes. When the temple ceased
to be (6th century BC), the feast acquired more prominence, as can be seen from
the post-exilic biblical texts (cf. Ezra 6:19-22; 2 Chron 30:1-27; 35:1-19) and ex-
trabiblical texts such as the famous “Passover papyrus of Elephantine” (Egypt) of
the 5th century BC. In Jesus’ time a solemn passover sacrifice was celebrated in
the temple and the passover meal was held at home.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 04/12/2017 9:48:29 PM PDT by Salvation (“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26)

To: All

From: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

The Institution of the Eucharist


[23] For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Je-
sus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, [24] and when He had given
thanks, He broke it, and said, “This is My body which is for you. Do this in re-
membrance of Me.” [25] 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.” [26] For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

23-26. These verses clearly bear witness to the early Christians’ faith in the eu-
charistic mystery. St. Paul is writing around the year 57 — only twenty-seven
years since the institution of the Eucharist—reminding the Corinthians of what
they had been taught some years earlier (c. the year 51). The words “received”
and “delivered” are technical terms used to indicate that a teaching is part of
apostolic Tradition; cf. also 1 Corinthians 15:3. These two passages highlight
the importance of that apostolic Tradition. The words “I received from the Lord”
are a technical expression which means “I received through that Tradition which
goes back to the Lord Himself.”

There are three other New Testament accounts of the institution of the Eucharist
(Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:16-20). This account, which is most
like St. Luke’s, is the earliest of the four.

The text contains the fundamental elements of Christian faith in the mystery of
the Eucharist: 1) the institution of this Sacrament by Jesus Christ and His real
presence in it; 2) the institution of the Christian priesthood; 3) the Eucharist is
the sacrifice of the New Testament (cf. notes on Matthew 26:26-29; Mark
14:22-25; Luke 22:16-20; 1 Corinthians 10:14-22).

“Do this in remembrance of Me”: in instituting the Eucharist, our Lord charged
that it be re-enacted until the end of time (cf. Luke 22:19), thereby instituting the
priesthood. The Council of Trent teaches that Jesus Christ our Lord, at the Last
Supper, “offered His body and blood under the species of bread and wine to God
the Father and He gave His body and blood under the same species to the Apos-
tles to receive, making them priests of the New Testament at that time. […] He
ordered the Apostles and their successors in the priesthood to offer this Sacra-
ment when He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me”, as the Catholic Church has
always understood and taught” (”De SS. Missae Sacrificio”, Chapter 1; cf. Canon
2). And so, Bl. John Paul II teaches, the Eucharist is “the principal and central
reason-of-being of the Sacrament of the priesthood, which effectively came into
being at the moment of the institution of the Eucharist, and together with it” (”Let-
ter To All Bishops”, 24 February 1980).

The word “remembrance” is charged with the meaning of a Hebrew word which
was used to convey the essence of the feast of the Passover — commemoration
of the exodus from Egypt. For the Israelites the Passover rite not only reminded
them of a bygone event: they were conscious of making that event present, revi-
ving it, in order to participate in it, in some way, generation after generation (cf.
Exodus 12:26-27; Deuteronomy 6:20-25). So, when our Lord commands His
Apostles to “do this in remembrance of Me”, it is not a matter of merely recal-
ling His supper but of renewing His own Passover sacrifice of Calvary, which al-
ready, at the Last Supper, was present in an anticipated way.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

5 posted on 04/12/2017 9:49:15 PM PDT by Salvation (“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26)

To: All

From: John 13:1-15

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet


[1] Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had
come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were
in the world, He loved them to the end. [2] And during supper, when the devil
had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him,
[3] Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that
He had come from God and was going to God, [4] rose from supper, laid aside
His garments, and girded Himself with a towel. [5] Then He poured water into
a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel
with which He was girded. [6] He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to Him,
“Lord, do You wash my feet?” [7] Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you
do not know now, but afterward you will understand.” [8] Peter said to Him,
“You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you,
you have no part in Me.” [9] Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only
but also my hands and my head!” [10] Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed
does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are
clean, but not all of you.” [11] For He knew who was to betray Him; that was
why He said, “You are not all clean.

[12] When He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and resumed His
place, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? [13] You call
Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. [14] If then your Lord and
Teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. [15]
For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done for you.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1. Jewish families sacrificed a lamb on the eve of the Passover, in keeping with
God’s command at the time of the exodus from Egypt when God liberated them
from the slavery of Pharaoh (Exodus 12:3-14; Deuteronomy 16:1-8). This libera-
tion prefigured that which Jesus Christ would bring about—the redemption of men
from the slavery of sin by means of His sacrifice on the cross (cf. 1:29). This is
why the celebration of the Jewish Passover was the ideal framework for the
institution of the new Christian Passover.

Jesus knew everything that was going to happen; He knew His death and resur-
rection were imminent (cf. 18:4); this is why His words acquire a special tone of
intimacy and love towards those whom He is leaving behind in the world. Surroun-
ded by those whom He has chosen and who have believed in Him, He gives them
His final teachings and institutes the Eucharist, the source and center of the life
of the Church. “He Himself wished to give that encounter such a fullness of mea-
ning, such a richness of memories, such a moving image of words and thoughts,
such a newness of acts and precepts, that we can never exhaust our reflection
and exploration of it. It was a testamentary supper, infinitely affectionate and im-
mensely sad, and at the same time a mysterious revelation of divine promises,
of supreme visions. Death was imminent, with silent omens of betrayal, of aban-
donment, of immolation; the conversation dies down but Jesus continues to
speak in words that are new and beautifully reflective, in almost supreme intima-
cy, almost hovering between life and death” (Paul VI, “Homily on Holy Thursday”,
27 March 1975).

What Christ did for His own may be summed up in this sentence: “He loved them
to the end.” It shows the intensity of His love—which brings Him even to give up
His life (cf. John 15:13); but this love does not stop with His death, for Christ lives
on and after His resurrection He continues loving us infinitely: “It was not only
thus far that He loved us, who always and forever loves us. Far be it from us to
imagine that He made death the end of His loving, who did not make death the
end of His living” (St. Augustine, “In Ioann. Evang.”, 55, 2).

2. The Gospel shows us the presence and activity of the devil running right
through Jesus’ life (cf. Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 22:3; John 8:44; 12:31; etc.). Sa-
tan is the enemy (Matthew 13:39), the evil one (1 John 2:13). St. Thomas Aqui-
nas (cf. “Commentary on St. John, in loc.”) points out that, in this passage, on
the one hand, we clearly see the malice of Judas, who fails to respond to this
demonstration of love, and on the other hand great emphasis is laid on the good-
ness of Christ, which reaches out beyond Judas’ malice by washing his feet al-
so and by treating him as a friend right up to the moment when he betrays Him
(Luke 22:48).

3-6. Aware that He is the Son of God, Jesus voluntarily humbles Himself to the
point of performing a service appropriate to household servants. This passage
recalls the Christological hymn in St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians: “Christ
Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God
a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant…” (Phi-
lippians 2:6-7).

Christ had said that He came to the world not to be served but to serve (Mark
10:45). In this scene He teaches us the same thing, through specific example,
thereby exhorting us to serve each other in all humility and simplicity (cf. Gala-
tians 6:2; Philippians 2:3). “Once again He preaches by example, by His deeds.
In the presence of His disciples, who are arguing out of pride and vanity, Jesus
bows down and gladly carries out the task of a servant.[…] This tactfulness of
our Lord moves me deeply. He does not say: ‘If I do this, how much more ought
you to do?’ He puts Himself at their level, and He lovingly chides those men for
their lack of generosity.

“As He did with the first twelve, so also, with us, our Lord can and does whisper
in our ear, time and again: ‘exemplum dedi vobis’ (John 13:15), I have given you
an example of humility. I have become a slave, so that you too may learn to
serve all men with a meek and humble heart” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”,
103).

Peter understands particularly well how thoroughly our Lord has humbled Him-
self, and he protests, in the same kind of way as he did on other occasions,
that he will not hear of Christ suffering (cf. Matthew 8:32 and par.). St. Augustine
comments: “Who would not shrink back in dismay from having his feet washed
by the Son of God….You? Me? Words to be pondered on rather than spoken
about, lest words fail to express their true meaning” (St. Augustine, “In Ioann.
Evang.”, 56,1).

7-14. Our Lord’s gesture had a deeper significance than St. Peter was able to
grasp at this point; nor could he have suspected that God planned to save men
through the sacrificing of Christ (cf. Matthew 16:22 ff). After the Resurrection the
Apostles understood the mystery of this service rendered by the Redeemer: by
washing their feet, Jesus was stating in a simple and symbolic way that He had
not come “to be served but to serve”. His service, as He already told them, con-
sists in giving “His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).

Our Lord tells the Apostles that they are now clean, for they have accepted His
words and have followed Him (cf. 15:3)—all but Judas, who plans to betray Him.
St. John Chrysostom comments as follows: “You are already clean because of
the word that I have spoken to you. That is: You are clean only to that extent.
You have already received the Light; you have already got rid of the Jewish error.
The Prophet asserted: ‘Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the
evil from your souls’ (Isaiah 1:16)…. Therefore, since they had rooted evil from
their souls and were following Him with complete sincerity, He declared, in ac-
cordance with the Prophet’s words: ‘He who has bathed is clean all over’” (St.
John Chrysostom, “Hom. on St. John”, 70, 3).

15-17. Jesus’ whole life was an example of service towards men, fulfilling His
Father’s will to the point of dying on the Cross. Here our Lord promises us that
if we imitate Him, our Teacher, in disinterested service (which always implies sa-
crifice), we will find true happiness which no one can wrest from us (cf. 16:22; 17:
13). “’I have given you an example’, He tells His disciples after washing their feet,
on the night of the Last Supper. Let us reject from our hearts any pride, any am-
bition, any desire to dominate; and peace and joy will reign around us and within
us, as a consequence of our personal sacrifice” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Pas-
sing By”, 94).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

6 posted on 04/12/2017 9:50:34 PM PDT by Salvation (“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26)

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