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Thoughts on the first Eucharist, established by the Last Supper.
April 18, 2014
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Thoughts on the first Eucharist, established by the Last Supper.

The first Eucharist was recognized by the Apostles for what it was on that holiest Holy Thursday.

Vic Biorseth, OWM; Friday, April 18, 2014 - Good Friday

We heard another soul-stirring homily by Fr. Eric yesterday at the Mass of the Last Supper. We always love this Mass, for the washing of the feet, the reposing of the Blessed Sacrament, and all the glorious symbolism. This Holy Thursday Mass was different, in that Fr. Eric sang the whole Mass, which added a lot of glory and majesty to the whole liturgy.

What prompted these thoughts was the fact, brought out in the homily, that the Lord's Last Supper established the first Eucharist - the first Mass - and that the Apostles recognized it for what it was. And their own words, recorded later in Scripture, prove it.

In the Eucharist page we saw how the Apostles and the other Disciples were puzzled by our Lord's words in John Chapter 6, in the Eucharistic discourse. He told them that He was "bread come down from heaven", that His flesh was food, that His blood was drink, and that they were to eat his flesh and drink his blood.

The more any of them were puzzled or questioned His words, the stronger He reinforced the message. It was a divisive point. Many turned away from Him at that point, and yet He didn't lighten up the message, but made it stronger and stronger. He even tied it to salvation, saying unless they ate His flesh and drank His blood, they did not have life.

They didn't understand it, but, with Simon Peter speaking for the rest, they recognized Who He was, and they accepted His words on faith.

It was only later, at the Lord's Last Supper, that their eyes were opened to the sacramental and sacrificial nature of His Eucharistic Words. When He broke the bread, and said "This is my body", and when he raised the cup and said "This is my blood", and He said "Do this in remembrance of me", their eyes were opened and they understood. It was a radical, life-changing event.

It was the first Mass. After the Supper, what did they do? They sang a hymn, and went to the garden at Gethsemane to pray. They left. After every Mass, Father sends us out - we, who have received Him - out into the world, to let His light shine through us.

Remember how the two disciples on the road to Emmaus finally recognized Jesus "in the breaking of the bread" but not until then.

In 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 we see that Jesus meant exactly what He said, as recorded in John 6; anyone who comes unworthily or "not discerning the body" eats judgment upon himself. Yet anyone who comes worthily, and discerning the body, eats sanctifying grace and becomes what he eats: the body of Christ.

What a glorious gift He gave us.

Glory be to God, and blessed be His holy name.

(Original Source: Holy Thursday 2014)

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