Parsch on Maundy Thursday: Christ delivered for his brides

Fr Pius Parsch again offers some sage words, reminding us that Maundy Thursday is about Christ’s self-giving in freedom, to win us for God in our freedom.

Today is Maundy Thursday. It was on this hallowed day that Christ began His sufferings with His agony on Mount Olivet, and Judas imprinted the traitor’s kiss upon His cheek. It was on this day that Jesus was led a prisoner before the High Council and condemned to death, and was spat upon and mocked. On this day, too, Christ gave His Church the mystery of love, His own flesh and blood offered in sacrifice, and by washing the feet of his disciples bequeathed a precious legacy to his Church: the spirit of loving service. It is the day on which in the early Church penitents were received back into the community of Christ’s Body, and the day on which the holy oils, those instruments and symbols of grace, are newly blessed, and flow anew into Christian vessels, emptied now of sin. …

Today the Church celebrates “that most sacred day on which our Lord Jesus was delivered up (traditus) for us”. It is also the day on which “our Lord Jesus Christ delivered to His disciples the mystery of His Body and Blood for them to celebrate”. Today, therefore, is the memorial of a twofold giving. The Son of God had to be delivered up to death by the traitor’s kiss and the treachery of His people, so that He could deliver Himself up to us men. …

You may ask: Was not Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross sufficient – once and for all sufficient? Why, then, this continuation of His sacrifice in the Eucharist? Was not Good Friday sufficient? Why, then, Maundy Thursday? I answer: His love was not content with His being delivered up to death once and for all. He wanted to deliver Himself up anew, again and again, and for each one of us.

He did not love us merely as the atoning Son of God who willed by His death to satisfy once and for all the justice of God; He loved us also as a Bridegroom, wooing each one of us, uniting us to Himself. He did not want us merely to share His death, but to share too in His divine life. Such was His regard for our freedom that He did not want to redeem us against our wills, without our cooperation. It was not as slaves that He wanted us, but as brides: to share freely in the divine life; freely to die with Him, and freely to live with Him. That is why He left us the Eucharist… that sparkling jewel of grace in the Church’s crown. …

It was for the sake of grace that He delivered to us this day His body and blood as a memorial for us to celebrate, that we might ever unite ourselves with Him as His brides, and nourish and fill our souls with grace.
[Seasons of Grace: New Meditations for Sundays and Feastdays, London, 1963]

In Baptism, as much as anything else we are all Christ’s brides, together in that one great Bride, the Church.

2 thoughts on “Parsch on Maundy Thursday: Christ delivered for his brides

  1. POPE FRANCIS DID NOT PREACH ON HOLY EUCHARIST ON HOLY THURSDAY (28 March 2013) Strange ?

    #
    On Holy Thursday the centre of attraction has always been the ‘Institution of the HOLY EUCHARIST’ or ‘JESUS IN THE HOLY EUCHARIST’ which is the heart of the Church. But on this year’s HOLY THURSDAY, Pope Francis did not even mention the word ‘EUCHARIST’ in his homilies neither in ‘St Peters Basilica’ nor in the Prison ‘Casal del Marmo’. Instead, the centre of attraction on this year’s HOLY THURSDAY was: Pope Francis himself, washing & kissing the feet of prisoners…
    #
    If you want to check his homilies on Holy Thursday, then you can check them here:
    (1) Pope Francis Homily during Chrism Mass (St Peters Church Vatican)
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/homilies/2013/documents/papa-francesco_20130328_messa-crismale_en.html
    (2) Pope Francis Homily during Holy Thursday Mass (Prison – ‘Casal del Marmo’ Rome)
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/homilies/2013/documents/papa-francesco_20130328_coena-domini_en.html
    #
    For more information on the dangers to the Catholic Church and its Sacraments, visit http://www.TheWarningSecondComing.com
    .

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