Thursday, April 17, 2014

12 hours of lent

For most of us, lent has less than 12 hours left. Tonight we transition from Lent to the Easter Triduum, with The Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. If you pay close attention you will notice that we begin as usual, "In the name of the Father...", but tonight's mass has no end. We simply disperse and tomorrow we pick up where we left off.

It is worth noting that unlike the painting we do not call it the Last Supper.

It is really the first. Tonight we are called back to the first celebration of the Eucharist.

We have become so used to going to mass and being able to receive the Eucharist, we can forget that there was a time before, when people could worship God from a distance but no one ever dreamed of being able to touch God, let alone receive God, as we do. Tonight we are invited to a renewed sense of awe, and awareness of the presence of Christ in the sacrament.

And why do we wash feet? While Matthew, Mark, and Luke all tell the story of Jesus instituting the Eucharist, John does not. Instead of the institution of the Eucharist, John tells us the story of Jesus washing the feet of the apostles, and telling them to do the same.

Tonight we not only recall both traditions, but the nexus. We receive Christ in the Eucharist to empower us each and every day to more fully imitate Christ.

Tonight we begin with an empty tabernacle, new bread and new wine. Tonight we start over. No matter how imperfect this year has been, no matter how imperfect this Lent has been, go to Church tonight, and start over.