Holy Thursday – Fr. Bill McNeeley
April 18, 2019 – 11:00am
There is no way the disciples, even the Apostles, could have known how momentous this Passover meal would be, this “Last Supper.” Of course, one could say it wasn’t a last supper, it was actually the first Eucharist, and that has a certain validity, except that this Mass we here tonight celebrate is a continuation of that same first last supper.
Anamnesis derives from a Greek word meaning “reminiscence” or “memorial sacrifice.” For us, it is a liturgical statement in which the Church refers to the memorial character of the Eucharist or to the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ. It has its origin in Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, “Do this in memory of me.” Anamnesis for us is a continual remembrance of the suffering and passion of a Lord, of this mass or Eucharist as well as the resurrection and ascension of our Lord. It transcends all time and space, making one the eternal moment of now, past, present, and future.
Elsewhere in John’s Gospel Jesus said: “Greater love has no man than this, to lay down his life for his friends.” We all know of course that we are a call to follow his example. We may reflect on such a passage and say and wonder if we would be willing to do that, to lay down our lives for another. One thing is for certain. Someday we will lay down our lives. It’s really a matter whether we make that life count for something or not.