Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Day Freedom was Fulfilled

The Last Supper is the lens through which we interpret the death and resurrection of Jesus. Holy Thursday anticipates, encapsulates and interprets Good Friday & Easter Sunday. What Jesus did tonight is the key to understanding the core of his saving sacrifice.

The Last Supper shows us that Jesus freely offered himself in love. "The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just" (CCC 1733). It was on Holy Thursday that Jesus fully modeled the purpose of freedom. He chose to offer himself in the service of love. You cannot understand the death and resurrection of Jesus apart from the Last Supper.

What does this mean for us? When we go to Mass, we receive Him in Holy Communion, we are taken up into his saving sacrifice. We, our lives, become "eucharistized". We are nourished and empowered to live that same loving freedom in the day-to-day reality of our lives. This is precisely what Saint Pope John Paul II taught: "The Church draws her life from the Eucharist" (Ecclesia de Eucharistia 1). The Mass communicates the grace of Jesus to every believer. Now we can imitate the freedom of Jesus. Lives lived in loving sacrifice are the fulfillment of freedom, the very purpose for which God gave us freedom. Today is the day freedom was fulfilled!

+ Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
Yonkers, NY
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