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All Issues > Volume 20, Issue 3

<< Thursday, April 8, 2004 >> Holy Thursday
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26

View Readings
Psalm 116
John 13:1-15

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"The Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread, and after He had given thanks, broke it and said, 'This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.' " —1 Corinthians 11:23-24

I wrote this during a curfew. Because of racial violence, my city was under a curfew. Our Mass of the Last Supper had to be finished in 30-40 minutes so that parishioners could be home by the 8:00 PM curfew. Only a handful of people came to the Mass because most people were afraid to come. (The parish and pastor is near the center of the violence.)

On this day when we especially celebrate the Lord's gift to us of His body and blood (see 1 Cor 11:24-25), we should realize even more deeply that to know personally our eucharistic Jesus means that no fear will rule our lives. The saying is absolutely true: "KNOW JESUS. NO FEAR." When we receive the body and blood of Jesus, we receive God, Who is Love (1 Jn 4:8, 16). We receive perfect Love, Who "casts out all fear" (1 Jn 4:18).

The Eucharist is the fulfillment of the Passover, when the Lord commanded His people to leave the slavery of fear (see Rm 8:15). After the first Eucharist, Jesus fearlessly died on the cross (see 1 Cor 11:26). The Eucharist is where the fearful become fearless by the transforming love of the Lord. KNOW JESUS. NO FEAR.

Prayer: Father, You have sent me not a fearful spirit (2 Tm 1:7) but the Spirit of adoption (Rm 8:15). In this Spirit, make me fearless.
Promise: "How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for Me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the Lord." —Ps 116:12-13
Praise: "Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore. O make us love Thee more and more. O make us love Thee more and more."
(For related teaching, order our tape Developing a Deep, Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 20, Issue 3
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