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Thursday, April 1, 1999

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Holy Thursday

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Psalm 116
John 13:1-15

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living to eat, and eating to live

"I received from the Lord what I handed on to you, namely, that 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

Why did the Lord create us so that we would have to eat? Angels were not created so that they have to eat. Plants don't eat other plants or animals. Why were human beings created so that they must eat?

When the Lord created human beings, He gave us fruits and vegetables to eat (Gn 1:29). In Noah's time, He also gave us animals to eat (Gn 9:3). However, we were never to eat blood, for life was in the blood, and life belongs to God (Gn 9:4). In the new covenant, the Lord has done the unthinkable. He gave us His own flesh and blood as our food. As eating the forbidden fruit brought sin and death into our human nature, so eating the body and blood of Jesus gives us freedom and life (1 Cor 11:24-25). Jesus promised: "He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has life eternal and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is real food and My blood real drink" (Jn 6:54-55).

Why did Jesus create us so that we need food? He did this so that He could be our Food. He humbled and emptied Himself to become the Bread of Life so that no one who comes to Him shall ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Him will ever thirst (Jn 6:35). Live to eat the body and blood of Jesus. Eat to live in Him forever (Jn 6:56).

Prayer:  Jesus, I take You at Your word. I will try to receive You in Holy Communion daily or as often as possible for the rest of my life.

Promise:  "You must wash each others' feet. What I just did was to give you an example; as I have done, so you must do." —Jn 13:14-15

Praise:  William became a Catholic because he came to believe that Jesus was really present in the Eucharist.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our book, This Is My Body.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, October 9, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 17, 1998