THE LAST SUPPER
Our Lord Institutes the Blessed Sacrament
It is for the celebration of the mass that the altar is erected. It is as a habitation for the sacramental Christ that our churches are built, where He dwells to receive the homage of His subjects and to bestow His blessings and Himself. It is for the celebration of the mass that our priests are consecrated. It is for a worthy reception of Christ's body and blood effected by the mass that the sacrament of Penance prepares the faithful. The mass is the great sacrifice of the new law, offered from the rising of the sun to its going down. It is the clean oblation prefigured by the offering of Melchisedech. The mass enable mankind to offer to God daily and repeatedly what is the most acceptable to Him. For it is offering to the eternal Father of the Only Begotten Son. That is why the mass is sacred.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the world's greatest prayer; it is most profound, and the most and we are united in Christ. This we know is true, for God Himself has said it andshowed how.
Through almost 2000 years since Christ offered the first Mass, let us return to the momentous occasion that began at the Last Supper where Our Lord first gave instruc- tions to His Apostles. We know the washing of the feet did follow and took about one hour. Then they entered into another part of the Cenacle where there was a V-shaped table and tapestries drawn for privacy. Yes, the table was covered with extra fine linens on which were placed twelve small golden chalices, on for each Apostle, with a larger one at the head or Our Lord. Note it was the Last Supper where they all sat, whereas now they all knelt. Further instructions then followed. Kneeling in awesome adoration, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass began. Breading bread, Christ offered a part to God the Father, Who momentarily appeared above Him in a mist with rays coming from Him on to the Bread in Our Lord's Heart. It seemed to quiver as though alive with an image of Our Lord appearing under each small piece. He then offered the Chalice with wine as He did the bread, which after pronouncing the right words, became His most Sacred Blood. The Chalice, the most Sacred of all vessels symbolizes the Passion and stands for the Heart of Jesus from which flowed blood for man's salvation; the wine, then and now, must be made of pure grapes (grape juice and/or other chemically treated wines not being valid). The bread is to be of pure wheat. So as in Our Lord's time, it must be now and for all times just as He Who is God specified. This act of Transubstantiation thus brings to each and everyone who carries the name Christian, the unique and Divine privilege to share Christ's Divinity now as He shared our humanity then. So as this Holy Sacrifice reunited man with God after he was separated by Adam and Eve's sins of dis- obedience, so Christ overcame their sins in the Garden of Paradise by His tremendous Sacrifice and cruel death on the Cross. Yes, by this act of His love and Obedience to God the Father, He won for all mankind the world's greatest gift, eternal life. We know too that it also once again reopened the gates of Heaven for all who would follow Him, His teachingsand especially those to His True Church.
As for His Church He definitely stated, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church". The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which is and always be the Renewal of Calvary each time a duly ordained priest, using the words of Our Lord:
1. With the right intention,
2. And proper matter, 3.Is offered to God the Father
This truly makes it Christmas every day or whenever Mass is offered, as Jesus is born anew at each Consecration when the above conditions are present. At the First Mass: In giving Holy Communion, Our Lord first turned to St. John then to St. Peter while the other Apostles came into the V in pairs where they knelt and received the Body of Christ On the tongue. Except, when Judas was to receive, an angel took it away as he was not worthy. He then left and accepted the 30 pieces of silver and went to betray His Master and lose his soul forever. What a price to pay for his greed for money.
This is exactly what Our Lord meant when, before His Ascension, He said to His Apostles, "Behold I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world" (Matt-.28:20). Likewise, this what He had in mind when He said, "He who eats my Body and drinks my Blood shall live forever." Yes, it was common for Our Lord While He was on earth, to use reference of Christ being born again on our altars as each valid Mass is offered. Is it not, then, in a sense, Christmas every day for those who attend daily and receive Him into their hearts and souls in Holy Communion?