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On this Holy Thursday:

Let us pray to the Lord,

O you whose love for us is eternal and unchanging: Today, as your Son reclined at table with his chosen friends, he gave them the mysteries of his life-giving love for us, to be present forever on the altars of his holy churches throughout the world. Now, as we celebrate the institution of these mysteries, we entreat you to dispel all doubt and hesitation from our souls. Strengthen our faith that we may live and believe without apathy and indifference, without confusion and weariness, and unhampered by discord and divisiveness. Let us, rather, share in these mysteries today and always, finding in them the pledge and seal of your love for us and the everflowing fountain of new life and unity.

By the grace and mercy and love for us of your only Son, with whom you are blest, together with your all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit: now and forever, and unto ages of ages. Amen. (A prayer of Fr. Laurence)

Today, we remember (anamnesis) the Lord Himself uttering the words we hear at every Divine Liturgy: “Take, eat, this is My Body…” and “Drink of this, all of you, this is My Blood…”

In our modern world, we are always tempted to substitute the shallow sentiment of nostalgia for the robust and mystical reality of true remembrance. We humans, created in the image of God to be made in His likeness, share the ability with God in placing ourselves in a moment that has past.

A smell can put me in my grandmother’s kitchen. A familiar event can create a sense of deja vu. A song can put me right back in my first car, riding down the rode during a summertime long ago and almost feel the wind in my face from a rolled down window.

Memory for we humans is much more profound than a mere recalling of an old event. We can actually “rejoin” the event we recall, especially if we love the people that were in the event we are recalling.

Today, let us move beyond the temptation to reduce our faith to a mere recitation of old words and do what we can all do if we will: join our Lord in the Upper Room as one of His disciples and take from His undefiled hands bread and wine transfigured by grace into the only real food we will ever need. Allow this reality to change the way you think about the Eucharist and watch at how this change changes you!

Blessed Holy Thursday to you and may you be strengthened to finish this spiritual marathon well and more like the Lord Who loves you so.

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