Read Mark 14:12-25
What can we say about Maundy Thursday and the institution of the Holy Eucharist? We celebrate this event, not only every year during Holy Week, we celebrate this event every time we gather together to break bread. There are those who would argue that we do “The Lord’s Supper” too often, that it loses its meaning, and has become too familiar. Thus we do it by rote. If this were simply a memorial meal, that might be true. But what our Lord instituted on the night that He was betrayed was a Covenant, a Sacrament, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given in His Love for us that we might be nourished in Him by the Real Presence of His Body and His Blood!
As is his wont in the presentation of this Gospel, Mark is spare in his detail. He gives us the most simple, most straightforward description of the Last Supper. He stuck to the facts. He related that when Jesus consecrated the bread He said, “Take; this is my body.” And when He gave them the wine, He said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” Every time we partake of the bread and the wine of the Holy Eucharist, we not only remember our Lord’s last meal with His disciples, we re-call His Sacramental Presence. And at every Eucharist He renews the Covenant in His Blood. When we celebrate, He truly comes again in power, in grace, and in His all-encompassing Love.
What more can we say about this Feast of the Institution of the Holy Eucharist? We cannot add to it, because it is a limitless gift. But we would be highly remiss if we tried to take anything away from it. He gave us His Body and His Blood as the covenantal grace and hope for all mankind. It is THE sacrament of His Real Presence.