Lent is coming to an end – finally! I don’t know about you, but I miss my cookies, cake and science fiction! What did you give up (if anything)? I think these last 2 weeks have been pretty fruitful for me. I think I was way too preoccupied with other things during the first several weeks. If you’ve had a hard time paying attention to Lent, like I have, read on.
We are now in the last week of Lent and the Triduum is coming up. The Triduum is made up of the last 3 weeks before Easter. These days are: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Let me just tell you a little bit about why these days are important:
The day before Jesus’ crucifixion. He had the Last Supper with the Apostles in the upper room. This is a celebration that is so important for Christians, and if you’re Catholic, you might really be able to appreciate it’s meaning. It is the moment when Christ instituted the Eucharist.
“Jesus took the bread and after a blessing, He broke it, gave it to His disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ And when He had taken the cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is the Blood of My covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'” – Matthew 26: 26-28
I absolutely believe in the divinity of the Eucharist and that it is literally the body and blood of Christ…
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life within yourselves. He who drinks my blood and eats my flesh has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.” – John 6:53-55
When Jesus taught this to the disciples, many of them left Him, thinking that teaching was too difficult. It continues to be difficult for people to believe today. Some things we must take on faith. Nothing is impossible for God, and the Eucharist is a marvelous gift that Jesus left for us when He left this world. I believe He meant what He said.
There have been Eucharistic Miracles
where the Host was visibly changed to flesh!
There’s a book (or several) too – one of them can be found on this website: TheRealPresence.org
Jesus knew that one of His friends was going to betray Him and even though He confronted all of them about it, none of them could believe that it would be them. As we know, Judas Iscariot handed Him over to the crowd.
This is the day of the Greatest Act of Love the world has ever seen. Jesus accepted the Will of His Father and was tortured and killed for our sins. He died for love of each one of us. Incredible.
“He paid a debt He didn’t owe because we had a debt we couldn’t pay.”
I think we should all reflect on this. How amazing and humbling. All the sins we commit… He paid for all of them. That really makes you think, doesn’t it? I really need to think about this more in my own life. One of my favorite prayers brings the focus to this historical moment. Allow me to share!
Easter Vigil. There are several traditions for this day:
* The Blessing of the Easter baskets – ours and many other churches allow parishioners to come with their Easter food in a basket, place it up at the alter, and participate in the service. There are a few prayers, maybe a reading, and the priest blesses all the baskets. It’s a very nice little ceremony. 🙂
* Baptism of Catechumens. WELCOME to the Church, those of you who are converting to Catholicism or completing the sacraments this year!!! If you’re considering conversion, check out CatholicsComeHome.org. There’s information there for protestants, atheists and more. 🙂
* Lighting of the candles. As I understand it, the symbolism of Good Friday is that the Light of the World has left and we were in darkness until the Resurrection. So the church is dark until all the candles are lit and the lights slowly come back on. Pretty beautiful. <3
So open your hearts this week, invite the Lord in. Have some quiet moments to reflect. Peace be with you and your family.