T T I N G T H E M O S T O U T O
F T H E E U C H A R I S T
If you want to get the most out of the Eucharist you have to
check your “I” at the door.The “I” that wants things, that endlessly critiques
the way things are done, and that
demands things be done in exactly a certain way (meaning “my way,” not God’s
way). I think it was Peter Kreeft who once said that the famous song, “I Did It
My Way,” sung by such great artists as Frank Sinatra and Elvis, is the national
anthem of hell. The way of the world may be to do things “our way” but the way
of Christ is to do things his Way.We therefore consciously have to leave “my
way” at the door and in exchange take up an attitude that asks “how may we be
of service to you, Lord, in this celebration of the Eucharist?”
THE INSTITU TION OF THE EUCHARIST BY JESUS On
Holy Thursday, the day on which the Church celebrates the institution of the
Holy Eucharist,the gospel reading for the Mass does not mention Jesus taking
bread and wine but rather an act of service that Jesus performed at the Last
Supper.The Lord taking bread and wine and declaring it his body and blood is
mentioned in the Second Reading for that Mass,but not in the gospel.
The gospel for Holy Thursday is from
John’s gospel. It is the story of Jesus rising from the table and shocking his
disciples by doing something totally unexpected, washing their feet.
Peter refuses to have his feet washed at
first but acquiesces when Jesus tells him that it is necessary if Peter is to
have any inheritance in him.
If you are like me, you can relate to
Peter.There is something in Peter’s character that perfectly illustrates what
we all are like in our fallen nature.We are proud.We want to be in control.We
like Jesus, and we want to be part of his crowd, but we also want to tell him
what to do.