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Tonight we enter into the three most Holy Days of the Year, the Easter Triduum. Jesus has invited us personally to share these days with him as he did with the first disciples. Why because as he loves us as he loved them, to the very end. Jesus asked his disciples then and asks us now: “Do you realize what I have done for you?” The answer to this question will determine how we live our life. Do we realize what Jesus has done for us? He has given his Body and Blood for us so that the angel of death may pass over us, so that like Jesus, we may pass from this world to the Father. In the first reading we heard about the firs Passover and the Israelites escape from the slavery of Egypt. Those who followed the commands of the Lord were saved through the body and blood of the unblemished lamb. Those households who spread the blood of the lamb on the vertical and horizontal beams of the doorway to their home and then ate the flesh of the sacrificial lamb were spared from death. It was a strange ritual but on that night they came to realize in a powerful way what the Lord had done for them.

Do we realize that Jesus has done something even greater for us? That he is the Lamb of God whose perfect sacrifice takes away the sins of the world? That his blood poured out on the vertical and horizontal beam of the Cross is our doorway into Heaven? And that we who eat the flesh of Lamb of God are spared from eternal death? Do we realize that he has made the impossible possible for us? It is now possible to escape the slavery of sin and death if we follow his command that he gave to us at the Last Supper: “Do this in remembrance of me.” Do we realize what Jesus does for us at every Mass? Do we realize that the Last Supper was the first Mass? The Mass re-presents, makes present, the death of Christ. That is what we celebrate tonight, and every time we gather to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. And that is why St. Paul says in the second reading that as often as we eat the bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. This is not just a ritual but it is a saving act of God. If we realize this we would want to come to Mass as often as possible.

But there is one more thing that Jesus wants us to realize from what he has done for us? That although he is our God and Savior, he has the humility of a servant who humbly washes the feet of others. When we realize this then we know what true sacrifice is and realize that we have to do the same. Fathers have to serve their families. Husbands have to serve their wives, and wives their husbands. Parents have to serve their children. Brothers and sisters must serve one another. Parishioners have to serve other parishioners. We have to serve by humbly washing one another’s feet, taking care of each others every need, loving one another until the end. It is a grace of humility that enslaves us to loving service for others, doing menial tasks that seem below us in order to raise others up. This is only possible when we realize that Jesus did it for us. Through Christ we learn how to not just serve out of obligation but out of love. May the model that Christ has given us to follow be lived out every day of our life until he comes again. Amen.

Father Timothy Gallagher

4-16-14

St. Bernadette Roman Catholic Church
101 South College Street
Cedartown, GA 30125
(770) 748-1517
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