Friday, February 21, 2020 at 4:59 PM
Ash Wednesday-February 26 Ashes will be distributed at 9 A.M & 7 P.M. masses as well as 12:15 and 4 P.M. Scripture services. Fr. Reggie at Wilton train station 6 to 8 A.M.

03/29/18 Holy Thursday - Fr. Reggie

Every human being has two needs that are deeper than any other.

We need to be loved, and we need to love.

This is because we are created in God's image, and God is love. The Holy Trinity is divine love, fully alive, each Person, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, loving the others and being loved by them. And we are created in that image; we are made to follow that example. We can have all the money in the world, all the popularity, power, and success you can imagine, but if we aren't loved, through and through, just because of who we are, with no strings attached, and if we don't love someone else enough to sacrifice ourselves for them, we will be miserable.

Jesus knew that we needed these two things.

Through his suffering and death, his Passion, which begins tonight, he gave them to us.

St John tells us: "He loved his own who were in the world, and he loved them to the end."

This means that Jesus gave us the uttermost proof of his love, his Passion, incontrovertible evidence that there is no limit to his love for each one of us.

And tonight, on Holy Thursday, he gave us three great gifts that would extend his Passion, the proof of his love, throughout all of history. He gave us the Eucharist - his real presence nourishing us in every Tabernacle and every Holy Communion. He gave us the priesthood - a sacramental multiplication through all time and space of his own merciful, wise, and healing love. And he gave us the commandment of true love, so we would know how to love truly: by serving others, not indulging ourselves, just as he washed his disciples' feet.

Through these tremendous, eternal gifts, God redeems us, meeting the two deepest needs of every human heart.

Each of these gifts meets both of our two deepest needs.

Take for example the priesthood.

The priesthood is God's way of being present in our lives as a teacher, father, and guide, without overwhelming us. He sends his graces through priestsreal men we can relate too. No more thunder and clouds of fire and smoke, as in the Old Testament. He lowers himself to our level, so he can raise us to his level.

The night before Pope John Paul II's funeral, Rome was filled with an estimated 5 million pilgrims who had come for the funeral Mass. The city could barely hold them; thousands and thousands spent the night, literally, in the streets. Wherever they were gathered, all over the city, the whole night through, you could see priests hearing confessions in makeshift, outdoor confessionals, with signs around their necks or hanging from their chairs listing the languages they spoke. All night long God was proving his lovegently administering his mercy and guidance through confession.

In one of the network shows they interviewed one of these priests. He was tired, hungry, and unshaven, but his eyes were glowing with joy. They asked him what he had been doing all night. "Hearing confessions in the streets of Rome," he answered. "Old people?" they asked. "Some old, mostly young," he responded. The interviewer then asked, "We know that young people liked John Paul II because he was a celebrity. But why would they want to go to confession? Don't they all want to change the Church's teachings about sin anyway?" The priest smiled and said, "The only thing these kids want to change is themselves. And John Paul II reminded them that, with Christ's grace, they canThat's why they came to confession." The show cut immediately to a commercial.

This is the gift Christ left us all in the priesthood: a powerful, sacramental, living and breathing help along life's difficult path: a gift that both proves we are loved, and strengthens us to love.

This is the night Jesus gave us these great gifts. Maybe the best way to thank him for them is to take some extra time during these days to really enjoy them, really use them. To let those gifts meet our deepest needs by courageously opening our hearts to Christ.

Of the two needs, the first is even deeper than the second.

Unless we know that we are loved unconditionally, fully, through and through, just for who we are, it is almost impossible for us to be able to love in turn the way were created to. And the more fully we know that we are loved, the stronger we become, the more able to love in return. We have all experienced this, even on just a human level. When we know we are loved, we are strong.

Well, let's let Jesus assure us of his love for us during these days, through praying, reading, and reflecting, through the liturgies, through receiving the sacraments.

But let's not stop there. All of us here today have already experienced Christ's love for us at least a little bit - though we constantly need to experience it more. But I am sure each one of us knows someone who hasn't experienced it at all, or who hasn't experienced it for a long time.

Let's be true, authentic Christians for those people during these days - true followers of Christ.

Let's pray for them, let's invite them to come to the liturgies, or let's at least reach out to them in some way, washing their feet in some little way, giving them an experience of Christ's love through our Christ-like love.

After all, Jesus died for them too, and his saving love is much too precious to keep to ourselves.



There are no comments for this post.

Add a comment

Will not be shared.
Add Comment
Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!