There is no greater love than one lay down his life for his friend. We hear about this from time to time. A soldier giving his life to save that of his fellow soldiers. We are amazed at that taking place. We will often wonder, “Would I do that if I was in that situation?”
That great love is shown to us on this day, Maundy Thursday. This is the day that begins the final 24 hours of Jesus’ earthly life prior to His resurrection. It was on this night that He gathered with His disciples in the upper room, where He washed their feet, instituted the blessed Sacrament, and told them what was going to take place later that night. We recall all those events.
The one event that gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect upon what Jesus is doing happens week after week in our churches. Every time the Words of Institution are spoken over the elements of bread and wine, we hear of no greater love. We believe that as we receive the bread and wine in the Sacrament, we also receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This Sacrament reminds us of His life, death and resurrection. We have the opportunity to receive the life-giving body and blood of Jesus, to receive the forgiveness of sins, to be strengthened in faith and assured of life eternal. All of this comes from the heart of love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
No greater love than what we see in this Sacrament. We will move from the Table to the Garden to the Trial and then to Calvary. We will shudder when we hear of His death. Even as we do, we will see that there is no greater love than what we receive right there at the altar. The Lord loved us so much, that He gave Himself for us. In the Sacrament, He continues to show us that love as He gives us that life-giving body and blood.
Take eat … take drink … for this is given for you. His love is given to you.