Homily for Holy Thursday


View resources for keeping a prayerful life at home, following Fr. Bart's homily. 

Holy Thursday Homily from Fr. Bart

The ceremony that we celebrate on Holy Thursday and, in fact, every time we celebrate the Mass, puts us in contact with three thousand and five hundred ears of salvation history.

With this celebration, we are obeying the command that Jesus gave at the Last Supper when he said: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” At the last supper, more than two thousand years ago, Jesus gave a new meaning to a ceremonial meal that the Jews celebrated ever since the time of Moses in 1500 BC – the Passover. 

The Passover celebration was a holy day that God himself had established, a feast in which he commanded his chosen people to never forget all that God had done for them: freeing them from slavery in Egypt and leading them into the Promised Land. The Passover was a remembrance of that. It was also a sacred remembrance, one that renewed the Chosen People’s special relationship with their God.

In a similar way, Jesus commanded the church to continue to celebrate the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a remembrance of his work of redemption, by which he saved us from sin and opened the way for us to enter eternal life, our Promised Land. As a sacred remembrance it also makes Christ’s everlasting sacrifice actually present among us today. Every time we celebrate the Mass, we are reminded of God becoming a human being and dying on the Cross for us out of love. 

When Jesus celebrated the Passover at that Last Supper, he deviated from the usual ritual. When he broke the bread, he said, “This is my Body” and at the end of the meal he took a cup of wine and said, “This is my Blood.”  I am sure the disciples at that time did not understand what this meant. It was later after Jesus’ Death and Resurrection and they realized what he had done for them that they wanted to celebrate their Passover from sin to redemption through him. We have the development of our Mass, the Eucharist, our great thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

Jesus began that Last Supper doing something else quite unusual. He washed the feet of his disciples. He also commanded them to do the same for each other. He commanded them to be servant leaders. He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me!”

Every time we celebrate the Eucharist, we are asked to do the same. We are called to love one another. Every time we are sent forth from Mass, we are called to continue our celebration of remembrance by spreading the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God loves us and we are called to love one another.  – Fr. Bart

The following resources are provided as spiritual aids in this time of isolation and physical separation from our faith community and the sacraments. 

Spiritual Resources

Diocese of Raleigh: Keeping a prayerful life at home

Spiritual Communion

What is spiritual Communion?

Spiritual Communion is the practice of desiring union with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. It is used primarily by individuals who cannot receive holy Communion, such as the ill, the divorced and remarried (and now, in a time of isolation due to Covid-19), and those who have not yet been received into full communion with the Church. St. Thomas Aquinas described it as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the most holy sacrament and lovingly embrace him” at a time or in circumstances when we cannot receive him in sacramental Communion.

Act of spiritual Communion

My Jesus,
I believe that you are
present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive you sacramentally,
come at least spiritually
into my heart. I embrace you
as if you were already there and
unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be
separated from you. Amen

Holy Week Masses Onlne

 ... continuing three thousand and five hundred years of salvation history, virtually.

Diocese of Raleigh Youtube channel
Holy Thursday, April 9
7:00 PM Bilingual | Worship aid (PDF)
Bishop Zarama presiding and homilist


Good Friday, April 10
3:00 PM Bilingual | Worship aid (PDF)
Bishop Zarama presiding and homilist

Easter Vigil, April 11
8:30 PM Bilingual | Worship aid (PDF)
Bishop Zarama presiding and homilist

Easter Sunday, April 12
8:30 AM Spanish | Worship aid (PDF)
10:00 AM English | Worship aid (PDF)
Bishop Zarama presiding at both Masses.
Fr. Pedro homilist at 8:30 AM; Msgr Brockman homilist at 10:00 AM

Additional options

Tags: Pastor's message, Fr. Bart, Holy Thursday Homily

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