Jesus Christ, the unblemished lamb of the New Passover, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, gives us today
the divine example of love by which He who is perfect in humility leads us to His very self.
Jesus is Lord, God almighty, the Second Divine Person of the Holy Trinity, the Beloved Son sent by the
Father to save us from our sins by way of the cross. This evening begins the Paschal Mystery- the Passion,
Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord, the night on which He instituted the Holy Eucharist and the
Priesthood. The readings from Exodus and 1 Corinthians paint a very clear picture of who exactly Jesus is
and what He is doing: Jesus is the Lamb of God, just as John the Baptist proclaimed. He is the Passover
sacrifice who pours out His blood upon the wood of the cross, the blood which cleanses us from our sins,
delivering us from the bondage of death and marking us as His own. It is in Jesus’ blood that the new,
eternal covenant is established, the covenant that fulfills all others. The institution of the Eucharist is the
perfection of the institution of the Passover in Egypt, the perpetual institution which re-presents the events
of the Paschal Mystery and is the very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus.
This is why the Mass is called a Holy Sacrifice- Jesus offers Himself by Himself to the Father out of infinite
love for us, the sheep of His flock. No words can do justice to the great mystery we are presented with
In the Gospel we see yet again an expression of the infinite love of God. Jesus, King of the Universe,
humbles Himself and takes the form of a servant, stooping down to wash the feet of the Apostles. Peter’s
feet are washed first, which is fitting to his primacy as the rock. Peter, the most relatable Apostle, does not
understand why Jesus is acting in this way. He does not yet understand why he must be cleansed by Jesus,
cleansed by the blood which will soon pour forth from his side. But God’s ways are not our ways; we do
not have to understand, we just have to follow Christ.
In addition to showing the servant nature of the Priesthood established in Himself, Jesus’ act of service
shows how we are to live in relation to each other. We are to love one another without seeking our own
praise. We are servants in this world, not obedient to ourselves but to God. We must not be scrupulous
with God’s grace, and not keep ourselves from Him despite our infinite unworthiness. Jesus does not leave
us directionless, as He gives us both an example of love and also tangible, substantial love: His presence in
the Holy Eucharist. Let us now enter into the mystery of these next few days, emptying ourselves and
allowing Jesus to wash our feet, to fill us with the sacrificial love which He so deeply longs to give us.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper,
Lent 2020 Contributing Authors: