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Homilies - Bishop Brendan Leahy

Mass of Our Lord's Supper - 24 March 2016 - Cuan Mhuire, Bruree


This day is called Holy Thursday. On this day two thousand years ago, on the evening of the Last Supper, Jesus gave us four special gifts. That day lasted and continues today. Four gifts.

The gift of the Eucharist, Mass, Holy Communion. This is wonderful. Jesus promises to be with us. “I am with you”, “I will be with you always”. He found a way to be with us always – the Eucharist. Remember that in every Mass: he is there. And every Church we pass, every tabernacle we come before – He is there.

The second gift is priesthood. Priests aren’t perfect people! But through priests we have the Mass. And we have the sacrament of Reconciliation, Confession. When the priest absolves your sins, they are gone forever! Pope Francis said recently we need to really realise this – God forgives and forgets. He said God has a bad memory!! Remember this too: when a priest absolves your sins, you are forgiven, you have a chance to begin me again in life.

The third gift. On the night of the Last Supper he prayed for the gift of unity. We are not alone in life! Remember you are always linked with people who are praying, going to Mass. So whenever we face a problem or feel alone, we can always think: there is someone praying for me now, I’m being remembered at Mass.

The fourth gift. We’ve just heard about what Jesus did at the Last Supper. He washed the feet of the disciples. He gave an example of service, love. It was also in this context that he gave us a wonderful key to life – the New Commandment, love one another. We are called to be attentive to one another, looking out for one another, working for the good of others. And to do this for one another – this is the great key to life.

So, let’s remember those four gifts – the Eucharist (“I am with you”); priesthood (“your sins are absolved and forgotten”), the gift of unity (“you are not alone”), the New Commandment (“love one another – the key to life”).