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The Gift of Love

The Gift of Love

Gift of Love BreadOfLifeEucharistCorbertGauthierREQUIRES HOT LINK

Holy Thursday

Presence of God: O Jesus, grant that I may fathom the immensity of that love which led You to give us the Eucharist.

MEDITATION

“Having loved His own … He loved them unto the end” (Jn 13:1-15), and in those last intimate hours spent in their midst, He wished to give them the greatest proof of His love. Those were hours of sweet intimacy, but also of most painful anguish. Judas had already set the price of the infamous sale; Peter was about to deny his Master; all of them within a short time would abandon Him. The institution of the Eucharist appeared then as the answer of Jesus to the treachery of men, as the greatest gift of His infinite love in return for the blackest ingratitude. The merciful God would pursue His rebellious creatures, not with threats, but with the most delicate devices of His immense charity. Jesus had already done and suffered so much for sinful man, but now, at the moment when human malice is about to sound the lowest depths of the abyss, He exhausts the resources of His love, and offers Himself to man, not only as the Redeemer, who will die for him on the Cross but also as the food which will nourish him. He will feed man with His own Flesh and Blood; moreover, death might claim Him in a few hours, but the Eucharist will perpetuate His real, living presence until the end of time. “You who are mad about Your creature!” exclaimed St. Catherine of Siena, “true God and true Man, You have left Yourself wholly to us, as food, so that we will not fall through weariness during our pilgrimage in this life, but will be fortified by You, celestial Nourishment!”

Today's Mass is, in a very special way, the commemoration and the renewal of the Last Supper, in which we are all invited to participate. Let us enter the Church and gather close around the altar as if going into the Cenacle to gather around Jesus. Here we find, as did the Apostles at Jerusalem, the Master living in our midst, and He Himself, through the person of His minister, will renew once again the great miracle which changes bread and wine into His Body and Blood; He will say to us, “Take and eat … take and drink.”

It was Jesus Himself who made the arrangements for the Last Supper, choosing “a large room” (Lk 22:12), and bidding the Apostles to prepare it suitably. Our hearts, dilated and made spacious by love, must also be a “large” cenacle, where Jesus may come and worthily celebrate His Pasch.

COLLOQUY

“O Lord, Lord, how small and narrow is the house of my soul for You to enter! Enlarge it Yourself. It is in ruins; repair it. I know and admit that there are things in it that are offensive in Your sight. But who will cleanse it? Or to whom but You shall I cry, purify me, Lord, from my hidden sins?” (St. Augustine).

“O good Jesus, to sustain our weakness and to stir up our love, You have chosen to remain always in our midst, although You well foresaw the way that men would treat You and the shame and outrages from which You would have to suffer. O eternal Father, how could You permit Your Son to live with us, to endure fresh insults every day? O my God! What great love in that Son! and also, what great love in that Father!

“But how, eternal Father, couldst Thou consent to this? How canst Thou see Thy Son every day in such wicked hands?… How canst Thy mercy, day by day, and every day, see Him affronted? And how many affronts are being offered today to this most Holy Sacrament! How often must Thou see Him in the hands of His enemies!

“O eternal Father! Surely all these scourgings and insults and grievous tortures will not be forgotten…. Could it be that He failed to do something to please Thee? No, He fulfilled everything…. Has He not already more than sufficiently paid for the sin of Adam?

“O Holy Father who art in Heaven, if Thy divine Son has left nothing undone that He could do for us in granting sinners so great a favor as that of the Blessed Sacrament, do not permit Him to be so ill-treated. Since Thy holy Son has given us this excellent way in which we can offer Him up frequently as a sacrifice, let us make use of this precious gift so that it may stay the advance of such terrible evil and irreverence as in many places is paid to this most holy Sacrament” (cf. Teresa of Jesus, Way of Perfection, 33-3-35).

 

 

Note from Dan: This post on the Gift of Love is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.

 

Art: Bread of Life, Corbert Gauthier, 2002, copyright Corbert Gauthier, all rights reserved, used with permission. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., mirror from open source material.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Camila

    Beautiful, Thank you.

  • Jeanette

    My Saviour, Jesus, grant me a more ardent desire for You in the Eucharist. Amen.

  • Patricia Bustamante

    The Lord will always stir our hearts to seek him more and to come closer to Him. The celebration of the last supper is the best time to do this. If you haven’t been close to Him before…He invites you to come and dine with Him now… 🙂

  • Joan

    O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!

  • LizEst

    Blessed Holy Thursday to all!

    …and thank you, Corbert, for sharing your beautiful painting with us. God reward you!

  • Patricia

    Love responds to LOVE!
    And how will you respond to this giving of His entire self specifically and tenderly to you?

  • Jeanette

    “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” – Luke 22:19-20

  • Pingback: THE GIFT OF LOVE: THE EUCHARIST | PagadianDiocese.org()

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