At Mass of Lord’s Supper, it is Jesus who ‘makes this night holy,’ says Bishop

April 1, 2024 at 9:40 a.m.
On Holy Thursday after the celebration of the Mass of the Lord's Supper, the parish hall in St. John the Baptist Church, Allentown, was transformed into a Chapel of Repose where parishioners were invited to spend time in prayer. Here, Father Michael Wallack, pastor, places the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle set up in the Chapel of Repose. Mike Ehrmann photo
On Holy Thursday after the celebration of the Mass of the Lord's Supper, the parish hall in St. John the Baptist Church, Allentown, was transformed into a Chapel of Repose where parishioners were invited to spend time in prayer. Here, Father Michael Wallack, pastor, places the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle set up in the Chapel of Repose. Mike Ehrmann photo


Marking Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., said that “for more than 2,000 years, Catholics and Christians everywhere focus their attention on Holy Thursday, remembering the dramatic events that make this day in this week holy.”

In his homily for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper March 28 in St. John the Baptist Church, Allentown, Bishop O’Connell said Jesus, “the master, the teacher, the Son of God, gave himself totally to [his apostles] in his Body and Blood during a common meal of bread and wine.

PHOTO GALLERY: Holy Thursday in St. John the Baptist Parish, Allentown

“My sisters and brothers, this night is holy, not because of the things we do but, rather, because of the things he did — the Lord Jesus Christ,” Bishop O’Connell said to the congregation. “It is he who gathers us. It is he who gives us himself as food and drink. It is he who drops to his knees to wash the feet of his disciples. He, the Lord Jesus Christ, makes this night holy. And what we do, we do in his memory.”

After Communion, Father Michael Wallack, pastor, led the ancient ceremony of the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament to the Chapel of Repose. The congregation joined the Bishop and Father Wallack, who carried the Blessed Sacrament in a procession around the inside perimeter of the church, then to the chapel set up in the parish hall. The congregation was invited to remain in silent adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

“Holy Thursday provides a pause,” said Jennifer Courtney, who was accompanied by her husband, Edward, and adult children, Liam and Moira.

“It’s a pause that allows you to stop and refocus on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit,” she said.

Moira Courtney added that “We see both sides of Jesus.

“We get to see Jesus fully as a man, but as we draw closer to Easter, we get to see Jesus fully (as the) Son of God.”

Noting that her children are in college, Jennifer Courtney said that attending Mass with them on Holy Thursday is “a way for us all to connect as a family.”

“We get to stay connected spiritually and emotionally through our faith,” she said. “We get to celebrate the institution of the Eucharist together. We get to witness the culmination of Jesus’ love for us as well as God’s love for us together.”


Bishop O'Connell preaches his homily  during the Mass of the Lord's Supper in St. John the Baptist Church, Allentown. Mike Ehrmann photo

 

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Marking Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., said that “for more than 2,000 years, Catholics and Christians everywhere focus their attention on Holy Thursday, remembering the dramatic events that make this day in this week holy.”

In his homily for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper March 28 in St. John the Baptist Church, Allentown, Bishop O’Connell said Jesus, “the master, the teacher, the Son of God, gave himself totally to [his apostles] in his Body and Blood during a common meal of bread and wine.

PHOTO GALLERY: Holy Thursday in St. John the Baptist Parish, Allentown

“My sisters and brothers, this night is holy, not because of the things we do but, rather, because of the things he did — the Lord Jesus Christ,” Bishop O’Connell said to the congregation. “It is he who gathers us. It is he who gives us himself as food and drink. It is he who drops to his knees to wash the feet of his disciples. He, the Lord Jesus Christ, makes this night holy. And what we do, we do in his memory.”

After Communion, Father Michael Wallack, pastor, led the ancient ceremony of the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament to the Chapel of Repose. The congregation joined the Bishop and Father Wallack, who carried the Blessed Sacrament in a procession around the inside perimeter of the church, then to the chapel set up in the parish hall. The congregation was invited to remain in silent adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

“Holy Thursday provides a pause,” said Jennifer Courtney, who was accompanied by her husband, Edward, and adult children, Liam and Moira.

“It’s a pause that allows you to stop and refocus on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit,” she said.

Moira Courtney added that “We see both sides of Jesus.

“We get to see Jesus fully as a man, but as we draw closer to Easter, we get to see Jesus fully (as the) Son of God.”

Noting that her children are in college, Jennifer Courtney said that attending Mass with them on Holy Thursday is “a way for us all to connect as a family.”

“We get to stay connected spiritually and emotionally through our faith,” she said. “We get to celebrate the institution of the Eucharist together. We get to witness the culmination of Jesus’ love for us as well as God’s love for us together.”


Bishop O'Connell preaches his homily  during the Mass of the Lord's Supper in St. John the Baptist Church, Allentown. Mike Ehrmann photo

 

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.

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