Dear Fathers and Pastors – we need you!
Today, on a Maundy Thursday that history will recall for the impact of the Coronavirus, we celebrate the fact that the Lord instituted the Eucharist. It is a Holy Thursday in which the Churches are empty, the altars of repose are suspended and the solemn entry to the Pascal Tridium is pious and also sorrowful. This entrance to the most solemn moment in the whole of the liturgical year makes us think of the ancient doorways that were low and narrow, purposely made that way to force those who enter to bow their heads in a sign of humility. However, the lamps still remain alight, the Word of God will still be proclaimed and the Eucharist will still be consecrated.
The priests perhaps find themselves in an almost surreal and unexpected celebration that is, nevertheless, full of profound meaning. No one will be present this Holy Thursday except the priests, the intimate friends of Jesus, who will gather around the Eucharistic feast of their Master. Our shepherds will celebrate the Holy Mass in the kind of intimacy that enabled St John to rest his head on the heart of Jesus, his Lord and Saviour. On this day of profound meditation on the priestly ministry, it is important it is important for priests to prepare for the Easter Tridium. This year dear shepherds and favoured sons of the Blessed Mother, the circumstances have restored time to reflect and meditate upon your ministry and how one is an alter Christus, another Christ, in the silence brought about by the present situation.
From our hospital beds, our homes and our convents we implore you to bring the faithful into the Eucharistic mystery, to unite our sacrifices to those of Christ with prayer and meditation. The members of the Church need you! Without you the Lord cannot be made present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Jesus chose you so that through you He could be present in all the Sacraments that you celebrate – especially that of the Holy Mass.
With profound and intimate gratitude for your acceptance of God’s call, your ministry and your dedication we assure you of our prayers so that the presence of Jesus will always be present in the world.
We pray this Maundy Thursday especially for the Priests of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
God Bless Us
And the Virgin Protect Us