1 Corinthians 11:23-26
In a few moments, we will imitate the Lord in his Gospel today, where he took on the chore that Israel assigned only to foreign slaves.
The Lord washed the feet of his own followers during his Last Supper on that first “Holy Thursday”.
By washing the feet of his Church, the Lord gives a sign of what he means to do by his cross.
On his cross, he who is God takes the place of what is foreign to God.
Sin is absolutely foreign to God.
On the cross, God takes the place of sin.
He takes the lowest place.
He dies for sin.
He makes himself the foreign slave for sinners.
By his cross he washes the dirt of sin away.
In a similar way, the Eucharist— the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ— the Eucharist also explains the cross.
After washing the feet of his Church during his Last Supper— at the end of his Last Supper— the Lord took bread and wine, and he changed them, saying.
THIS IS MY BODY
GIVEN UP FOR YOU
THIS IS MY BLOOD
SHED FOR YOU
THAT SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN
The Creator chooses to be the food and drink of his human creatures who are in the rebellion of sin against him.
Food and drink are lower than the slaves who bring the banquet to the table.
In his Eucharist, God chooses to be lower than a slave for us, he washes the dirt of sin from us, and he gives us the saving power of his death on the cross.
There is another great thing God does for us by the gift of his Body and Blood.
This is my Body
This is my Blood
THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT
A covenant is a solemn vow that binds two parties to each other.
In the way of the Bible— the word of the Lord— a covenant must be signed using blood.
Blood— because the two parties in the covenant make a solemn vow to be faithful to each other unto death, even if faithfulness comes at the cost of one’s own lifeblood.
Since the Lord calls his Eucharist a covenant, then we must treat it as covenant.
As the Lord lived and died for us, do we solemnly vow each time we enter the Eucharistic Covenant to live and die for him rather than be unfaithful?
What do you and I gain from the covenant of the Eucharist?
The Lord tells us that this covenant is so that sins may be forgiven.
Sin is the first cause of death— but Christ is the resurrection.
If we are faithful to the covenant of the Eucharist, we also will rise from the dead and come into glory with Christ.
On that first Holy Thursday when Christ proposed the Eucharistic Covenant to his Church, he told his apostles: DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.
That is a commandment.
It is an order.
It is something he has ordained to be done.
The apostles received an ordained commission to DO THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT.
They handed on that commission to apostolic bishops after them.
Down to our own day, and to this very hour and place, the apostolic bishops have shared that commission with priests, including the priest with you here tonight.
Because of that, Christ himself will be here in person— Christ himself in his Body and Blood.
Let us prepare!
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit
your death brought life to the world.
By your holy Body and Blood
free me from all my sins and from every evil.
Keep me faithful to your teaching,
and never let me be parted from you.