Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A meditation for Holy Thursday

Giving thanks with Mary

As we celebrate the Eucharist at so many altars throughout the world, let us give thanks to the Eternal Priest for the gift which he has bestowed on us in the Sacrament of the Priesthood. And in this thanksgiving may there be heard the words which the Evangelist puts on Mary’s lips on the occasion of her visit to her cousin Elizabeth: "The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name" (Lk 1:49).

Let us also give thanks to Mary for the indescribable gift of the priesthood, whereby we are able to serve in the Church every human being. May gratitude also reawaken our zeal! Is it not through our priestly ministry that there is accomplished what the next verses of Mary’s Magnificat speak of? Behold, the Redeemer, the God of the cross and of the Eucharist, indeed "lifts up the lowly" and "fills the hungry with good things." He who was rich, yet for our sake became poor, so that by his poverty we might become rich (cf. 2 Cor 8:9), has entrusted to the humble Virgin of Nazareth the admirable mystery of his poverty which makes us rich. And he entrusts the same mystery to us too through the Sacrament of the Priesthood.

Let us unceasingly give thanks for this. Let us give thanks with the whole of our lives. Let us give thanks with all our strength. Let us give thanks together with Mary, the Mother of priests. "How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me? The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name" (Ps 115/116:12-13).

Pope John Paul II
Holy Thursday Letter to Priests, 1988
As quoted in Vademecum - Meditations on the Priesthood Published by ST PAULS