The Church intends, on this Day, to renew, in a most solemn manner, the mystery of the last Supper: for our Lord Himself, on this occasion of the institution of the blessed Sacrament…
The Mass of Maundy Thursday is one of the most solemn of the year; and although the feast of Corpus Christi is the day for solemnly honoring the mystery of the Holy Eucharist, still, the Church would have the anniversary of the last Supper to be celebrated with all possible splendor. The color of the vestments is white, as it is for Christmas day and Easter Sunday; the decorations of the altar and sanctuary all bespeak joy, and yet, there are several ceremonies during this Mass which show that he holy bride of Christ has not forgotten the Passion of her Jesus, and that this joy is but transient. The priest intones the angelic hymn, Glory be to God in the highest! And the bells ring forth a joyous peal, which continues during the whole of the heavenly canticle: but from that moment they remain silent, and their long silence produces, in every heart, a sentiment of holy mournfulness. But why does the Church deprives us, for so many hours of, the grand melody of these sweet bells, whose voices cheer us during the rest of the year? It is to show us that this world lost all its melody and joy when its Savior suffered and was crucified. Moreover, she would hereby remind us, how the apostles (who were the heralds of Christ, and are figured by the bells, whose ringing summons the faithful to the house of God), fled from their divine Master and left Him a prey to His enemies.
Why this second fall of the Savior? Ah! It is not only about to illuminate our darkness and overcome our sins of ignorance: The original sin also has degraded our free will. Now, we are subject to vanity, even unintentionally; demons solicit us to evil, external objects seduce us; passions lead us. We find into ourselves a law of death, fighting against the rectitude of our reason: I do not do the good I want, but the evil I hate. Our Divine Redeemer, wishing to repair our nature, not only to give us the science of salvation, to make us to understand how much his law is just and holy: but also, he strengthens our free will by his grace. He merits for us all the help we need to do not succumb to our weakness. And that is why, bearing in his body the pain of all our frailties, he collapses again under the weight of the cross.
Jesus ascended laboriously to Calvary:His adorable face was covered in blood and spits;pain had made him unrecognizable.A holy woman saw him:touched her heart with tender compassion to recognize her divine Master;and, approaching him with love, she wipes with a piece of linen his disfigured face.Immediately all the features of Jesus were engraved on this piece of cloth, and there leave imprint his living image.So Jesus reward to the faithfulness and dedication of this holy woman;but also to trace in us, all the features of his own life. He teaches us, not only to carry the cross,but also to trace in us all the features of his own life.Man was originally created in the image of God, buthe had to work to make himself perfect, as the heavenly Father is perfect.But sin erases the features of resemblance, it defaces the divine image and makes it unrecognizable, so that we no longer see in him but passions of ignominy and stains.That's why it was necessary that Jesus handed before us the divine pattern that we have to copy.To completely cure our ignorance, divine wisdom is sensibly manifested by the humanity of our Savior;it (divine wisdom) became palpable (perceptible), in order to be our light and wisdom, and printing in us his image and likeness;it surely leads us through all the trials, to the blessed life of eternity, because it constantly keeps our eyes on the author and accomplisher of our salvation, and it does not allow us to leave his footsteps.
In a crossroads where Our Lord, being overwhelmed by the weight of his cross, was assisted by Simon of Cyrene.
Our Savior fell under the weight of his cross; the Jews seeing that he could not recover despite all the blows they gave him; fearing that he came to die before being crucified; they forced a man of Cyrene, Simon, who was returning from his field, to help him to carry his cross up to Calvary.O fateful relief that was dictated only by the rage and cruelty!Simon consented initially to help the Lord to carry his cross, in spite of himself. But the grace was working in his heart; the virtue of the cross was springing up everywhere; so, he soon felt the effect of this divine virtue that walked before him;and even was rewarded for helping our divine Savior to carry his cross, he received from him the precious favor of seeing his two sons, Alexander and Rufus, called to the number of his disciples.
The Church of Jesus Christ, both virgin and mother has for model the Virgin Mary, mother of the Savior.After the first fall, Jesus meets His Blessed Mother, to teach us that man, having lost the supernatural light, cannot now, without the Church, to arrive at the unity of the faith, the life-giving knowledge of the Son of God.The human race needs the deposit of revealed truths by the Savior, always keeps inalterable;it (human race) needs that a living authority and always subsisting by itself, it decides independently of all disputes of doctrine, and it may discern infallibly error from truth.Man, blinded by sin, will not find any light, if not meets the Church; only by the Church Jesus is manifested in the world.Because the Church, represented by Mary,cannot be separate from the Son of God:she accompanied him to Calvary, deposited him in the tomb, met him in the resurrection;she attended to his Ascension;and, though remaining until the end of the world on the earth, the Church follows Jesus by spirit and heart in heaven.