Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Thursday Homily at Noon

1 April Anno + Domini 2010
“The Holy Eucharist”
Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 10:15-25; Luke 22:7-20

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

On this Holy Thursday, our attention is given especially to meditate upon the Holy Eucharist. This is the new covenant in Jesus’ Blood prophesied by Jeremiah. This is our Lord’s last will and testament, which He bequeathed to His Holy Bride, the Church, and by which He continually feeds and sustains her. This is the lifeblood of the Christian, the source of strength and preservation in the one, true faith. This is the Heavenly Manna, the Bread of Life, which our Lord rains down upon us to feed and sustain us as we make our way through the wilderness of this sinful world and to the Promised Land of His Eternal Kingdom. This is the medicine of immortality, by which the leprosy of sin that afflicts us is thoroughly healed. This is the Breaking of the Bread, by which our Lord Jesus is made known to us. This is where we behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This is where we take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.

We could say so much more about this Most Holy Meal, but eventually our words expire in attempting to describe it, for it is a mystery beyond our full comprehension. Who can adequately describe this mysterious and miraculous Meal? Here Jesus gives His actual Flesh as Real Food and His actual Blood as Real Drink. Here we penitent believers recline at Table with the Lord of the universe. Here we enter the Holy Places by the Flesh and Blood of our great High Priest. Here we are joined to all the saints, both on earth and in heaven, surrounded by the heavenly host – here heaven and earth come together as one!

Oh, my friends, if we could but see with our human eyes what is really taking place when we participate in this Sacred Meal, I dare say it would be too much for us to handle. Such is why, by His grace and mercy, our Holy Lord gives Himself to us in this Holy Meal humbly and hiddenly, riding into our hearts via our mouths upon simple bread and wine. His power is hidden in seeming weakness; His wisdom is camouflaged in what appears to be foolish. That’s His way.

Let the world call us fools for believing the Word of our Lord which assures us that with the bread and wine we receive the very Body and Blood of our Lord. For this is no April Fools joke, my friends – this is real! And, because it is real, it demands our reverence and awe – yea, even our astonishment. For nothing in this life compares to what happens at the Table of our Lord, for here we receive our Lord Himself, and with Him the forgiveness, life, and salvation He won for us on the Holy Cross, which has become for us the Tree of Life, the fruits of which are delivered to, and received by, us in the Holy Eucharist.

This Holy Meal is the center of our Christian lives, my friends. We move to and from the altar of our Lord; we live to and from the altar of our Lord, where our lovely Bridegroom loves and provides for His beautiful Bride, even we, His Holy Christian Church.

O come, all ye faithful. O come ye to Bethlehem, to this House of Bread, and partake of the One who came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary; the One who was lain in a manger – a feeding trough – and now places Himself upon the manger of the altar to be our Food. O come, let us adore Him and feed on Him – Christ the Lord! O come, all ye faithful, to the Table of your Lord, singing:

Praise we Him, whose love divine
Gives His sacred blood for wine,
Gives His body for the feast—
Christ the victim, Christ the priest. (LSB 633:2)

In His Holy and Precious Name. Amen.

Now the peace of God which passes understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, unto life everlasting. Amen.

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