A Papal Reflection for Holy Thursday
"‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.’ (Lk 22:15) These words of Jesus, with which the account of the Last Supper opens, are the crevice through which we are given the surprising possibility of intuiting the depth of the love of the persons of the Most Holy Trinity for us.
“Peter and John were sent to make preparations to eat that Passover, but in actual fact, all of creation, all of history — which at last was on the verge of revealing itself as the history of salvation — was a huge preparation for that Supper.
“Peter and the others are present at that table, unaware and yet necessary. Necessary because every gift, to be gift, must have someone disposed to receive it. In this case, the disproportion between the immensity of the gift and the smallness of the one who receives it is infinite, and it cannot fail to surprise us. Nonetheless, through the mercy of the Lord, the gift is entrusted to the Apostles so that it might be carried to every man and woman.
“No one had earned a place at that Supper. All had been invited. Or better said: all had been drawn there by the burning desire that Jesus had to eat that Passover with them. He knows that he is the Lamb of that Passover meal; he knows that he is the Passover.
“This is the absolute newness, the absolute originality, of that Supper, the only truly new thing in history, which renders that Supper unique and for this reason ‘the Last Supper,’ unrepeatable.
“Nonetheless, his infinite desire to re-establish that communion with us that was and remains his original design, will not be satisfied until every man and woman, from every tribe, tongue, people and nation (Re 5:9), shall have eaten his Body and drunk his Blood. And for this reason that same Supper will be made present in the celebration of the Eucharist until he returns again.”
(Pope Francis, Desiderio Desideravi 2-4)
I was recently asked what makes Desiderio Desideravi different from other Church documents about the liturgy. In one sense, it’s not different. Pope Francis isn’t saying anything substantially different than the Catechism and he is deeply in line with the teaching of Vatican II. But in another sense, Desiderio Desideravi is different because of its emphasis on God’s “infinite desire” to have a relationship with me.
And if you are interested in getting to know this wonderful document more, you can join me next week for a workshop about Desiderio Desideravi!
By prayerfully reading and discussing what Pope Francis teaches about the Mass, in this workshop you will not only grow in your own love for the Eucharist but you will be more prepared to share that devotion with others. Along with myself and a small community of learners, you will come to see the Mass as the privileged place to encounter Jesus, experience his healing love, and be divinized, that is, as St. Augustine said, “become Christ himself.”
This workshop will help you understand and participate in the Mass as a life-giving encounter with God's relentless desire for you.
This workshop is for anyone who wants to deepen their faith, including catechists, ministers, and clergy who want to enhance their ministry and connect with a supportive community of learners. Whether you're looking to renew your love for Jesus, find a deeper sense of belonging, or grow in your relationship with God, the Desiderio Desideravi workshop is the perfect opportunity for you. In this workshop, you will have:
the freedom to participate as you want
the opportunity to learn and grow within a small group
a non-judgemental space that proclaims and invites, never imposes
the skills to read and understand papal documents
the chance to ask and discuss any questions that you have
This three-part live workshop will be held virtually on April 13, April 20, and April 27 at 7:30-9:00pm (EST).
In addition to studying Desiderio Desideravi in April, there will also be workshops on Pope Francis' life changing teaching about holiness, Gaudete et Exsultate this summer and the Church’s newest social encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, this fall. These workshops are open to everyone, but members of Father's Heart Academy will have access to them for half the price!