Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My very dear sons,
In her spiritual Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, the apostle of Divine Mercy, writes of a vision she was granted, one centered on the Last Supper and the Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist. On today’s great feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi, it is enriching to share in this splendid revelation that God made to Sister Faustina about the Sacrament of the altar. Allow me to read a passage from the Diary of Saint Faustina.
During this hour of prayer, Jesus allowed me to enter the Cenacle, and I was a witness to what happened there. However, I was most deeply moved when, before the Consecration, Jesus raised His eyes to heaven and entered into a mysterious conversation with His Father. It is only in eternity that we shall really understand that moment. His eyes were like two flames; His face was radiant, white as snow; His whole personage full of majesty, His soul full of longing. At the moment of Consecration, love rested satiated – the sacrifice fully consummated. Now only the external ceremony of death will be carried out – external destruction; the essence [of it] is in the Cenacle. Never in my whole life had I understood this mystery so profoundly as during that hour of adoration. Oh, how ardently I desire that the whole world would come to know this unfathomable mystery! (Saint Faustina’s Diary, n. 684)
These are impressive words revealing deep things. They forcefully underline the intimate relationship between the Lord’s sacrifice as carried out in the Upper Room and the sacrifice of Calvary. The two sacrifices, of course, are really one. The Last Supper could not have existed without the final act on Golgotha, but the bloody sacrifice of the Cross would not have been the sacrifice of Divine Love and Mercy it is without the liturgical oblation of the Upper Room that provided an essential revelation about the nature of Christ’s great work of Redemption. Perhaps, in the past, the dramatic events on Golgotha have so captivated the attention of souls that the full sense of the Last Supper has not yet been entirely realized.
How we would like to know about that mysterious conversation Saint Faustina mentions here between the Father and the Word Incarnate, the Son come to earth to redeem the fallen race of Adam! But in fact, in all truth, we surely do have in the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel according to Saint John something, something very real, of the substance of that same conversation, even if Saint John does not tell us if these words were pronounced somehow in direct relationship with Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist. Here too, in this sublime priestly discourse of adieu, we can only imagine that Jesus’ face being radiant as in the vision of Saint Faustina and that His whole presence appeared full of majesty. Here is part of Saint John’s Gospel.
These things Jesus spoke, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said: Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee. As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he may give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him. Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now glorify thou me, O Father, with thyself, with the glory which I had, before the world was, with thee. (John 17: 1-5.)
Let us take to heart such words today as we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of Mass and carry the Body of Christ on procession in honor of such an exalted Sacrament and Divine presence.
When we adore Christ in the Eucharist exposed in the monstrance, writes Bishop James Conley, we gaze directly at the mystery of his presence. The Eucharist is love made visible. (Diocese of Lincoln, Pastoral Letter of Holy Thursday 2017)
May it transform us all into that same infinite mystery of mercy and love. Amen. Alleluia.