Birds flying from trees
Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Francis: Eucharist

Apr 1, 2021
Lent with St. Francis: Eucharist

Easter Triduum: Holy Thursday

Exodus 12:1–8, 11–14;
Psalm 116:12–13, 15–16, 17–18; 1
Corinthians 11:23–26;
John 13:1–5

“I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you.” —1 Corinthians 11:23


St. Francis was absolutely devoted to the Eucharist. It’s one of the reasons he was so concerned about rebuilding and cleaning local churches, making them suitable homes for the Eucharist. Thomas of Celano tells us that concerned citizens brought St. Francis to their parish priest who was living in sin; they wanted the saint to reprimand him and condemn his sinful way of life. Instead, St. Francis knelt, took the priest’s hands and said, “I know not whether this priest is sinful. I only know that these hands, and these hands alone, make present upon the altar my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Francis’s respect for the clergy was based on the priest’s power to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, “in whom all things in heaven and on earth are made peaceful and are reconciled to God the Almighty.” The Church of his day was no stranger to scandal and corruption. He reminds us that there’s more to the Church than the human institution, that the Holy Spirit continues to guide the Church throughout history, even when all appearances seem to the contrary.

Today’s Gospel account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet offers an antidote to the problems our human Church encounters. Francis takes this to heart in his Admonitions when he says:

I did not come to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28), our Lord tells us. Those who are put in charge of others should be no prouder of their office than if they had been appointed to wash the feet of their confreres. They should be no more upset at the loss of their authority than they would be if they were deprived of the task of washing feet. The more they are upset, the greater the risk they incur to their souls.


Prayer

Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Amen.


New call-to-action


Comments

Submitted by Dr Eileen Quin… (not verified) on Thu, 04/01/2021 - 08:36 AM

Permalink

Today as we begin the tridium, we celebrate the Eucharist. We are at one with Christ. I am totus tuus, totally His. the graces and blessings and consolation that I receive during the Eucharist are the moments when I receive the direction for my day and movement forward in the life of the Church. I have the opportunity to transform the world with those in my community, my world. We need to bring that sense of amazement and joy that our holy Pope spoke about on Palm Sunday. We need to help people realize how much they are loved by God and return that love to others. We ask you this Lord, in the name of the Father and the Holy Spirit. Today is the day to transform our world through compassion and love..

Submitted by Elizabeth (not verified) on Thu, 04/01/2021 - 08:54 AM

Permalink

I WAS WOUNDED BY COMMENTS OF A FRIEND DURING THIS WEEK. I DID NOT WANT TO WISH HER A HAPPY EASTER. HER WORDS GOING OVER AND OVER IN MY HEAD. THIS TIMELY READING HAS MADE ME SEND HER AN EMAIL WITH EASTER GREETINGS. THANK YOU

Submitted by Paul Kwame Anaman (not verified) on Thu, 04/01/2021 - 09:00 AM

Permalink

Oh My Lord and my God surely shown me how great you are during this season of Lent. I pray to commit and entrust myself to you without turning away forever and ever.

Submitted by MK (not verified) on Thu, 04/01/2021 - 01:48 PM

Permalink

Your commentary here on "Francis’s respect for the clergy was based on the priest’s power to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ" left me unsettled. The power is from God not the priest as representative vessel, correct?

It is always understood that all power comes from G d. We choose to be his instrument. Priest because of their willingness to become instruments of G d"s love are given the power to transform the wine and bread into the Blood and Body Of Jesus Christ.

Add new comment