The Love of Loves

(Homily for Holy Thursday - for Bilingual Mass)

Bottom line: Tonight, as we adore Jesus in the Eucharist, we follow the example of Blessed John Paul the Great. Like the Spanish Martyrs we gain courage and strength from the Love of loves!

Hermanos, gracias por venir a la Misa de La Cena Del Senor. Voy a hablar principalmente en ingles con unas palabras al final en espanol.

Thank you for coming to this Mass of the Lord's Supper. I want begin by mentioning something that will happen tomorrow. At 3 p.m. we will begin the Divine Mercy Novena. The novena has special significance because this year, on Mercy Sunday, Pope Benedict will beatify his predecessor: Pope John Paul II.

A story from the life of Pope John Paul brings home the profound significance of what we do tonight. Bishop John Magee, who was personal secretary to the pope, tells about something that happened after Pope John Paul's election. An official came to Vatican asking to speak immediately with the new pope.

Bishop Magee went to the pope's room. He was not there. He went to the library, the chapel, the kitchen, even the roof. When he couldn't find the pope, he began to think about Morris West's novel, The Shoes of the Fisherman. In that novel a newly elected Slavic pope slips out of the Vatican to find out what is happening with ordinary people in his new diocese. That was fiction, but if the new pope actually did it, it might turn out badly. So Bishop Magee ran to a Priest who knew the pope. "We've lost the Holy Father," he said. "I've looked everywhere and cannot find him."

The Polish priest asked calmly, "Did you look in the chapel?"

"Yes," said Bishop Magee, "he was nowhere in sight."

"Go further in." The Polish priest said, but do not turn on the light. Bishop Magee walked quietly into the darken chapel. In front of the tabernacle, lying prostrate on the floor, was the pope.*

The Polish priest knew that, before his election, the pope often prostrated himself before Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.

Tonight we commemorate that greatest of all tangible gifts. St. Paul quotes Jesus saying, "This is my body that is for you." Jesus gives himself to us in a humble form - unleavened bread like the Israelites ate before their Passover.

After the homily we will enact Jesus' humility by washing the feet of twelve men who represent the Apostles. At the end of Mass we have a procession with the Blessed Sacrament - and the invitation to spend time in adoration. We have the wonderful example of soon to be Blessed John Paul the Great.

On Palm Sunday I spoke to you about the Spanish Martyrs. What sustained them? What gave them courage? Jesus - truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Many of them went to their death singing this hymn.** I will say it first in Spanish then give the English translation:

Cantemos al Amor de los amores,
cantemos al Señor.
¡Dios está aquí! Venid, adoradores;
adoremos a Cristo Redentor.

Let us sing to the Love of loves,
Let us sing to the Lord.
God is here! Come, devoted ones,
Let us adore Christ the Redeemer.

It was the official hymn of the Twenty-Second Eucharistic Congress, held in Madrid in 1911. This June marks the 100th anniversary of that beautiful hymn. I can guarantee you we will sing it at World Youth Day - as a million plus young people kneel before Jesus truly present in Eucharist.

Tonight, as we adore Jesus in the Eucharist, we follow the example of Blessed John Paul the Great. Like the Spanish Martyrs we gain courage and strength from the Love of loves!

Esta noche, al adorar a Jesus en la Eucaristia, seguimos el ejemplo del Beato Juan Paul el Grande. Como los martires espanoles, ganamos valentia y fuerza del Amor de los amores.


*From Untold Stories of the Last Three Popes by Bishop John Magee (Lighthouse Catholic Media)

**William H. Carroll, Ph. D., The Last Crusade (Spain 1936), p. 109.

From Archives:

2012 Homily: Blood Shed For Us
2011: The Love of Loves
2010: Foot Washing & Celibacy
2009: Join the Nearest Household
2008: Grandma, Can I Wash Your Feet?
2007: The Passover Lamb Must Be Eaten
2006: A New Friend at the Banquet
2005: Our True Companion
2004: A Girl's Heroic Holy Hour
2003: Do This!
2002: Humiliation of Priesthood
2001: Super-Abundance of Mercy
2000: Washing of Feet & Eucharist
1999: Family Struggles & Strengths

Other Homilies

Homilias en Castellano Para Jueves Santo:

2010: Lavatorio de Pies y el Celibato
2009: Que Se Junte Con Los Vecinos
2008: Abuelita, Puedo Lavarte Los Pies?
2007: Hay Que Comer el Cordero Pascual
2006: Un Nuevo Amigo al Banquete
2005: Nuestro Verdadero Compañero
2004: La Hora Santa Heroica de una Niña
2003: ¡Hagan Esto!
2002: Super-Abundancia de Misericordia

Otras Homilias

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Divine Mercy Novena (print ready in English & Spanish)

my bulletin column

SMV Bulletin

Parish Picture Album

Reasons Young People Leave Their Faith - Presentation for Monroe Christian Pastor. (For pdf format click here)

Background for presentation on "Reasons Young People Leave Their Faith": High School Course – World Civilization - Section on origins of Christianity. (For pdf format click here)

Divine Mercy Novena (print ready in English & Spanish)

SMV Bulletin

Parish Picture Album

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish

MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru

(new, professional website)

National Petition to Stop HHS Mandate - important updates

Please take time to read what our bishops are saying about Religious Liberty & Conscience Protection

The Archdiocese of Seattle also has helpful resources regarding the defense of marriage and family