Thursday of the Lord's Supper
On the night of that Last Supper, seated with His chosen band, He, the Paschal Victim eating, first fulfills the Law's command; then as Food to His Apostles gives Himself with His own Hand. (Pange Lingua, verse 3)
Jesus, Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote the words to the Eucharistic hymn Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium to support the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Church's liturgy celebrating our belief in the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ given to us in the Eucharist. He was inspired by the sixth century hymn Pange Lingua Gloriosi Proelium Certaminis, exalting the Passion of Jesus, "Praise the Savior now and ever; praise him all beneath the skies; self denying, suffering, dying, on the cross a sacrifice. Victory gaining, life obtaining, now in glory he doth rise!"
Tonight, our attention is drawn to the Last Supper and Your institution of the Eucharist as the Sacrament of our salvation. It is Your glorious Body telling us that You will continue to give Your Body and Blood for us, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me... This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me" (1 Corinthians 11:24-25). May we, who take and eat, find fulfillment in our praise of Your obedience, Your sacrifice and Your freedom for our eternal benefit. As the Pange Lingua's fourth verse concludes, "Only be the heart in earnest, faith her lesson quickly learns."