Bishop Jugis: Let us overcome pride and be humble like Jesus
Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday commemorates institution of Eucharist, priesthood
CHARLOTTE — The Mass of the Lord's Supper was celebrated Thursday evening in parishes across the Diocese of Charlotte. During his Holy Thursday homily at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte, Bishop Peter J. Jugis encouraged us to remember the love and humility of Jesus, and strive to avoid the sin of pride.
The Mass of the Lord's Supper commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the priesthood by Jesus Christ. It is celebrated each year on Holy Thursday at the start of the Easter Triduum. The Triduum encompasses the three days leading up to Easter: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
Also during the Mass, priests traditionally wash the feet of 12 parishioners, a ritual that re-enacts Jesus washing the feet of His 12 Apostles during the Last Supper. The ritual reminds us to follow Jesus' teaching to serve one another in humility and love, as well as to forgive each other.
Pictured above: Bishop Peter Jugis elevates the Blessed Sacrament during the Mass of the Lord's Supper April 5 at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte. The Holy Thursday Mass commemorates Jesus' institution of the Holy Eucharist and the priesthood. (Patricia Guilfoyle, Catholic News Herald)
In his homily, Bishop Jugis exhorted the faithful to serve one another as Jesus taught His Apostles in the day's Gospel reading: "... Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." (John 13:12-15)
Bishop Jugis said Jesus "surrenders Himself in love and humility. ... He surrenders Himself to the Father, and He surrenders Himself to His Apostles."
The blessings or fruits of that selfless surrender, he noted, "are the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of the priesthood."
Jesus willingly gave up His body and shed His blood for love of us and for our salvation. The Eucharist makes His sacrifice perpetually present, and it is through the priest – representing the person and ministry of Jesus Christ – that we are able to receive this holy sacrament.
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Pictured above: Scenes from the foot-washing ritual during Holy Thursday Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral and St. Ann Church in Charlotte, and Holy Spirit Church in Denver, as well as the Eucharistic processions and Adoration at the altar of repose following Mass. Additional photos feature Holy Thursday scenes from Our Lady of Consolation Church in Charlotte and Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury. (Photos by SueAnn Howell, Doreen Sugierski, Bill Washington, Ty Reamer and Patricia Guilfoyle, Catholic News Herald)
Bishop Jugis said we should follow Jesus' example of love and humility as we look forward to the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, and he pointed out that these virtues are fundamental to our lives as Christians. As Pope Benedict XVI noted in a recent reflection on Ephesians 4:1-16, Bishop Jugis recounted, living a truthful Christian life means surrendering ourselves to God's will, keeping a balanced perspective about ourselves and our place in creation, and endeavoring to overcome the sin of pride.
"The opposite of humility is pride, the root of all sin," Bishop Jugis said, "the pride which is arrogance, which above all seeks power, appearance, making a good impression on others, being someone or something; does not seek to please God but to please himself; likes being accepted by others and, let us say, being venerated by others."
He continued, "Being Christian means overcoming this original temptation."
Being humble does not mean being a doormat, the pope taught in his reflection. It means accepting the fact that while we are unique and we all have special gifts, each of us is just one person among the billions of unique children of God.
"May these days of our Holy Triduum help us to be much more like Jesus. May we follow His path in service to God and service to each other," Bishop Jugis prayed.
Following the Mass of the Lord's Supper, the Blessed Sacrament was taken out of the tabernacle in each church and brought in procession to an altar of repose, remaining there throughout the Triduum. Many parishes had hours of Eucharistic Adoration scheduled for Thursday evening.
— Patricia L. Guilfoyle, editor
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FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy