At the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, Bishop Richard Malone urged the faithful gathered at St. Joseph Cathedral to recommit themselves to look for every opportunity to be present to one another in love and in care and compassion, especially those who need it most.
"The beautiful truth is that our God is all about presence right from the beginning of Creation through to this moment in our Cathedral," said Bishop Malone. "God created the world to be present to that world and humankind to be present to us. Jesus remains present with us all through his life on this earth as he walked, as he taught, as he healed as he did miracles, as he taught us how to live and hope, and then finally present to us on the cross as we will celebrate tomorrow and then his resurrection."
At the Last Supper, Jesus gave his disciples a model to follow by washing their feet and sharing with them bread and wine that became his body and blood. "Jesus wanted to leave us with the most remarkable kind of presence that you and I call the real presence in the Eucharist," said the bishop. "He gave the divine power to those apostles who handed it on to the bishops and the priests all through time to this very moment, so that in every Catholic Church around the world tonight, plain bread and wine, through the power of the Holy Spirit, will become the very body and blood of Jesus Christ. It's the real presence in the Eucharist."
Bishop Malone washed the feet of twelve men, women and children who sat along the front of the sanctuary to drive home the same message Jesus conveyed at the Last Supper. "The son of God knelt before those chosen ones and washed their feet as a way of being present to them in humble service. That's why, in the Holy Thursday Liturgy, we still wash the feet of twelve disciples who are present in our Cathedral. It's a reminder to us of the kind of presence we as Christians are to have to one another in the name of Christ, and it all comes together around the Eucharist."
The Holy Thursday Mass ended with the St. Joseph Cathedral Choir leading a solemn procession as Bishop Malone carried the Body of Christ to the Lady Chapel, where adoration continued.