Join the Nearest Household

(Homily for Holy Thursday)

Bottom line: We join others families and people throughout the world - as well as the angels and saints - in worshiping Jesus, the Lamb of God.

For sure you remember the snow and ice last December. We natives of Western Washington don't have much experience driving in icy weather so for two Sundays, I had a small congregation. But nothing like one priest I heard about. Only one person showed up for Sunday Mass! The young man took his usual spot in the back of the church and made the Mass responses the best he could. Afterward the young man asked the priest if it was hard saying Mass in an empty church.

"Empty!?" the priest said, "No, I saw an army of angels and saints worshiping when I lifted up the Host."

The Mass, in a true sense, is always full. By its nature, one cannot celebrate it alone. We see that impulse in the Jewish Passover, which prefigures the Mass. The Passover was a family celebration - and it required a large family. The LORD told Moses, "If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household..."

In Christ's Passover the family would grow geometrically. It would extend to all nations - and it would include an army of angels and saints worshiping Jesus - the Lamb.

Cardinal Mindszenty saw that multitude during his years in prison. The Communists often kept him in solitary confinement. With a tiny portion of bread and wine, Cardinal Mindszenty would celebrate Mass. "Praying with me," he said, "were Catholic Eskimos, inhabitants of Patagonia, France, Africa and Malaysia." He saw fellow Hungarians who were refugees in America. They were celebrating Mass with African-Americans and people who had come the four corners of the world.

What Cardinal Mindszenty saw in his prison cell we see realized here at Holy Family. It began with Moses telling Israelites to join the nearest household. Now the Mass unites people from every place on the globe.

At the conclusion of the Mass, we will have a solemn procession with the Blessed Sacrament. We join others families and people throughout the world - as well as the angels and saints - in worshiping Jesus, the Lamb of God.

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Spanish Version

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

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