This evening the Triduum begins with the Mass of the Lord's Supper.
We ponder in awe and love the incredible gift of the Eucharist that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper--his own Body and Blood.
Tonight we receive it with some sorrow and unease, knowing what Good Friday will bring. That is why the Church also has another feast of the Eucharist, Corpus Christi, celebrated after the Easter season, when a more joyful atmostphere is possible.
Today is a good day to re-read all or part of Pope John Paul's encyclical on the Eucharist. He wrote: "The saving efficacy of the [Eucharistic] sacrifice is fully realized when the Lord's body and blood are received in Communion. The Eucharistic Sacrifice is intrinsically directed to the inward union of the faithful with Christ through communion; we receive the very One who offered himself for us, we receive his body which he gave up for us on the cross, and his blood which he 'poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'"