Bishop Burbidge celebrates Mass of the Lord’s Supper

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Bishop Michael F. Burbidge was the celebrant and homilist at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper March 29 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington.

In his homily, Bishop Burbidge said his niece and her husband, along with their seven-year-old daughter and three-year-old twins, recently spent a couple of days with him.

“It was such a joyful time and I was deeply inspired as I watched my niece and her husband, like so many of you dear parents, attend to the needs of their children from morning to night and even throughout the night,” Bishop Burbidge said.

When he asked his niece what keeps her motivated, “she offered the only real answer: ‘Love.’”

“As we gather on this Holy Thursday, that is our central theme: love,” the Bishop said. “We celebrate God’s infinite love for us perfectly revealed in His Son Jesus Christ. Look what Jesus did for us all because of love. He was obedient to the Father’s will and gave himself up on the cross for us. On the night before he died and out of great love for us, He gave us three precious gifts: the Holy Eucharist, the priesthood and an example/model to follow.”

Bishop Burbidge said as we celebrate the Institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, “we are invited to remember the Lord gives us His body and blood not because we are perfect or without sin, but because we are loved.

“So great is that love that every time we approach this altar to receive Holy Communion, we are reconciled, nourished, and strengthened, and find the source of our comfort and consolation in the midst of the burdens we carry and the crosses we endure,” he said.

“At this Mass, we also commemorate the example of Jesus, the One who teaches us how to love,” Bishop Burbidge said. “Even though He knew He was Lord of all, He took off His cloak, bent in humble service and washed the feet of His disciples. In doing so, he gave us a model to follow. Out of love, we are to wash the feet of one another.”

Bishop Burbidge said we do so when we put the needs of others before our own and share with them the precious gift of our time.

“On this solemn evening,” he said, “we celebrate God’s infinite love for us perfectly revealed in His Son Jesus, the One whose Body and Blood we receive, the One who washed the feet of His disciples and said to us: ‘What I have just done for you was to give you a model to follow and I have done so you must do.’

“May our love for God and one another be reflected in our faithfulness to that call on this sacred night and always,” Bishop Burbidge said.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018