Holy Thursday and
the Institution of the Eucharist and the Priesthood
The Bread of Angels ...
and the Sons of Men
so, my son, you come to me this day and tell me what my heart has
ever known ...
You wish to be a Priest
How my heart thrilled
when you spoke these words, and how it suffered, too. You are my son
... one with my flesh. You are a heart in my heart. You are loved beyond
measure. You have yet to count the years, as I have, seeing how they
pass, turn upon turn – how swiftly they pass as a fragrant summer breeze
through an unchanging Cypress at the edge of time. They pass, my son,
and you know not where.
You have counted neither by pleasure nor by pain, for the days of youth
are endless before you ... and the Finger of God has rested upon your
heart. Already you have seen beyond that Cypress shade that confines
the changing winds, to the stillness of God in unquenchable light that
stirs your soul into sacred silence.
You have heard the voice of God. Somehow you have seen the whited and
shimmering fields that dance uncut and gathered not to God. And now
He sends you, my beloved son, at the noon of youth, into the field He
sowed and which you must reap!
The secret anointing that comes from on High has been poured out upon
you. Angels in alabastered albs have gathered round you, but only you
have heard the stirring of their unseen wings – that will tremble at
your very side around the Altar of the Living God, when under gentle
hands you will make present God to feckless man.
My son! My son! That path of thorns! Cruelly crowned will you accept
this christening of the Crucified? Be unto men another Christ? Bless,
heal and sanctify? Will you accept the scorn of a jaded and disbelieving
world? Pronounce remission of the searing sin? Confect the very Body
of the Immolated Christ? Make, too, of this wine, the very Blood of
the Son of God?
My son! My son! Flesh of my flesh, will you, too, raise your hand to
heal and to bless? Will you go to the lost, the blind, those crippled
by the world —who will come to you to find the face of Christ, hear
His voice in your own?
Son of my flesh, you are more the son of God!
What he has chosen; what you have chosen too.
Hands I once kissed in infancy ... will they now bless me, absolve me,
in my gathered years?
Your children, my son, tell me ... how will you number them? Of grace
you will so far exceed what would spring forth of nature in all your
Go, my son, and
be father to the fatherless, through your consecrated hands bring Jesus
Christ to men.
Be Christ unto
them in all your words; be Christ unto them in all your ways.
You have lifted up your eyes and seen the whitened fields! In joy go
forth and reap. Gather them! Put forth your hands and multiply the Bread
of Angels ... and feed the sons of men.
Go with my blessing
who first was blessed by God ... in thee!
Catholic Father for the Boston Catholic Journal
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