MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER
JOHN PAUL II
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE MASS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER
Holy Thursday, 24 March 2005
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In my mind and heart I am close to you who have gathered at the tomb of the Apostle Peter for the Holy Mass of the Lord's Supper, the first event of the Easter Triduum and the crowning point of the liturgical year. I greet you with deep affection, and in particular I greet and thank Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, who is presiding at the solemn celebration. I address a special respectful thought to the Diplomatic Corps.
On this Holy Thursday evening Christ invites us to return with him in spirit to the Upper Room, to enable us to penetrate the depths of his Paschal Mystery. On the eve of his death, he gave us two signs that are renewed every year in the liturgy.
First of all, he washed the Apostles' feet, desiring to give them an example of love that becomes humble, concrete service. Then he consecrated the bread and wine as the sacrament of his Body and his Blood, given in sacrifice for our salvation. And it was precisely to the Eucharist that I wanted to dedicate the year in which we are living: this celebration is one of its deeply meaningful moments.
May Mary help us to approach with faith this supreme and inestimable Mystery of divine love. Spiritually present, I am praying with you as I bless you all with affection.
From the Vatican, 24 March 2005
JOHN PAUL II