The eve of the death of the Saviour, Holy Thursday, the day of the institution of the Adorable Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Behold the most beautiful day in the life of Our Lord! It is the grandest day of His tenderness, of His love. Jesus Christ is about to take measures for remaining with us. His love on the Cross was immense. On the day of His death. He did, indeed, testify to us His love. But His sufferings were to have an end. Good Friday was to last but one day. Holy Thursday will endure till the end of the world, because Jesus has made Himself the Sacrament of Himself forever.
In this day, then, Our Lord about to die and remembering that He is a Father, wishes to make His last will. What a solemn act in a family! It is the last act of life, as it were, but it prolongs that life beyond the tomb. A father gives what he possesses. He cannot give himself, for he does not own himself, he does not belong to himself. He leaves a legacy to each of his children, also to his friends. He gives to them what is dearest to him. But Our Lord gives Himself! Jesus has no riches, no possessions, not even a home. He has not whereon to rest His head. They who expect from Him temporal goods will receive nothing. His cross. His nails. His crown of thorns, — behold His earthly riches! Ah, if Our Lord gave earthly riches, how many good Christians there would be! Who would not be His disciple?
But no. He has nothing, not even the glory of giving here below. They are, therefore, going to humble Him in His Passion. And yet, Our Lord wishes to make a will. And of what? — Of Himself! He is God and Man. As God, He is Master of His Sacred Humanity. He gives that to us, and with It all that He is. He really gives It to us. It is not a loan; It is a gift. He realizes, He effectuates Himself. He becomes, as it were, a thing, in order that we may be able to possess Him truly. He becomes bread: His Body, His Blood, His Soul, and His Divinity taking the place of the substance of the bread offered. Though we see Him not, we possess Him. Behold our inheritance, Our Lord Jesus Christ! He wishes to give Himself to us, but all do not want Him. There are some who would be glad to receive Him, but who reject the conditions He has laid down for that, namely, purity and a good life. Alas! their malice has the power to relinquish for themselves the legacy of their God!