There's the One Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and then there is the 'eucharistic business' of the many, and the proud.
“This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight.
It is the Passover of the LORD." Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
The Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Catholic Mass is the sacramental perpetuation of the One Holy Sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary. It is the great and terrible suffering of Jesus, for sinners like us, so that the Judgment of Justice would pass over us for Divine Mercy. It is the unblemished Lamb, in Jesus Christ, saving all of us goats, in our blemishes, from our own self-destructive designs in sin. It is an awesome sacrifice demanding humility, while supplying thanksgiving through grace.
But you may not perceive humility or thanksgiving in the lives of so very many Catholics.
For many Catholics, the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass is a time to shine. It is a time for musical directors to orchestrate a performance in hopes of resurrecting a dying pop-star dream. It is a time for radical feminists to play 'priest' as extraordinary eucharistic ministers. It is a time for Pro-Choice politicians to parade their faith in public, receiving (unworthily) the Body and Blood of Jesus. It is a time for parish money-men (and women) to deliver a sales pitch. It is a time for parish cliques to keep on cliquing, continuing to exclude the undesirables.
It is status quo in ritual form.
"Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones. I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; you have loosed my bonds." Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18
As Holy Thursday anticipates the suffering and death of our Lord, as does the Eucharistic sacrifice perpetuate it, it seems that God alone appreciates 'the death of his faithful ones.' In every parish across this great land, and, I suppose, across the earth, there are forgotten Catholics, dead to the rest of the parish. The Parish Council, the politically elected, and hired, ministry leaders, and the long standing parish cliques are too numb in pride and self-adulation to see the seemingly dead walking among them. For this death is the death of rejection.
“This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Do 'what' in memory of me?
Follow a ritual? Or live from the faith that in that ritual Jesus really is alive in Mercy, Truth, and Love? But, more than Eucharistic observances, aren't we also supposed to become the suffering servant who dies for others? Personally speaking, my life is an abysmal failure in this regard. But, truthfully, isn't this just as true of most of the Catholics who run our 'eucharistic business?'
"If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet." John 13:1-15
With our head held high everything seems shiny and new. But try looking down a while in forced, may I say, purgative, humility, and you will see how everyone's feet are dirty with the soil of the world. Yet, so very many dirty footed people proudly run the ecclesiastical machine, while only a few look down, usually hunched over in a mixture of guilt and contrition for their sins (actual, and socially manufactured), thereby repenting, keeping Holy Mother Church above water--in Divine Mercy--for another day.
The Eucharist is meant for us to hold our heads high! But not in self-adulation; rather, in humble thanksgiving for the awesome, undeserved gift of salvation. That is what Holy Thursday is all about. The Bread of Divine Mercy in Jesus.
All other bread is broken in apostasy.