“Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” ~Mark 14:22
An old tradition in the Catholic faith is to pray for a “happy” death. I have been blessed to hear many stories of the passing of loved ones who went peacefully, happily. My own father died while my mother, my brothers, my sister, and I along with our spouses were praying the Our Father with him. A happy death is not uncommon yet there is something wonderful about this message from Mark’s gospel. Jesus knew the pain and suffering ahead of him and still chose to walk out of the room and to the Mount of Olives where he would be betrayed, singing a hymn.
This Sunday we celebrate Corpus Christi, The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It is important to remember that this food and drink we now are blessed with each time we come to Mass, is the result of a love offering. Jesus celebrated what was his last supper, so that we may have his body and blood for our spiritual feast. Christ sang hymns as he was about to enter into his arrest, humiliating trial, painful scourging, and crucifixion. No matter which biblical account you read, it is hard to imagine his pain and suffering.
I am not sure if anyone knows what hymn our Lord was singing as he went out to the Mount of Olives, but our Psalm this Sunday says; “I will take the cup of Salvation and call on the name of the Lord.” It is very fitting that when we come forward to receive the Body of Christ, we do so with the understanding of not only Christs’ sacrifice, but also his joyful self-surrender that allows us to sing this psalm this Sunday.
As we take this bread of salvation this Sunday may we remember the sacrifice that allows us to receive, and may we be joyful in our lives as we follow Christ.
Peace be with you,
Deacon Jeff Willard