Holy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter and is very significant, because it is when Jesus instituted the priesthood of the Catholic Church along with it’s authority. Jesus celebrated the Passover with the twelve apostles in the upper room.
During the Last Supper, Jesus said, “Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you.” When supper was ended, Jesus said, “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.” Jesus was telling the apostles to “Do this in memory of me.” giving them the authority of the priesthood to celebrate the Mass and consecrate the Eucharist, calling on the Holy Spirit to come and transubstantiate the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. This authority is passed down through the laying on of hands in an unbroken line from the apostles to the priests, bishops and the pope today in the Catholic Church.
Anyone who has broken from this line loses the authority from Jesus to change the bread and wine into the Holy Eucharist, leaving them with an unconsecrated but blessed bread and wine. This is not the same as the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. This blessed bread is not the same bread that Jesus was talking about in John 6 and does not have the same life in it as the Eucharist has. The Eucharist has Jesus’ life and heart in it. It is really Jesus. This is why the Eucharist is not the same as communion bread in other churches…It is all because of the authority that Jesus gave to the priests, and the priests alone.
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