Pope Francis devotes eight short sections to “The Liturgy: the “today” of salvation history.” When I read through the document yesterday, I thought these paragraphs perform a helpful task in setting out the Holy Father’s vision of liturgy and where the Church moves on from this moment.
2. “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:15) These words of Jesus, with which the account of the Last Supper opens, are the crevice through which we are given the surprising possibility of intuiting the depth of the love of the persons of the Most Holy Trinity for us.
People will notice the title, Desiderio Desideravi, and wonder: I didn’t see that repetition in my translation. Fr Anthony Ruff notes here it is a Latin idiom of emphasizing the feeling, “I desired with desire.” The Lord’s expression suggests it is much more than an ordinary gathering, an ordinary Passover, or just any other meeting with his disciples.
Desire is a significant thing for Jesuits and those trained in Ignatian spirituality. It’s not about surface desires. Jesus wasn’t having a particularly hungry day. His deepest impulse was love. His way of expressing love was an ultimate offering of self-sacrifice.
This becomes the starting point of Catholic liturgy. This is the beginning of being formed by liturgy. Our square one is to reflect on the love God has for us.