God sent Jesus. Jesus chose twelve disciples. He formed them and shaped them into ministers. He ordained them to serve His Church. He appointed Simon as the head of the disciples and named him “Rock”, “Peter”, and told him he would build his Church upon him.
Jesus gave the promise that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church. He gave the disciples power over sin, and told them that whatever they bound on earth would be bound in heaven. The Apostles were formed into priests by Jesus, as intercessors between Heaven and Earth.
On the night he was betrayed, Jesus showed them how to serve the Church when he washed their feet, saying,
“I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should do also.”
On that night he was betrayed he took bread, blessed it and gave it to his disciples saying, “This is my body”. Likewise he took the chalice, blessed it and gave it to them saying, “This is the chalice of my blood… which will be poured out for the forgiveness of sins… Do this in memory of me.” And so he gave us the Mass for our salvation.
Jesus sent the Apostles into the whole world to make disciples and baptize them, for the salvation of the world.
God sent Jesus. Jesus chose and formed and sent the Apostles as the first priests. The Apostles sent the Church.
Jesus gave us the priesthood, and Jesus gave us the sacrifice, for the forgiveness of sins.
Without the Mass we have no priesthood. Without the priesthood, we have no Mass. Without the Mass we have no forgiveness and no eternal life. Tonight we celebrate the Last Supper of the Lord, our Mass, and the establishment of the Priesthood for the Salvation of the world. No other institution has prevailed like the Catholic Church. For 2,000 years our Church has worked for the salvation of souls, and the gates of Hell have not prevailed against it.
And recently we had the opportunity to witness to the work of the Holy Spirit once again, with the election of Pope Francis.
Thanks be to God.