Thursday, April 13, 2017
#38 The Triduum Begins With Holy Thursday [Thanks Matthew Kelley]
“Jesus . . . got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter . . . Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’” (John 13:3–8)”
“God is constantly inviting us to immerse ourselves in the present moment so we can be with him.”
The high holy days of the Triduum burst upon us today! The events and consequences of these days printed in the Love and blood of Jesus present the basis for everything we need and want in faith, hope, and charity with the greatest gift of salvation to follow on Easter morn - salvation! Study and pray – Now is the time to forge your unique bond with the Father, through, with, and in Jesus, and in the unity and guidance of the Holy Spirit!
On Holy Thursday, the Church commemorates the Last Supper, which includes the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood. All the elements for understanding the practice of Catholic Eucharist jump into being and form from the Love and sacrifice of Jesus. The vast array of emotions that the disciples go through is astounding, and so should it be for us!
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New” (CCC,129). The readings for Holy Thursday demonstrate powerfully while highlighting themes of sacrifice, thanksgiving, and charity.
Not an ordinary Passover meal, although the ritual may have looked similar, Christ’s words breathed new meaning and ushered in the New Covenant. As the Lord instituted the Eucharist, we received an invitation to intimacy the likes of which the world had never known and could never best. In that Eucharistic institution, Jesus presented a new sacramental priesthood through which God’s children could regularly receive his divine mercy and taste salvation. In every single Mass—every liturgy from then until now, and from now until the end of time, the elements signify more than we comprehend, because it is not only the bread and wine upon the altar that are being blessed, broken, and shared, but we, ourselves, the mystical body of Christ, that are being changed, as well. The earthly ultimate communion with Christ begins, is, and ever shall be to the end of time!
As Christ washed the feet of the Apostles, a new vision of what servant leadership necessitates, unfolded. With this God-man, who they believe to be the Messiah, washing their feet, what did the disciples feel? What were they thinking? What would it feel like to have Jesus wash your feet?
Reflect upon the relevance of the events and consequences of Holy Thursday in our lives.
Focus - God wants good things for us, but, like Peter, we often resist him.
Act - As you read today’s Gospel, reflect on your life and ask two questions. First, how is God trying to love me? Second, how have I resisted God’s love in my life?
Holy Thursday’s Gospel Reading: John 13:1–15
Pray - God, help me to receive everything that you are pouring into me and to simply be with you.