Holy Thursday

Fr. Jigs Rosalinda

Easter Triduum begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. This day marks the institution of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Both flow from the same act of Jesus on the eve of his Passion. Jesus made his very own the Jewish Paschal Meal (see: First Reading—Exodus 11: 1-8, 11-14) shared with his disciples when he said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22: 19b). The breaking of bread and the blessing of the saving cup immortalize the one sacrifice on the Cross, when Christ himself became the very lamb that was offered. Because of this, every celebration of the Holy Eucharist takes us back to the Upper Room and further still, to Mt. Calvary where the crucifixion took place. “For as often as you (we) eat this bread and drink this cup, you (we) proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes” (See Second Reading—1 Cor. 11: 26). Truly all Masses are our firsthand experiences of standing beneath the Cross of the Lord who loves us to the end (cf John 13: 1b), but most especially this one.
The Gospel narrates the account of the washing of the feet on the eve of the Passover. Jesus knew that his hour, that is, his own Passover, had come to pass from this world to the Father (John 13:1a). This statement sets the stage for what was going to unfold in the drama of our redemption. In an utter act of humility, he began to wash the feet of his disciples. He washes our feet too, every time we congregate to commemorate this event. As the Lord washed our feet, we ought to do the same to one another (cf John 13: 15). It is not surprising, then, that today in all cathedrals around the world (if and when allowed) priests renew their commitment to the service of the Lord’s flock—by washing the feet of the weary, the broken and the infringed. Furthermore, the echo to love one another with the kind and depth of the love of the Lord for us is heard as a mandate (thus, “maundy,” an Old English word for command ). We were given the order to love and to serve, because we were loved as His own and we were served like He was our slave and we his masters. As Jesus said, “As I have done for you, you should also do” (John 13: 15).

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