March 24, 2016 – Holy Thursday – Click here to read about today’s liturgy.
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
“Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ” (1 Cor 10:16)
It is interesting to note that our Holy Week Liturgies are some of the most ancient rites to have handed down through the ages and are collectively called, “The Holy Triduum” (Three Holy Days) – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. It’s also important for us to understand that each of these liturgies has something important to share with us. For example: we have always looked upon the liturgy of Holy Thursday as being a commemoration of the institution of the Eucharist. However, don’t be surprised when you hear the Holy Gospel which tells of the “mandatum” – the new commandment – and proclaims to us the Gospel of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and, most importantly, Jesus admonition to his disciples and to all of us, “you see what I have done for you … if I, therefore, have washed your feet you aught to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”
No mention in this Gospel of Jesus giving His disciples power over demons or the ability to multiply bread or do other such miracles. Just a very simple commandment to take care of each other even to the washing each other’s feet. Just think what our poor, broken, war-torn world would be like if more of us took this Gospel seriously? But, wait, before you run out with your bucket and towel on some kind of “gospel mission.” Take a moment to think of what this “commandment” means and where it should begin: maybe it means you should start at being just a tad kinder with that person who just drives you up a wall. I’m not talking about setting up programs that require funding and teams of people. I’m just suggesting that you start being nicer to those people who just rub you the wrong way. And remember these words of Jesus, “when you did it for one of these least of my people you did it for me.” And where do we get the ability to do this? From Jesus’ gift of Himself in the Eucharist. Amen, Jesus!