Meditations for Holy Week: Thursday 29 March

Mar 29, 2018 by

Mar 29
am: 102
pm: 142, 143
Exodus 12:1-42 1 Cor 11:23-26 John 13:1-17, 31-35

HOLY WEEK:  Holy or Maundy Thursday


LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  Holy Thursday has developed to include a succession of liturgical ceremonies such as, the reconciliation of penitents, renewal of ordination vows and the consecration of the holy oils (both done at a Chrism Mass the bishops blesses the oils used in Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Unction, and the consecration of Altars and churches), the washing of the feet, and commemoration of the Blessed Eucharist and the Divine Liturgy. The word Maundy comes from the Latin mandatum, which means “commandment.” At the Last Supper, Jesus gave the disciples a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34). Prior to breaking the bread with the disciples, Jesus washed their feet. As a result of these ceremonies the day received different names, all of which point to a church solemnity that evolved from Holy Week.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY:   The three holy days before Easter, (known as the TRIDUUM), begins with today’s celebration and end with the Easter solemnity.  The theme   of the first lessons lays our attention on the Eucharist which is instituted in this “Last Supper” and yet some are surprised as John’s Gospel. Why all this attention to Jesus washing the feet of his disciples when he is giving us the Eucharist?  The readings today remind us that we celebrate the gift of the love of Jesus, given to us for our nourishment given to us as an example of self-less love. Today, we can let our Lord wash our feet and be broken and given for us. The challenge is then to be faithful to the one commandment of Jesus that we might go and do the same. Why? This isn’t just a meal but the Passover celebration when faithful Jews recalled how Yahweh saved them from slavery and led them through the desert to their promised land. That event prefigures what Jesus is about to do for us all in this paschal mystery of salvation we are celebrating. And Jesus is present to his disciples in this meal as the servant. Are we people inclined to serve or be served tells a great deal about how we received the mysteries revealed this day?

PRAYER OF THE DAY Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen


Maundy Thursday DisciplineTry to commit to an act of humble servitude that you would not normally do on this day.  In the evening go to the liturgy and participate in the foot washing.


ANCIENT WORDS/FUTURE HOPE: “My Flesh is truly Food, and My Blood is truly Drink. He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood will remain in Me and I in Him.” As to the reality of His Flesh and Blood, there is no room left for doubt, because now, both by the declaration of the Lord Himself and by our own faith, it is truly Flesh and it is truly Blood. And These Elements bring it about, when taken and consumed, that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. – St. Hilary of Poitiers

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