April 18, 2019
Holy Thursday, also referred to as Maundy Thursday (Maundy meaning commandment); this is the first of three days of solemn remembrance of events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion and death.
Today's first reading focuses on the Lord's Passover, where the Lord told Moses and Aaron in Egypt to reach out to the whole community of Israel and take a sheep or goat to each man to slaughter and feast on the fourteenth day. Those who did so, marked their doorpost with blood. And the Lord said he will come thru the land of Egypt and "pass over" those who had the smeared blood but those who did not, he would invoke a plague against their firstborn. This is the day to commemorate as a festival to the Lord, for generations to come.
The second reading speaks of the night Jesus was betrayed, His breaking bread and drinking wine with His apostles, proclaiming the words that are spoken at each Mass...."when we eat this bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim the Lord's death, until He comes again."
Today's Gospel reading reminds us that after the Passover Feast with His disciples, He knew He was hours away from leaving this world, thus pouring water in a basin, he proceeded to wash His Disciples feet, drying with a towel that was wrapped around his waist. Afterwards, Jesus explained the meaning of what he had done, and used it as an example for the apostles to follow; express love within their community with humility and practicality.
Holy Thursday is one of the most important nights in all Christian history. As I sit in Church, I cannot help but focus on Jesus hanging on the cross and how He gave His life for all of us to be saved. As a mother myself, I can't imagine how Mary lived through her only child's death, only to witness the forthcoming miracle. As I reflect on the Lenten season, I wake each day with my personal gratitude to Him, asking for forgiveness of my sins and vow to be a better, kinder, compassionate human being to all mankind. We all lead such busy lives, but remembering how He died on the cross for all of us, reminds me that we are here as God's children, given life, to take care of one another; to take time out from our "busy schedules" to assist those in need; not judging others, and most importantly, to love one another.
St. Anthony Parishioner (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter Care & Share Coordinator)