I feel sorry for Holy Thursday. It's like the Brady Bunch's "Jan" of the Pascal Triduum, as it seems to receive the least attention. Within the Triduum (which is a Latin word meaning "three days"), you have Good Friday, which is the well-known day of remembering Jesus's crucifixion, as people fast and pray the Stations of the Cross during this most sorrowful day of the Church year. And of course, you have the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, which commemorate the central event of our faith. Coming in "3rd place" in most people's minds is Holy Thursday.
In his book, Holy Thursday: The Night that Changed the World, François Mauriac recalls just how special that evening was 2000 years ago. Hidden in the upper room with his closest apostles on Holy Thursday, Jesus gave the entire world some wonderful and mysterious gifts all in one night, writes Mauriac. He gave us the Bread of Life, as at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, Jesus told the Apostles they must eat his flesh and drink his blood in order to have eternal life. Jesus gave us the gift of our priests on that first Holy Thursday. When Jesus told the Apostles to "do this in remembrance of me," he was commissioning them with Holy Orders. It was because of Holy Thursday that we now have priests who bring Christ to us in the Eucharist. Finally, on Holy Thursday, Jesus bent down on his knees and washed the feet of the Apostles, just as a servant would. Mauriac notes that this washing of feet prefigured all those works of charity from future Christians, which would change the face of the world.
So, as you focus on the upcoming single most important holy day of the year this Sunday, don't forget to pause today to take in the significance of Holy Thursday. Thank Jesus for the gifts he gave us on that first Holy Thursday.
Speaking of the Triduum, at the Easter Vigil this Saturday night, it will be exciting to see two St. Louise School families being welcomed into the Catholic Church. Parent Safiya Dautricourt and her children Daniel and Annalise will be Baptized as well as Confirmed and receiving their First Holy Communion! Additionally, students Grace and Alberto Andrade will also be fully initiated into the Catholic faith! Congratulations to the Dautricourt and Andrade families!
Father Gary joined the Dautricourts at the Cathedral last month, as they met Archbishop Sartain in preparation for their upcoming Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion.
Have a joyous Easter this coming weekend! Alleluia!