We are now on Holy Thursday. We are trying to go back and meditate on the first Holy Week, the last and final days of Jesus. We started with a reflection on the entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. After entering, he went out again to have dinner with his friends in Bethany with Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. And for the next few days, we heard about his supper with his disciples. This Holy Thursday is his last supper. In the last supper, he instituted the Holy Eucharist.
The Last Supper of Jesus | photo from PeakPx
In the last supper, he washed the feet of his disciples. After supper, they went to the Garden of Gethsemane and he prayed there, pleading with his father, “Father, if you will, take this cup away from me, but not my will, but your will be done.” It was also the night when Judas betrayed him with a kiss, it was the night when the Roman soldiers arrested him. It was the night when he was brought to the elders of the community, brought to the dungeon to be punished severely, to be crowned with thorns, to be humiliated. It was a difficult Thursday night for Jesus. It was a night of pain and suffering. And yet also
It was a night when he showed his great love for us in an unbloody way. He gave himself to us, he took the bread and said to his disciples, “This is my body, it is broken and shared for all of you.” He took the chalice filled with wine and he said to them, “This is my blood which will be offered for you.”
It was also the night when he took some water and washed the feet of his disciples. It was a horrible night for Jesus. It was a painful, difficult night for the Lord, but it was also a night full of love. He left us with his memory. with his remembrance,
With his legacy. He left us the Eucharist to remember him by. “As I go, remember me this way.” It was the Lord's way of telling his disciples, “Remember me, as someone who is loving you, who has loved you and will always love you till the end.” It was a horrible night, but it was also a night full of love. Brothers and sisters, let us not grow tired of showing love, of giving love. Let us not grow tired of serving one another, of washing each other's feet. Let’s not grow tired of humility, of humbling ourselves so that we can serve others around us, especially those who are neglected, abandoned, or in need.
In this world, there's full of hatred, full of darkness, full of chaos and conflicts, there is a war raging in Ukraine and other parts of the world, here in the country, there is a war going on in terms of politics. So many conflicts around us, so many painful experiences because of the pandemic for all of us. So many lost loved ones. So many lost their jobs, properties, savings. So many of us have suffered a lot, and this can make us bitter. This can make us regretful of our lives and of ourselves. This can make us people who are wounded, and who are always ready to inflict pain on others also. But we do not allow that. We must not allow the hatred to take over, or we must not allow the pain and suffering
to continue to inflict a wound on us. Let us be love like Jesus. Let us be humble and serve one another, even if we ourselves are what we need. This is the whole essence of Holy Thursday. The mandatum of love. That is why it is always called “Maundy Thursday”. Mandatum - mandatum is the great commandment of love. “Love one another as I have loved you.” Brothers and sisters, imagine this. In Jesus’s dark night, there was also this great light of love. And this is what we can learn from him: to love until the end. In the gospel for this Holy Thursday, we will hear about Jesus going back to his hometown in Nazareth, proclaiming the good news to all who would care to listen. He took a passage from Isaiah and he read it in front of them, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed, and proclaiming a year acceptable to the Lord.” And then he took the scroll again, he went back to his seat, and told the people around him, “This day, at this hour, this passage has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Let us never grow tired of caring, of loving, of serving. Any day is a good day to serve. Let us not wait until our wounds are healed for us to love. Let us not wait when everything is alright that we begin to serve. Any day, any moment, any hour is the hour of mercy and love.
On Holy Thursday, we go around churches for Visita Iglesia. Holy Thursday, we have a vigil in front of the Blessed Sacrament. All these things we do because we love Jesus above all. Let this day be a day of Love, even if it's the day that was most difficult for Jesus. Let us not grow tired of serving one another.
Transcribed by Kovie Kraft