Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday)

Nos autem gloriari oportet in cruce Domini nostri Iesu Christi, in quo est salus, vita et resurrectio nostra per quem salvati et liberati sumus.

We should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for He is our salvation, our life and our resurrection; through Him we are saved and made free. (cf. Galations 6:14)
-- Entrance Antiphon for Holy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday (or Holy Thursday) of Holy Week.  Because we've thrown Latin out the window, everyone forgets the traditional name for today.  At the Last Supper, which we commemorate today, Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another."  Mandatum is the Latin word for commandment.  Maundy Thursday is the day Jesus gave us the new commandment at the Last Supper.  

Traditionally today holy oils would be consecrated (our archbishop did so Tuesday evening) for the year's baptisms, confirmations, holy orders, and anointing of the sick.  It is also traditional to hold the Mass of the Lord's Supper including a reenactment of the washing of the feet of the disciples.

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that His hour had come

to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved His own in the world and He loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand Him over.
So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into His power
and that He had come from God and was returning to God,
He rose from supper and took off His outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around His waist.
Then He poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around His waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to Him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to Him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with Me.”
Simon Peter said to Him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.”
For He knew who would betray Him;
for this reason, He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when He had washed their feet
and put His garments back on and reclined at table again,
He said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought 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.
This commemoration is important.  We remember Him in the Last Supper and how He gave us this meal we now call the Eucharist from a Greek word meaning Thanksgiving.  We should be rejoicing, giving thanks to Christ for the gift of Himself.  He is the center of our worship and we need to keep Him in the center of our lives. 

Blessed Maundy Thursday.  Go to Church and give thanks.

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