Daily Reflection- Holy Thursday, April 9th, 2020
Tonight, we recall the institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, and the beginning of the Easter Triduum – the Three Holiest Days of the Church calendar.
The Readings are worthy of the solemnity, telling us about the first Passover, and the Passover -the night, Jesus had the Last Supper with his disciples before he suffered death on a cross.
The Book of Exodus (Ex 12:1-14), narrates of the first Passover when God commanded the Israelites in slavery in Egypt, to eat a special meal as a way to remember how he led them to freedom and made them his chosen people. Central to the Exodus Passover was the slaughter of an unblemished lamb. The eating of its flesh and the application of its blood to the doorposts and the lintel of every house signified the adherence of the Israelites to God’s command, and their salvation from ruin.
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
The Exodus Passover prefigured Christ’s institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, and his redemptive sacrifice of the cross. The Gospel account (John 13:1-15), relates that it was on the feast of the Jewish Passover when Jesus and his disciples commemorated the Last Supper before his death. With bread he gave them to eat he said: “This is my Body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And with a cup of wine he gave them to share he said: “This cup is the new covenant in my Blood. Do this, as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.” We hear Jesus say this twice in the Second Reading (1 Cor 13:1-15), the oldest recorded account of the institution of the Eucharist.
Jesus Washing the Feet of the Apostles by Giovanni Stefano Danedi
We, like the Israelites, celebrate God’s merciful love in saving us from our personal slavery to sin. Through baptism, we are freed from the effects of original sin and welcomed into a life of grace. Our participation in the Eucharist transforms us into instruments of Christ’s grace to those around us, serving others humbly as Christ did at the Last Supper - washing his disciples’ feet. Christ’s example as humble servant is one that should guide our own lives.
So, let us pray for continued growth in the virtues of faith, hope and love, that we might be humble servants to one another, and in a world in need of salvation and hope. AMEN.
Happy Holy Triduum to you all!