April 6, 2023
by Vivian Amu
St. John's Parish
click here for photo and information about the writer

Holy Thursday -Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Lectionary: 39

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-15

Praying Lent

Preparing for Holy Thursday

The Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter - 25 min. - Text Transcript

Pope Francis' Holy Thursday homily

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

With his death drawing near, I would imagine Jesus had mixed emotions. He might have felt sadness. He might have felt a slight apprehension. He might have felt even a little bit angry. He might have felt heartbroken. Those feelings would be normal, as it is part of the human experience of the thought of death and dying. On the other hand, he might have felt a sense of hopefulness as he understood what must happen and the possible fruits of his sacrifice. It was what Jesus did while waiting to be taken away to his death that caught my attention.

Jesus tended to those he loved who were close to him. He spent time with them. He shared a meal with them. He washed their feet. Yes, he washed the part of them that touches the ground and gets dirty repeatedly throughout the day. It so happens that the feet are less likely to be cleaned properly without the help of another. Could Jesus be prompting us to humbly touch the messiest part of others and tend to them with care? Could Jesus be prompting us to allow others to forgive us and have the humility to receive that forgiveness? Could Jesus be prompting us to take off our garments of pride, properness, and status and just use the absorbent towel of love to soak up and forgive the mistakes and errors of those we encounter? Could Jesus be showing us what it takes to love without borders, conditions, or social acceptability? Could Jesus be showing us what it really takes to be in an authentic relationship with others?

None of us knows the exact day or time of our death, but what if we did? What would you spend time doing? Where would you want to be? Whom would you need to prepare for your passing? Whom would you need to forgive or embrace? Honestly, I don’t know how I would feel or what I would be doing, but I hope I would have the courage to tell those I love how I feel before it’s too late. I hope I will be able to share and remember moments that made us laugh and cry. I hope I will be able to do one of my favorite things, which is to cook a nice meal for those I enjoy very much. I hope I am able to comfort them and give them things of mine that I have kept over the years and held precious, just something visual to remember me. I hope I am able to spend much time with those who have been with me through the best times and worst times so that they know I loved them to the very end. I hope I am able to remove all the facades of pride, selfishness, and "okayness" that I wear as outer garments. I hope I will be able to allow myself a moment of vulnerability, which would mean having nothing but that which God brought me into this world with, an ability to let others love me, wash me, and nourish me like when I was born. I hope I will have the wisdom and grace to say to those I will leave behind:

“Love one another as I have loved you.”
Remember me.
My body and my blood are for you, you whom I love.
My daily sweat and grind were so I could spend more time with you.
I came from God, and I will return to God.
I will see you when we rise into life.

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