Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Holy Thursday - Day 1 of the Easter Triduum

Today, our Holy Church begins its Easter Triduum, a 3-day celebration. It begins on Holy Thursday, continues with Good Friday and ends on Gloria Saturday night. On Holy Thursday, or as it is called in some areas as Maundy Thursday, we remember that on this night, several events occurred. Jesus washed the feet of his Disciples, He was betrayed by one of his twelve, He broke bread with his twelve and He instituted the Holy Eucharist.

Prior to the Sacred meal,  Jesus performed a selfless act of service - He washed the feet of his disciples. What was the significance of this kind and humble gesture? For Jesus, it was to display his humility and servant hood and for the disciples, it was a direct contrast to the attitude of their hearts at that time.
Think of the many times where our hearts were not clean and we saw the need for Jesus in our lives. -- Lord have mercy on us.
As the festival of Passover was fast approaching, the chief priests and scribes were trying to get rid of Jesus so Satan entered into the body of Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus' twelve, and discussed with the chief priests on how they can get rid of him. It was at that moment where the betrayal occurred. While eating the Jewish Passover Meal, Jesus announced that one of his own, who eats with him will betray him and hearing this, Judas ran out of the room.
Think of the many times where we have turned our backs from Jesus and allowed the powers of sin to enter into and define us. -- Lord have mercy on us.

During the Passover Meal, Jesus decided that now would be an appropriate time to leave with his disciples a piece of him and announced that the Son of Man will reach his fate and stated that where he is going, no one can follow, which was a clever connotation of him announcing his death. So instead of following the normal flow of the traditional Jewish Passover meal, Jesus took mere bread and a chalice of wine and consecrated them as his body and blood which is what we partake of at our masses to this day. This is what we call, 'The Institution of the Holy Eucharist'.
Think of the many times where we have doubted God especially in the Eucharist and never gave him the respect and admiration which he rightfully deserves. -- Lord have mercy on us.

Following the Last Supper, which Jesus had with his disciples before his death, he went into the Garden of Gethsemane where he remained in prayer all night long. Jesus asked his disciples to keep awake with him but they fell into a deep sleep.
Think of the times where we had good intentions but allowed the weaknesses of the flesh to overthrow the intentions of the spirit. -- Lord have mercy on us.

Holy Mass begins on this day, as such, no final blessing is said after the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The priest consecrates enough hosts since no prayers of consecration is said at the Good Friday service. After the distribution of Holy Communion, all the host is placed in a ciborium which is processed to the altar of repose. The faithful are asked to remain in quiet adoration for a short while.

--B. Durham, 2014

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