Tag Archives: Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from Holy Thursday: CLICK HERE!

After three years of Jesus teaching his Disciples, not only in word, but by example, after example…

Jesus gathers for a meal, some say the Passover meal, the Jewish meal that remembers the Jews’ miraculous departure from Egypt, the end of a long and brutal period of slavery and the symbolic birth of the Jewish nation…

And now Jesus, with his friends, his Disciples, gives them one more example.  He who is Master and Teacher, washes the feet of his Disciples an action reserved for the servant.  And Jesus, goes a step further and says, probably to a startled group, “If, I can do this, your teacher and master, you need to do the same.”

And certainly, our minds might turn to the present day people who are indeed doing as Jesus asked…  Yes, doctors and nurses, first responders and hospital personnel and many others who are selflessly caring for others, especially the sick.

And these people, some we know, some we will never know, are giving us example after  example of unconditional love and care…  and recognize them and applaud them we should.

BUT, maybe it should not stop there…  Maybe we need to look around us and recognize the selflessness of others, maybe even ourselves.  The examples of selflessness on the part of the Walmart worker…  the grocery store cashier…  the parents at home with the kids day, after day, after day and the kids at home with the parents day, after day, after day.

In recent days someone shared with me a person’s “aha” moment when it came to the people around them.  How they had come to a better understanding of these people.  How they had come to believe these people always had the person’s best interest in mind.  How the Holy Spirit was guiding them in living the best life they could.

Just maybe Jesus is reminding us that there are times when we need to go above and beyond whatever limits or boundaries we think exists when it comes to SERVICE and CARE for one another, for others…

These days we call the Triduum… this Holy Thursday, is certainly about Jesus, but in a sense, it is also about his DISCIPLES – living the word; being the example that Jesus spoke about and lived.

What’s your story of faith, hope and love that you and I are not only living but hopefully teaching and encouraging others to do… Examples of service and care and so much more.

Talk about it after Mass tonight, as your gather around your supper table.

And then after dinner as we wash our hands and wash the dishes, let it be a reminder that service and care begins at home and flows out into the world.

Holy Thursday

Like families, the Church has it’s memories… its stories that as so important to being people of God we are asked to REMEMBER, not to forget….

What are your family memories?  What are the family stories, memories that you tell again and again?

In our First Reading we hear about the “Memorial Feast” called the Passover. Remembering that it was GOD who delivered the Israelite people from slavery in Egypt.  And this was something to remember and to pass on to be passed on from generation to generation…

And then in the Gospel today, Jesus and his Disciples (being good Jews) are preparing for Passover and all the tradition associate with it.  But then Jesus throws the curve ball no one saw coming: He washes the feet of his Disciples…  Unheard of…  “As I have done, so you must do…”

Tonight, this ONE event of salvation over three days, the Triduum of: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, are certainly meant to be remembered and celebrated…

I would suggest that the Triduum is more than knowing what happened some 2000 years ago. It must be remembered, it was to be shared with our children and their children, from generation to generation…but maybe most importantly is must be LIVED…

Lived not just by going to service, to church or knowing the stories.  Rather lived by doing as Jesus asked, to do all this in memory of me…  To be of service to others…  To love deeply, even to the point of death (literally and figuratively).

So as we participate in this Triduum of 2019, what will we remember, what will we share, what will we live each day…

Will it be recognizing the every day moments of caring and sharing and service that are right before us?

Will it be challenging ourselves a bit more to love God and others in word and action more today than yesterday?

Will it be passing on the faith with others who have yet to appreciate all that God, especially in Jesus Christ has done for US, for each person.

May these three day, the Triduum, be for us a reminder of all that God had done for us – without counting the cost…  and all that God calls us to do for one another – without counting the cost; yesterday, today and tomorrow!

Holy Thursday

Tonight, as friends and Parishioners of St. Mary’s, Crescent and Corpus Christi we gather for part one, if you will, of the Triduum.

On this Holy Thursday, the Eucharist is certainly a key element.  As Catholics, we believe that the Eucharist – Holy Communion – is “confected” at every Mass.

The Eucharist that we receive, the Eucharist that we reserve in the Tabernacle for Communion to the sick and dying is really, actually the body and blood of Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine.

It is interesting that the early church, the church at the time of St. Paul, certainly believed that the risen Jesus was present in the Eucharistic bread and wine, but after receiving the Eucharist their focus needed to change.

And we know Paul was displeased with some of the people of Corinth… Why?  Because they failed to see the risen Jesus in ALL the people sharing in the Eucharist with them, especially the poor.  Paul believed that it takes a death to recognize the risen Lord in all the people around us, all the people.

But what kind of death/dying?

Dying of attitudes, actions, presumption, even beliefs, etc. that inhibit us from seeing Christ among us, in each other.

Truth is, we often see ourselves better than that person in some way or ways: better job, home, car, schooling, better kids (sometimes), better Parish (so and so parish is closer to my home but I would never go there)…

There is no doubt there are difference between all people.

But, just maybe, our differences are God’s way of reminding us our God is a God of differences, our God is an inclusive God, our God is a God who has created all of us, all of us “made in the image and likeness of God!”

Several years ago, Los Angeles Cardinal Mahoney wrote a Pastoral Letter and in it he suggested that at Communion time of Mass, “nothing should distract people from looking around, observing the faces of those who were receiving Communion with them.” Each face represents the Body of Christ among us.

Just maybe, our belief in the real presence in the Eucharist we receive is linked to our belief or ability to see Christ among us in those we Worship with, and in the many people we know and the many people we meet in those minutes, hours and days between our reception of the Eucharist.

As a song of many years ago reminded me, “Look beyond the bread you eat; see your Savior and your Lord” in the people around you, around us today and increasingly so in the days to come.