THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: Exodus 12: 1-8. 11-14
Psalm: Ps 115: 12-13. 15-18. R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the blood of Christ.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26
Gospel Acclamation: John 13: 34
Gospel: John 13: 1-15
Washing of Feet
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Holy Thursday - 29th March, 2018 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/holy-thursday-faith-hope-and-loveb (EPISODE: 85 )
Tonight is a sacred night…
It is truly beautiful. It is Christ’s transformation and fulfilment of the ancient Passover, in a new and extraordinary way.
It is about Christ, Who shared the last supper with his disciples… who was about to die to save the world…. And who instituted the Eucharist as an ongoing, living memorial which would allow all who trust in Christ’s promises real and effective access to his saving mercy. It connects us to his suffering, his death and his resurrection which is salvation for us all… it provides an ongoing access point to the forgiveness which the Lord offers to us along our life journey… and connects us forever to Christ.. to renew, cleanse and strengthen us to walk along the Kingdom’s paths…
Tonight Jesus reveals that his whole mission and his whole message is about love, service, self-sacrifice, humility and mercy….
And he bids us follow his example in thought, in word and in attitude….
Christ.. by instituting the Eucharist… and washing the feet of his disciples… shows that the truth of his mission and of our existence … is about self-forgetting concern for others…
St Peter is also a lesson to us all..
He meant well. He was fiercely loyal to Jesus and yet he still had a lot to learn… He would not let Jesus wash his feet in this simple but powerful example of an act of profound service and humility. … Peter was proud. And pride can be powerfully contradictory to the message and example of the gospel. Peter probably thought he was right to feel proud on behalf of his Lord and master, Jesus, whom he knew to be the Christ and the Son of God. He was proud on behalf of Jesus, whom he has once before gotten chipped by Jesus for trying to tell him HOW the messiah should and should not fare. Jesus told him to stop being a stumbling block when Peter tried to tell him he MUST NOT suffer and die. Jesus quickly rounded on him and said, you are thinking in a human way, not in God’s way. (For Jesus knew he MUST suffer and so enter into his glory).
And Now, Peter suffers from well-meaning concern and pride again. He felt that he could not bear to see his lord and master lowering himself to wash his humble feet.. but Jesus puts him straight.. unless you let me do this, you can have nothing to do with me…. Peter.. as with us all, must let go of his preconceptions and his attitudes, and his pride.. and must allow Christ to teach him this new and different way of greatness.. which is about service, humility and sacrifice… Peter, after his correction, quickly assents…. Peter is a great example of a disciple, who though sometimes as we all do, getting it wrong, quickly and sincerely repents when they realise the error of their course… and swiftly changes tack …..back to the ways of the Lord.
We too must be open to Jesus’ ways which are not our own ways…. We must accept humility and service and let go of our own expectations and demands… and put on Christ’s ways…
The disciples did not believe that they or any of Christ’s group would deny or betray Jesus… but Jesus knew better.. He knew that to be a good disciple is to pray and to be aware of the weakness of the flesh .. of temptation and fear and doubt…. Of selfishness, of pride… of self-deception. Jesus constantly taught his followers to be alert and prepared for such trials……
Tonight, we pray that we will surrender to Christ and his vision, his ways… and his invitation to be humble servants who let go of our expectations and ways and accept Christ’s ways … For Christ’s ways are always about self-emptying service, love and sacrifice… of “self-forgetting” for the good of others…
And now,.. we enact what Christ did on that first Eucharist At the last supper… and we put ourselves at the service of Christ.. who is not only our Lord and master… but also, ……
…… He who comes among us as one who serves….
Fr Paul W. Kelly
Archive of homilies and reflections: http: //homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au
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(29th March 2018)
(EPISODE: 85 )
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you raise us to new life: Lord, have mercy// //
Lord Jesus, you forgive us our sins: Christ, have mercy//
Lord Jesus, you feed us with your body and blood: Lord, have mercy//
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.
Preface: Proper of Holy Thursday
Eucharistic prayer I – proper for Holy Thursday
(No dismissal, community departs in silent adoration and contemplation, to gather again on Good Friday)
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