Holy Thursday: Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Exodus 12: 1-8, 11-14; 1 Corinthians 11: 23-36; John 13: 1-5

The Reading from Exodus takes us back to the time of the institution of the Passover Meal. This is the meal that Jesus celebrates with his friends: his household. He gathers with them as the head of the household - the one who blesses and breaks the bread and who blesses the wine. This is the institution of the Lord’s Supper recorded by St Paul in his letter telling the Christians of Corinth of the significance of the breaking of bread and sharing of cup.

What John records in his Gospel is less "right and proper" - as we can see by Peter’s reaction. The work of washing the feet of guests was usually reserved for servants - and yet, Jesus has no qualms about taking off his outer garment, tying a towel around his waist and washing the feet of his friends.

How often has he said that his disciples are not lord it over one another - and yet, his action is deeply shocking. We have ritualised it in the Mass - what would it be like if we could imagine its happening as spontaneously as it happened here.


Who is the King of Glory?

What is the image of kingship illustrated by Jesus here - and what is its lesson for us?

Reserving the Sacrament and the Vigil of Watching

At the end of the Holy Thursday Liturgy, the Blessed Sacrament - the Sacrament of Christ’s Body - is taken to an Altar of Repose.

We are reminded of Jesus’ leaving the Upper Room and going to the Garden of Gethsemane to keep vigil on the last night of his earthly life - and the weariness of the disciples who accompanied him...

There it remains for the duration of the Night and Good Friday so that people can spend time in prayerful contemplation of the Mystery unfolding through these Days

Who is the King of Glory?

Alone in the Garden - keeping vigil - awaiting the coming of those seeking to destroy him

How do we respond to this king?

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