Daily Readings Reflection for Holy Thursday

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Scripture: Lectionary # 40 Exodus 12:1-8. 11-14.  Psalm 116:
12-13.15-16.17-18.  I Corinthians 11:23-26. John 13:1-5

Today’s Readings

With the Triduum, Lent is liturgically over and we reflect on the three
most sacred days of our Lord’s journey to the Cross.  The readings help us
to do this for they focus on the salvific events of the Exodus and
Passover, symbolizing freedom for the people of Israel, Jesus’ people.  The
actual celebration of the Passover is a re-enactment in which each person
is present to the event of freedom.  Secondly, Paul’s words are those he
had received concerning the sacrament of the Eucharist where Jesus gives
himself entirely to us out of his total for us. Thirdly, Jesus washes the
feet of the disciples so that they may learn from him what it means to be a
slave of God and a servant to God’s people.  Jesus’ mission has been one of
redemptive service to all peoples and especially to his beloved disciples.
As he prepares to return to God, he prepares his disciples and us on how we
are to be a part of his mission through this symbolic cleansing act of
washing one another’s feet. The celebration of Holy Thursday is one of joy,
praise, and thanksgiving coupled with adoration of Jesus our Savior.

Our meditative prayer and our listening to the reading of the Gospel helps
us to realize the depth of Jesus’ love for us which he does to the very end
of his life as we learn from the beautiful verse of chapter 13:1: “Jesus
realized that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He
had loved his own in this world, and would show his love for them to the
end.”  In fact, the last word could be translated to the utmost of his
love.  Jesus fulfills also the first reading in being the Paschal Lamb of
God who takes away the sin(s) of the world. Just at the time the lambs were
being led to be slaughtered for the Passover meal, Jesus was being led to
his Cross.  We recall the saying, “There is no greater love than to lay
down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus does this for us and for anyone
who surrenders his love for the service of others.   His own Passover or
the last meal he has with his disciples becomes like the Exodus Passover, a
perpetual one, or as the text says, “a perpetual institution.”   The
earliest and most striking of this institution is given in the passage from
St. Paul which says: ” I received from the Lord what I handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed took bread, and after he
had given thanks, broke it and said,”This is my body, which is for you. Do
this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper, he took the
cup, saying,”This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, whenvever,
you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

We then pray the Psalm : “How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the
good he has done for me?  The cup of salvation I will take up and I will
call upon the name of the Lord.”  Amen.

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