1 Cor 11 23-26
Beloved in Christ, today is Holy Thursday, a day set aside for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper as well as offer our gratitude to Christ for giving us the sacraments of the Eucharist and the Priesthood. Today is also known as”Maundy Thursday” and the word “maundy” is from the Latin “mandatum” which means commandment. And on this night which ushers us into the Holy Triduum, the command from Jesus is to love with humility by serving one another and to keep it up as a practice in his memory . Therefore I have chosen ” THE LOVE THAT ENDURES” as our theme for this celebration. For Jesus aware of what his disciples will do still went ahead and shared the meal with them. Hence, the love that endures is the love that carries on no matter the obstacles and challenges. In fact it is the love that suffers patiently for the good of the other.
Beloved, the washing of feet by Jesus carries with it the message that God’s love never fails and it is not conditional, that is it endures all things and never ends. Therefore in the washing of feet Jesus also tells us that loving one another is a commandment and not an option. Thus Jesus’ removal of his outer garments and taking the towel is a sign that no matter your rank or position as a Christian you are under obligation to serve.
Beloved, the institution of the Holy Eucharistic is an institution of communion between Jesus and us and among us. It is a source of spiritual strenght and antidote to sin as well as the means of His abiding presence with us forever. Therefore understood in the light of the washing of feet, the Eucharist is a place of restoration for the people on the journey back to God.
My dear friend, today also as we celebrate the institution of Holy Orders, Christ reminds us that as priests we are what we are because of the honour He has given us for without Christ the priest is nothing. We are therefore called to wash feet and not wither them. Therefore as priests, where we are sent to work is not what is important but the souls we are sent to save. Hence, in the words of Pope John Paul II, at the Lord’s Supper we are born as priests, for there can be no Eucharist without the priesthood, just as there can be no priesthood without the Eucharist. Thus, the highpoint in the ministry of the priesthood is celebrating the Eucharist.
Beloved in Christ, the liturgy of Holy Thursday challenges all of us to be ready to serve others just as Christ did when he offered himself up for our sake.
This has been Fr. Dolphyne’s presentation for Holy Thursday.
May God richly bless you.