By: Sr. Jean Marie Cleveland, O.S.F.
Holy Thursday – a day of contrasts! It marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the Triduum. From the evening liturgy of Holy Thursday until evening vespers of Easter Sunday, we celebrate the day Jesus gave us His Body to eat and His Blood to drink, His betrayal and capture, His death and burial, and finally His resurrection.
Jesus and His friends gather to eat the Paschal meal. He washes their feet giving them an example of service as he recognizes the dignity of each person. He gives us a great gift in the Eucharist. Imagine a meal you have shared with your friends. Remember the fun you had, the laughs you shared. Then think how you would feel if you knew one of your friends would betray you through gossip, rejection, breaking the trust you share.
Jesus’ evening went from one of community and joy to one of rejection. He gave Himself to His apostles and one of them gave Him to the authorities. Have you felt rejection? How much did it hurt? How did you react?
Jesus went to the Garden to pray. He took some of His disciples with Him. He prayed and agonized over what was to come. They slept! He went from a supper with friends to a time of suffering alone!
Finally one of His trusted disciples betrayed Him with a kiss. Peter denied him. They all fled! Left alone, He faced His accusers the next morning.
Let these Holy Days be days in which we remember the love Jesus has for each of us. As we reflect on His suffering, and our own trials, let us ask Him to give us the courage to continue looking for Him in all the people and events of our lives. Let us find Him in the Eucharist and thank Him for coming to earth to show us how to live.