Holy Thursday is the most complex and profound of all religious observances, saving only the Easter Vigil.
It celebrates both the institution by Christ himself of the Eucharist and of the institution of the sacerdotal priesthood (as distinct from the ‘priesthood of all believers’) for in this, His last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover, He is the self-offered Passover Victim, and every ordained priest to this day presents this same sacrifice, by Christ’s authority and command, in exactly the same way. The Last Supper was also Christ’s farewell to His assembled disciples, some of whom would betray, desert or deny Him before the sun rose again. It also cements the action of service.
At services and masses around the world there is the action of the presider wearing an apron and taking the action on his knees as he washes the feet of twelve men to symbolize Christ’s washing of his twelve Apostles, our first bishops and priests.
Later that night, after sundown – because Passover began at sundown- the Holy Thursday Liturgy takes place, marking the end of Lent and the beginning of the sacred “Triduum,” or three, of Holy Week. These days are the three holiest days in Christian faith.
Holy Thursday stresses the importance Jesus puts on the humility of service, and the need for cleansing with water, a symbol of baptism. Also emphasized are the critical importance of the Eucharist and the sacrifice of Christ’s Body, which we now find present in the consecrated Host. This day is a counterculture invitation to engage in small acts of generosity, continually shifting towards a mindset of inspired service. True absolute service.
When you serve, you discover that often the most important things you have to offer are not things at all. You start to uncover the full range of resources at your disposal – your time, presence, attention – and recognize that the ability to give stems from a state of mind and heart, a place much deeper than the material. Don’t let this day pass you without diving into service.
Don’t miss the opportunity to be an apostle. Put on your apron.
Make sure to read:
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