Holy Thursday night opens for us the holiest few days of the liturgical year, the Easter Triduum. During the past 40 days of Lent we have been preparing to celebrate the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection.
As Catholics we believe that we are not merely “remembering” an event of the past, but we actually participate in the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. At every Mass these events are present to us … the Last Supper, the crucifixion, Christ’s burial and rising from the dead. We as His Body are joined to Him in all these events. Yes, it is a mystery. Something we cannot understand or grasp with our finite minds, but we can grasp it through the gift of faith. It has often been said that the Mass is as an “un-bloody Calvary”, and if we were to close our eyes and see with our hearts, there before us is the same sacrifice of Jesus of over 2000 years ago.
Holy Thursday recalls the historic events of Jesus and his disciples at the Last Supper. We place ourselves there at the table and “re-live”, so to speak, all that we hear in the gospel story: the washing of the feet, the betrayal of Judas, the commandant to love one another, the institution of the Holy Eucharist and of the sacrament of the Priesthood. The evening was/is packed with many foundation stones of our Faith. Reliving it all–including the next few days of the Triduum–reminds us of our “roots” and how our life in Christ had its beginning, and endures to eternity.
Let us try to enter in to the reality of all that happened to Jesus in the last days of His life on Earth–because is wasn’t just an historic event! Kairos and chronos time meet in the Incarnation of God made man! Ergo … if we enter in through the window of this moment (of the sacred liturgy), we are not only here on Earth, but we are already in eternity, in God who is eternal, in Jesus our Man-God, Who holds us in His suffering-humanity, and Who carries us into His glory!
Blessed Holy Thursday and Holy Paschal Triduum to all! Please know the nuns here in Little Rock are praying for you!