Exodus 12: 1-8, 11-14
1 Corinthians 11: 23-16
Tonight is a day of "re-membering". The community gathers to remember and celebrate the stories. Tonight we begin with the story of Exodus: The story of Passover, when the Angel of God passed over the doorway marked with the blood of the sacrificed lamb and
the marvelous works that God did for the chosen people in leading them out of Egypt, away from slavery and repression, through the desert of Sinai and into the promised land.
Remembering is the essence of the ritual. It makes present in history the story and the promises. What God did in ages past for the chosen ones, God does now, for those gathered at the table of Eucharist. The story continues in every generation.
On this night, we remember Jesus of John’s Gospel…it is simple… Jesus intends to show his disciples how much he loves them before he leaves them… so , reversing the relationships, He, the master, takes off his outer garments, gets on his knees and, he the Master, washes their feet. …After washing their feet, Jesus reclines at the table… challenges the disciples and us saying: "I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do…"
In John’s gospel there is no specific ritual of the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup at the Last Supper. For John’s community and for all the church, getting down on our knees in humble obedience is remembering Jesus’ example of a lifetime of service and performing those tasks that are needed in the world.
In our second reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he tells us to remember and to pass on what we have received from the Lord, exactly we have been given. The words, actions and intent of Jesus are all important. This is the core of our worship, our lives, our communities and our meaning as Christians.
With the Psalmist, today we respond: Our Blessing cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
As we reflect on the readings of this Holy Thursday, let us ponder deeply the questions and their meanings for our own lives now…
"Why is this night different from all others?"
"How am I being called to "wash the feet" of my brothers and sisters?
Marcella Fabing, ,csj, Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center, Citrus Heights, California.