Despite not attending church service on Thursday, I still took time to reflect on the significance of Maundy Thursday which is part of holy week. Today’s gospel speaks about the imminent betrayal from Judas, one of Jesus’s disciples and the washing of feet of the disciples.
It shows Jesus as man and not God in humbling himself and washing the feet of his disciples in his service to them. Jesus says after washing the feet of his disciples,” You call me “teacher” and “master”, and rightly so for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”(John 13:1-15)
Jesus stoops low to wash the feet of his disciples, one of the dirtiest parts of the body as they would walk everywhere, sometimes barefoot. Washing of feet was usually done by servants and his act shows us that he is full of humility and love for us, despite our sins which hold us down. It is an open invitation to us to come down from the throne of pride to serve others and accept those that are wrongfully rejected or are outcasts in society.
Love is a very strong emotion and gift that we can give to others as many people are longing to be loved and accepted. It shows the unconditional love of Jesus to step into our shoes and to love us till the end even when we fail him through our sins. It is essential that we remember Jesus’s selfless act and to always keep him in our hearts, intentions and thoughts.
I came across an informative posting by OLPS about the significance of Holy Thursday and would like to share this with all.
Holy (Maundy) Thursday is more than just the lead-in to Good Friday; it is, in fact, the oldest of the celebrations of Holy Week. And with good reason: Holy Thursday is the day on which Catholics commemorate the institution of three pillars of the Catholic Faith: the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the priesthood, and the Mass. During the Last Supper, Christ blessed the bread and wine with the very words that Catholic and Orthodox priests use today to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass and the Divine Liturgy. In telling His disciples to “Do this in remembrance of Me,” He instituted the Mass and made them the first priests.
Near the end of the Last Supper, after Judas had departed, Christ said to His disciples, “A new commandment I give unto you: “That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” The Latin word for “commandment,” mandatum became the source for another name for Holy Thursday: Maundy Thursday.
On Holy Thursday, the priests of each diocese gather with their bishop to consecrate holy oils, which are used throughout the year for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick. This ancient practice, which goes back to the fifth century, is known as the Chrism Mass (“chrism” is a mixture of oil and balsam used for the holy oils) and stresses the role of the bishop as a successor to the apostles.
It shows the love for Jesus being present in the mass and his message to the people in giving love to others just like he did. Also, to understand more about the mass, here is an initiative done by a friend of mine from OYP that touches on the different parts of the mass with nice artworks for illustration. Named Mass Communication, it is done beautifully to make people treat the mass with more reverence and to understand the tradition of our faith and church. Do support them in browsing through the beautifully designed artworks.
May we always learn to love and to love others, as Jesus did in journeying through holy week. God Bless!
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong