Thursday in Holy Week (Maundy Thursday)

Maundy Thursday

Almighty Father, whose most dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it in thankful remembrance of Jesus Christ our Savior, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. “ John 6:53
The final few days and hours of Jesus’ life give an intimate picture of his relationship with his disciples.  He deeply loved them, cared for them, and challenged them. Essential to his teachings were their own unity: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35). Christ commands his disciples to love, hence the name for this day: ‘Maundy’ comes from the latin mandatum, which means ‘mandate’ or ‘command’.  This command is given at the Last Supper, which is not a coincidence.  Our love branches from the stem of God’s love, from abiding in Christ. The Lord’s Supper, Communion, is our weekly entrance into the heavenly feast, our nourishment in a parched and ravaged world.  We receive directly from God in Communion (‘sharing in common’), drawn together and strengthened to love one another.

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