April 9 reflection by Deacon Dan
Thursday, April 9, 2020 – St. Raphael Holy Thursday reflection
- Normally, the 6 weeks from Ash Wednesday to Easter seem to go by quickly. This year, however, with the coronavirus pandemic and stay at home orders, it feels like six months have passed since we received ashes and began our Lenten journey.
- Hopefully this Lent we have taken time to focus on prayer, fasting and almsgiving and to appreciate the true sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us nearly 2,000 years ago. Historically, at this point in time I lament about what I failed to give up during Lent. This year is different, I actually gave up much more than I expected – I gave up watching baseball, going to church, going to work, leaving the house . . . .
- Holy Thursday concludes Lent and moves us into the celebration of the three days, the Easter Triduum, when we remember the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. These three days are really one solemn liturgy. If you watch the live streaming mass tonight, you will notice there is no dismissal at the end. The next few days are meant to be a continuous memorial and celebration of the final moments in the life of Jesus and the life of the Christian Community.
- Tonight, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper takes us into the Upper Room in the final hours of Jesus’ earthly journey. If we knew we had 12 hours left to live, what would we do? Probably act as Christ did – gather with your closest friends, reiterate the most important messages in your life and hopefully spend some time in deep prayer with God.
- The pinnacle of our mass and our Catholic faith is based largely on Holy Thursday – every mass we reflect on sacred scripture and we celebrate the Eucharist as Christ did at the Last Supper. Every mass we return to the Upper Room as the priest, in persona Christi, consecrates the body and blood.
- Traditionally, Holy Thursday mass also re-enacts Christ washing the feet of the disciples. Jesus is summing up his life of loving and helping others and demonstrating how we should live our lives in the humble service of others. “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” We are commanded to serve the least of our brothers.
- Please take time today to reflect on Christ’s actions on Holy Thursday.
Am I grateful for the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist? One of the many blessings this unique Lent is a greater appreciation for the Eucharist.
Am I a person that serves my neighbor? Even if physically separated, am I calling to see if can help my neighbor? Am I praying for them?
In my life, do I expect to be served or do I seek to serve?
Wherever you are today, I pray that you are with or in touch with loved ones, and that you have a Blessed Triduum! God bless each of you.
– Deacon Dan