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Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper

Scripture Readings

As the Triduum begins today, our readings recall the Passover foreshadowing of the Passion of Jesus that has deflected sin’s arrow.  Just as the lamb’s blood signaled the Lord to pass over the Israelite households, so the Blood of the Lamb that we drink shields us from the spiritual death that normally follows sin.

But, we do not simply receive the Lord’s gift of liberation from our sins and go home happy.  As Isaiah reminded us earlier this week, we are called to be a blessing to the nations.  The Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt because he loved them, but also so they could make the whole world a better place.  The Jesus brings us out of our sinfulness so that we can be a blessing to all our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and enemies.

But I can hear my weaker nature protesting.  This is our darkest hour.  Jesus is entering into his Passion.  We are losing our cherished leader.  We were expecting victory, and we see another setback.  I am tired from all the obligations of my vocation.  But we have Jesus’s explicit model to emulate.  Wash the feet of those in your power.  At our darkest hour, we need to be our truest selves.  That means serving others in love, not protecting ourselves in fear. Jesus showed us that death is the doorway to life.  Death is Victory.  That’s why Paul tells us to proclaim the death of the Lord.  It’s the sign of unstoppable Grace, the ultimate guarantee of Peace.

This year, let’s not spend the Triduum huddled in fear around the fire; Let us love and serve one another as a true celebration of this solemn feast.

-Chris Nieport