By Joshua Mark Teoh
When we think of Maundy Thursday, the Washing of Feet often comes to mind, and rightly so. Today, in churches across the globe, Priests and Deacons (the successors of the apostles) will wash the feet of the faithful. It is a sign and symbol of their service to the people of God, just as the disciples were instructed to “wash others’ feet” in today’s Gospel. Jesus called the early disciples to a life of service. We, too, are encouraged to heed this call. Those of us who have (regardless of how little) are encouraged to give to those who are less privileged than us during Lent. Caritas often launches charity projects during Lent to help us with that.
But as Christians, we are called to more than just giving to the poor. We are called to “go and make disciples of all nations”, as the Gospel of Mark tells us. Christ washing the feet of the disciples symbolises for us that we are not called just to serve the under-privileged, but are called to serve everyone, rich or poor, strong or weak, Christian or non-Christian. Jesus washed the feet of ALL the disciples, not just the good ones; he washed the feet of Judas, “the one who was to betray him”. Are we ready to pick up this gauntlet that Jesus throws down at us? To serve everyone, even those whom we know will turn their backs on us.
Maundy Thursday is also the day that the Church commemorates the Last Supper. The night where Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it and, as he gave it to his disciples, said “Take this and eat. This is my body.” And then the chalice, saying “Take this and drink. This is my blood. A new covenant poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.” On the first Maundy Thursday, Jesus offered his body and blood as a sacrifice and ransom for the forgiveness of sin. On the first Maundy Thursday, Jesus gave us the most precious and holy of gifts – himself.
“Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and the Blood, soul, and divinity, of you dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole World. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and one the whole world.”
The Divine Mercy Prayer sums up the beauty and solemnity of what Christ did for us on the night of the Last Supper that was held in the Upper Room. The same Upper Room that Jesus would later appear to the disciples, and send his Holy Spirit upon them in the form of tongues of fire. Jesus gave us, in that Last Supper, not only his body and blood, but his soul and divinity as well. He offered it to us so that we may live.
Today, we still celebrate that gift that Jesus gave to us. We celebrate it every day of the year all over the world in theMass.Every single day, we commemorate, celebrate, and re-enact the wonderful gift that Christ gave to us at the Last Supper. I often hear people say that Mass is boring.
HOW CAN MASS BE BORING WHEN THERE’S SOMETHING SO BEAUTIFUL HAPPENING EVERY SINGLE DAY?!
If we truly believe that at every Mass, the offering of bread and wine BECOMES the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and we can appreciate the profoundness and the beauty of this miracle that happens before our very eyes at every single Mass in every single town or city in every single country in the World, then we wouldn’t be struggling to attend Mass every Sunday. We should be striving to attend Mass every day!
“Attending daily Mass is for people with nothing better to do. Because there is NOTHING better to do than to celebrate the holy sacrifice of the Mass every day!”
– Jason Evert.
So with this in mind, let us go to Mass with more fervour, more gratitude and more reverence to the Lord of Hosts, who gives us everything that we need. Have a blessed Triduum.