A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Meditation in Lent ~ Holy Week Maundy/Holy Thursday '24

March 28, 2024 ~ Maundy/Holy Thursday

The Book of Exodus 12:1-14
The Gospel of John 13:1-7, 31b-35

           For the Passover, God, through Moses and Aaron, promised protection to all whose homes displayed the blood of a sacrificed lamb and proclaimed it a day of remembrance forever. It is celebrated this year before sundown on April 22 and ends after nightfall on April 30. It is a Festival of Liberation remembering the Jews’ Exodus from slavery in Egypt.

    On this Thursday, Jesus knew his earthly life was coming to an end. In his final Passover supper with the Disciples, he gave them ~ and us ~ the mystery of the sacrament of His Body and Blood ~ the Eucharist [U-ka-rist]~ as a New Covenant with God, a perpetual remembrance of Him for the redemption of us all. On this night, Jesus surprised his Disciples by washing their feet, as a servant would do, to show them humility. And on this night, he told them that Judas would betray him, and, that Peter would deny him 3 times.
    The phrase “Last Supper” never appears in the Christian/New Testament as for Jesus and his followers, this was Passover, which occasionally occurs at the same time as Christian Holy Week/Easter, though not this year. The name for this day in our time varies with Christian worship traditions: Holy Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, or even Thursday of Mysteries. The Anglican/Episcopal tradition calls it Maundy Thursday which some say comes from the Latin mendicare for beg or, from mandatum for mandate or command. Maundy Money is a silver coin distributed by/for a reigning British monarch as a symbolic gesture to elderly pensioners on this day.
     We now enter the solemn Easter Triduum [trid-oo-um], a period of three days, that in its fullest extent, begins with a Liturgy tonight after sundown, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil on Saturday night or a sunrise service on Easter Day, and concludes with Evening Prayer on Easter night. Counting from sundown to sundownThursday to Friday is 1 day, Friday to Saturday is 2, and Saturday to Sunday is the 3rd day.  
     However your Christian denominational Tradition names it, on this night, Jesus said, I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another [John 13:34-35].

Jesus, Lamb of God,
         Tonight, we remember You in the Garden of Gethsemane with the disciples who could not stay awake with You for even one hour. In ordinary human existence it isn’t that hard to imagine escaping into sleep as someone else is praying for something you don't quite understand. Would I have had the prayer words I'd need? Do I have them now? How much time am I willing to give on this night, and in any day or night, to remember You in moments of joy, or in everyday life trying to pay bills, grocery shopping, or just filling the car with gas?  
         Lord Jesus, my Savior, thank You for who You were in Your human time and for who You are in our time. Help me to be a better reflection of Your love and humility in this world so that I may be known as a disciple, as a true Christian.
        And, Lord Christ, today I’ll give up blasting through life unconsciously and pay attention to all the people and all the activities of everyday life that I usually overlook as unimportant or even annoying. I’ll take on learning to love others every day close in and at a distance ~ family, friends, and strangers alike ~ and especially all those with whom I disagree. I’ll pray to be mindful of my thoughts, certain of my (um) spoken and unspoken language (!), and especially how what I think, say, and do, expresses or diminishes how I want to love You in, with, and for my time in this life. amen.


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