HOLY THURSDAY
Last Supper

 

 




READINGS: John 13,1-15 The Washing of the Feet

Initial Prayer

“When you speak, Lord, the nothingness beats in life: the dry bones become living persons, the desert flourishes… When I get ready to pray I feel dry, I do not know what to say. Evidently, I am not in harmony with your will, my lips are not in tune with my heart, my heart does not make an effort to get in tune with yours. Renew my heart, purify my lips so that I can speak with you as you want me to do it, so that I can speak with others as you wish, so that I can speak with myself, with my interior world, as you wish”. (L. Renna).

Ex 12:1-8, 11-14

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
“This month shall stand at the head of your calendar;
you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
Tell the whole community of Israel:
On the tenth of this month every one of your families
must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.
If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
and shall share in the lamb
in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month,
and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present,
it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
They shall take some of its blood
and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel
of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh
with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

“This is how you are to eat it:
with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand,
you shall eat like those who are in flight.
It is the Passover of the LORD.
For on this same night I will go through Egypt,
striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast,
and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD!
But the blood will mark the houses where you are.
Seeing the blood, I will pass over you;
thus, when I strike the land of Egypt,
no destructive blow will come upon you.

“This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.”

 

Psalm 116 (114-115), 12-13; 15-16; 17-18

 

The Psalmist who finds himself in the time and in the presence of the liturgical assembly sings his sacrifice of thanksgiving. Voltaire who had a special predilection for v. 12 expressed himself as follows: “What can I offer to the Lord for all the gifts which he has given me?”

 

What return can I make to Yahweh
for his generosity to me?
I shall take up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of Yahweh.

 

Costly in Yahweh's sight
is the death of his faithful.
I beg you, Yahweh!
I am your servant,
I am your servant and my mother was your servant;
you have undone my fetters.

 

I shall offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of Yahweh.
I shall fulfil my vows to Yahweh,
witnessed by all his people

 

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.


 

 


 

The Reading of the Gospel

Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, having loved those who were his in the world, loved them to the end. 2 They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, 4 and he got up from table, removed his outer garments and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; 5 he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 'Lord, are you going to wash my feet?' 7 Jesus answered, 'At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.' 8 'Never!' said Peter. 'You shall never wash my feet.' Jesus replied, 'If I do not wash you, you can have no share with me.' Simon Peter said, 9 'Well then, Lord, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!' 10 Jesus said, 'No one who has had a bath needs washing, such a person is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are.' 11 He knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said, 'though not all of you are'. 12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments again he went back to the table. 'Do you understand', he said, 'what I have done to you? 13 You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. 14 If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other's feet. 15 I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.

John 13,1-15 
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.” For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.” So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

 

....

 

3. ORATIO

 

b) Final Prayer

 

Fascinated with the way in which God expressed his love toward his own, Origin prayed as follows:

 

Jesus, come, my feet are dirty.
Become a servant for me, pour the water in the basin;
come, wash my feet.
I know it, what I am saying is daring,
but I fear the threat of your words:
“If I do not wash you,
you can have no share with me”.
Wash then my feet,
so that I may have a share with you.
(Homily 5 on Isaiah)

 

And Saint Ambrose having an ardent desire to correspond to the love of Jesus, expresses himself as follows:

 

Oh, my Lord Jesus,
allow me to wash your sacred feet;
you got them dirty when you walked in my soul…
But where will I take the water from the fountain
to wash your feet?
In lacking that
I only have the eyes to weep:
bathing your feet with my tears,
do in such a way that I myself remain purified.
(Treatise on penance).



Prayer
(Pange lingua)

SING, my tongue, the Saviour's glory,
of His flesh the mystery sing;
of the Blood, all price exceeding,
shed by our immortal King,
destined, for the world's redemption,
from a noble womb to spring.

Of a pure and spotless Virgin
born for us on earth below,
He, as Man, with man conversing,
stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
then He closed in solemn order
wondrously His life of woe.

 

On the night of that Last Supper,
seated with His chosen band,
He the Pascal victim eating,
first fulfills the Law's command;
then as Food to His Apostles
gives Himself with His own hand.

Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature
by His word to Flesh He turns;
wine into His Blood He changes;-
what though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
faith her lesson quickly learns.

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing,
newer rites of grace prevail;
faith for all defects supplying,
where the feeble sense fail.

To the everlasting Father,
and the Son who reigns on high,
with the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from Each eternally,
be salvation, honor, blessing,
might and endless majesty.

Amen.

 

Words by St Thomas Aquinas.

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

 

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