Holy Thursday by Deacon Marty

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The Upper Room where Jesus had the Last Supper. 

 

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The Garden of Gethsemane where the disciples slept while Jesus had his Agony.  Some of the Olive trees here today are over 2000 years old (proved by Scientific testing), thus present when Jesus was here.

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Inside the Church of All Nations; this is the stone which Jesus laid upon during His agony.  The altar is built right next to the stone.  We sat around the stone during mass.

This is such a special day for the Church.  Today we celebrate how Jesus gives us the Eucharist and the Priesthood, as well as the call to service.  We do not have our normal mass schedule in Church today.  Rather we celebrate two masses; The Chrism mass and the Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper.  The Chrism mass is held in the morning at the local Cathedral where the Bishop blesses all of the oils that will be used for this year by each of the Parishes in the diocese.  He blesses the Oil of the Sick, the Oil of the Catechumen and the Oil of Chrism.  Each parish in the diocese sends representatives and they take back to their own parishes the blessed oils.  This shows the link between the Bishop and his parishes.  The priests and deacons of the diocese gather together for this mass along with the faithful.  The priests renew their commitment to priestly service.  Remember that today is the day that Jesus gave us the ministerial priesthood.  If you see your priest today, tell him “thank you” for answering God’s call.  In the evening the local parish celebrates the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  This reminds us that Jesus gave us the gift of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday.  The priests and deacons and faithful gather together in their parish.  It is at this mass that we have the Washing of Feet.  The pastor, or his representative, usually washes twelve people’s feet.  This reminds us of how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples at the Last supper.  It is a call both to humility and to service.  We then celebrate the Eucharist and consecrate enough hosts to be used until the Easter Vigil.  Mass is not celebrated on Good Friday or during the day on Holy Saturday.  There is a procession, after we receive the Blessed Sacrament, where the consecrated hosts are brought to a side chapel for reposition.  The main tabernacle in the church is left empty and the doors open.  It is desirable for the people to gather around the consecrated hosts in the side chapel for adoration and prayer.  This reminds us of how Jesus asked his disciples to remain with him in the Garden of Gethsemane while He had His agony.

During Holy Thursday Jesus had the disciples prepare for His Last Supper.  When they gathered in the Upper Room for this, Jesus taught them the breaking of the bread, the Eucharist.  He washed their feet and He told Judas to go and do what he had planned.  After the Last Supper, Jesus and the disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus had his Agony and the disciples slept through their watch.  Judas comes there with the authorities and picks out Jesus with a kiss.  Jesus is arrested and the disciples all become fearful.

Have you thought about how special our Bishops and Priests are?  Do you see the link between the local Church and the Bishop?  Do your see the link between the Bishop and the Pope and the world wide Church?  How special is the Eucharist to you?  Do you receive often?  Do you spend much time in adoration and prayer?  The Church gives us so much to help us grow in our faith.  Do we make use of what the Church gives us?

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