Below is my Holy Thursday reflection from 2 years ago. With slight edits, I’m sharing again. The photo is of a plaque I purchased in the gift shop last year when I was actually at the Mirinae Shrine of the Martyrs in S. Korea. The people centuries ago who became Christians in Korea had some Christian literature, including smuggled Bibles, but as Catholics they had not received the Eucharist. (That’s something for we Catholics to humbly contemplate as we lament being isolated from the Eucharist and Mass these days.) And yet, the first priest who entered the country, (a Chinese priest because the Jesuits were evangelizing in that country) in the late 1700’s found 4,000 Catholics there! The Christians of various denominations around that time and through the next century were being horribly persecuted. But they were so dedicated to faith in Jesus Christ, they were willing to be tortured and to die rather than renounce their belief in the mercy, love, and grace of our Lord.
Let’s reflect on the Gospel reading for today. Jesus washes the feet of His disciples and tells them that they must do the same. It is the epitome of servant leadership. And it is a beautiful thing. Jesus always wants us to ‘follow the Leader.’ It’s crucial, vital, necessary. That means sacrifice, selflessness, service, pain, humility, and love.
God is Love
“Love wills the good of the other as other,” according to Thomas Aquinas. And Jesus shows us this time and again. But it is in the ultimate gift of Himself that we see what perfect love looks like. Self-giving to ensure that others are taken care of out of love for them and for the One who made them is what Holy Thursday is all about.
I hope your Triduum started gratefully. God became man to save us. The ministry Jesus had begun 3 years prior is coming to its Climax. Let us move forward, however awful we know it will be, let us gratefully, tearfully, go on toward Good Friday…