The WORD in Other Words by Fr Edwin Fernandez SVD (Philippines)
Holy Thursday / Commemoration of the Lord’s Supper in Holy Week
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 John 13:1-15
As Jesus approaches the end of his earthly life, he performs some of his most meaningful and memorable acts that he would ask his disciples to do repeatedly in his memory. Despite the indescribable sorrow that is breaking his heart, Jesus gathers his beloved friends and eats supper with them on the night before he dies on a cross.
During that most blessed evening, the unblemished Lamb of God, gives his body and blood to those who have believed and followed him. This act summarizes his life and mission: to serve and not to be served, to give his life as a ransom for many. He reveals his mission as Servant by washing his friends‘ feet and asking them to do the same with each other, making them embrace the way of humble service and to love one another as He has loved them.
In the Eucharist, Jesus invites us through his own word and example to choose in our life the path of total self-giving. We truly mirror Jesus to others when we freely offer ourselves in loving service to them, even to the point of sacrificing our lives.
It is difficult for people to see Jesus in us when they are hurt by our selfishness and greed. Doing humble acts of service testifies to our being genuine disciples of Jesus, continuing his mission in the world through us.
In commemorating today the institution of the Holy Eucharist and of the Priesthood, we pray for all priests who preside over the celebration of the Lord‘s Supper that they may strive to lead the people close to Jesus and the witness of their lives and their humble service inspire them to become a living memory of Christ’s love.