April 2, 2015

Holy Thurs.

April 2, 2015:  Holy Thursday

Sixteen links to today's readings and celebrations!
(Legend below)


  • Our blessing cup settings (psalm)

  • Psalm 89 settings
From the Vatican
Pope Francis's Chrism Mass homily to priests:  My hand shall ever abide with him, my arms also shall strengthen him.” “I found my servant; with my holy oil I've anointed him.”  “My faithfulness and love shall be with him… ”  The Lord is so concerned about helping us because he knows the task of anointing his people is demanding.
The tiredness of priests!  Our weariness is like incense rising to the Father's heart.  The Blessed Virgin Mary is aware of it and brings it to the Lord; she knows and is concerned when her children are weary.  Don't fall into the temptation to rest however you please.  Our weariness is precious to Jesus.  When you feel tired but entrust yourself to the Father, you'll be renewed.
A key to fruitful ministry lies in how we rest and see Lord dealing with our weariness.  Do I accept the love, gratitude, and affection I receive from God’s people, or do I seek relaxations provided by a consumerist society?  Is the Spirit my “rest in times of weariness,” or just one who keeps me busy?  Do I seek help from a wise priest?  Do I take a break from demands I make on myself, my self-seeking, my self-absorption?  Do I spend time with Jesus, the Father, Mary, Joseph, and my patron saints, and to find rest in their easy and light demands and in their pleasures, concerns, and standards aimed at God's glory?  Am I preoccupied with how to speak and act, or do I entrust myself to the Spirit, who will teach me?  Do I worry needlessly, or find repose in “him in whom I've placed my trust”?
A priest brings good news to the poor, proclaims freedom to prisoners and healing to the blind, liberates the downtrodden, announces the Lord’s favor, consoles the brokenhearted, and comforts the afflicted.  We need compassion; our hearts are to be “moved,” rejoicing with couples who marry, laughing with children, accompanying families, suffering with the sick, mourning with those burying a loved one…  We know our people and share in their suffering, feeling “com-passion”; our hearts can be broken, moved, even consumed.  We whisper "Take and eat" while caring for the faithful; this way our life is given over in service, in closeness to God's people, and it leaves us weary.
There's “the weariness of the crowd”.  This can be exhausting, but it's a good weariness, fruitful and joyful.  The people who followed Jesus, the families which brought him their children, those cured …  didn't leave him time to eat.  But the Lord never tired of being with them; he seemed renewed by them.  Draw on the grace of this weariness.  The faithful never leave us without something to do unless we hide.  The exhaustion of the priest who wears the smell of the sheep and smiles with a rejoicing father is good and healthy.  If Jesus is shepherding the flock in our midst, we we can't be glum, plaintive, or bored.
There's the “the weariness of enemies.”  The devil and his minions work tirelessly to silence and distort God's word; confronting them is wearying; it involves doing good and defending the flock and oneself from evil.  Implore the grace to learn how to thwart evil without pulling up good wheat or presuming to protect what the Lord alone can protect. This helps us not let our guard down.  “Have courage!  I have overcome the world!”
There's also “weariness of ourselves,” maybe the most dangerous, because the others come from going out of ourselves, but this is more “self-referential”:  it's dissatisfaction with oneself, but not the dissatisfaction of one who confronts himself and acknowledges his sinfulness and need for God’s mercy; such people ask for help and then move forward.  No; it's weariness associated with having given up everything but toying with being something different, “flirting with spiritual worldliness.”  So many areas of our life are steeped in this that we may feel it can never be washed away.  “You've borne up for my sake and haven't grown weary. But you've abandoned the love you had at first.”  Only love gives true rest.  What is not loved becomes tiresome, and in time, brings about a harmful weariness.

The Lord deals with our tiredness, loving to the end, washing our feet; it's the cleansing of discipleship.  The Lord purifies the path of discipleship, getting involved with us, removing stains, the grimy smog from our journey.  From feet, you can tell how the rest of the body is doing.  The wounds on our feet are signs of how we've followed him, of the paths we've taken in seeking the lost and leading the flock.  The Lord cleanses us of the dirt our feet have accumulated.  Don't let your feet remain dirty; the Lord kisses them and washes away the grime of our labors.  Jesus cleanses our discipleship itself, so that we can feel joyful, fulfilled, free of fear and guilt, and impelled to go out to bring the good news to the most abandoned, knowing “he is with us always, even to the end of the world”.  Let us learn how to be weary, but weary in the best of ways!
Foot washing:  love and service 

    The scroll...
  • Is 61:1-3a, 6a, 8b-9  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.  God has anointed and sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to captives and release to prisoners, announce favor and vindication, comfort mourners.  I'll make a covenant with them.  You'll be named priests/ministers, blessed, and rewarded.
  • Ps 89:21-22, 25, 27  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  I have anointed David, my servant and will exalt him.  My faithfulness and mercy shall be with him.
  • Rv 1:5-8  Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, firstborn of the dead, and ruler of all.  He loves us, freed us from sin, made us into a kingdom of priests....
  • Lk 4:16-21  Jesus went into the synagogue, read the scroll "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...", and said “Today this passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Mass of the Lord's Supper 
  • Ex 12:1-8, 11-14  Lord to Moses and Aaron:  “Tell the community:  On the 10th of this month, procure a year-old lamb, keep it till the 14th, slaughter it at twilight, apply its blood to your doorposts, roast and eat it, with unleavened bread, like those in flight.  It is the Passover of the Lord, when I will go through Egypt, striking down every firstborn and judging Egypt's gods.  When I see the blood, I will pass over you.
Wash each other's feet...
  • Ps 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18  "Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ."  In return for the good God has done, I'll take up the cup of salvation and call upon him.  Precious in the Lord's eyes is the death of his faithful.  I am your servant; you have freed me.
  • 1 Cor 11:23-26  Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, gave thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”  Then he took the cup:  “This is the new covenant in my blood.  Do this in remembrance of me.”  Whenever you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
  • Jn 13:1-15  Jesus loved his own to the end.  He rose from supper, poured water, and washed and dried the disciples’ feet.  Peter / Jesus:  “Are you going to wash mine?” / “You don't  understand now but will later.” / “Never!” / “Unless I do, you'll have no inheritance with me.” / “Then my feet, hands and head too.”...  He said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?  If I, master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s.  As I have done for you, you should do.”
      • Creighton:  How can I love others as Jesus loved me?  Small steps:  recognizing God in those I meet, taking time to discern how I can live out that commandment, which asks me to find God in others and accept them....
      • One Bread One Body:  "Amazing love":  God washed his disciples' feet and continues to do so.  God emptied himself even to death on a cross.  In the Eucharist, Jesus, who had emptied himself of His divinity, emptied himself of his humanity.  All out of love....
        As Jesus Commanded
        Fr. Bob Gilroy, SJ
      • Passionist:  3 pivotal moments:  Passover, the New Covenant given by Jesus, and the mandate to wash one another's feet.  John's account of the Last Supper doesn't include the "words of institution" found in the Synoptics and today's 2nd reading.  John's gospel is the last to take shape, when Christian communities are creating an identity distinct from their Jewish roots.  Jesus distinguishes Eucharist from Passover, declaring himself “bread of life,” and “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”  Jesus wants me to give myself to him, as he gives himself to us in the Eucharist....
      • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus' supreme humility":  Jesus performed a servant's task:   washing dirty feet (knowing one "washee" would betrayed him and the others would flee).  He met betrayal and disloyalty with humility and love.  He loves each of us unconditionally as he did his disciples.  His love can free us to serve others with compassion and humility. 
        "Jesus had the power of laying down his life; we can't choose the length of our lives.  He destroyed death; we're freed from death through his death.  His body didn't see corruption; ours will, then be clothed through him in incorruption.  He needed no help to save us, but without him we can do nothing.  He gave himself to us as vine to branches; apart from him we have no life.  Even if brothers die for brothers, no martyr brings forgiveness for his brothers' sins, as Christ brought us forgiveness, giving us not an example to imitate but a reason for rejoicing.  As they shed blood, martyrs provided "the same kind of meal" as they received at the Lord's table.  Let us love one another as Christ loved us...." (St. Augustine, paraphrased)
        • Saints, though trumped by Holy Thursday, thanks Universalis:
          • St. Francis of Paola, hermit, Order of Minims founder; see Catholic Encyclopedia.
          • St. John Payne, convert, priest, martyr:  “I honored the queen’s majesty; I would have spent my life for her in any lawful service; I prayed for her as for my own soul; I never invented or compassed any treason against her.”
          • Bl. Pedro Calungsod, boy catechist, martyr
        Dress legend
        • 'Crown' tie bar:  He sent me to place a diadem on those who mourn (1st reading)
        • 'Blood drop' pin:  Grace and peace from Jesus Christ, who has freed us by his Blood (2nd reading); apply Passover lamb's blood on doorposts... (1st reading)
        • 'Pierced hearts" suspenders:  God sent me to heal the brokenhearted (1st reading); He loved his own to the end (gospel)
        • 'Lamb,' 'sheep' tie bar:  Passover lamb, from the sheep or the goats (1st reading)
        • Sandals:  Eat passover lamb with sandals on your feet... (1st reading); washing of feet (gospel)
        • 'Airplane' tie pin: ...like those who are in 'flight' (1st reading)
        • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Precious in the Lord's eyes..." (psalm); "every eye will see him" (2nd reading); "The Lord has anointed me to proclaim recovery of sight to the blind (Chrism 1st reading, gospel); "the eyes of all... looked intently at him" (gospel)
        • 'Wheat' pin:  Jesus took bread... (2nd reading)
        • 'Feet' tie:  Jesus washed disciples' feet (gospel)
        • White shirt:  liturgical color of day

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