Prayer for Maundy Thursday

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Holy Thursday

Prayer:

You call us to live your life,
follow where you have trod,
be your presence in these streets,
show compassion to the poor,
support the weak,
embrace the outcast,
bring lives into your kingdom.
Yet our hearts are troubled,
we are fearful of the task,
deafened to your promise
to be with us
wherever we might go.
Forgive our timidity,
grant us peace for the journey,
and strength for the day,
that we might demonstrate our love
in the life we live and share . Amen

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Maundy Thursday, the Pope washing feet, and the call to the basin and towel

12 After he washed the disciples’ feet, he put on his robes and returned to his place at the table. He said to them, “Do you know what I’ve done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly, because I am. 14 If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example: just as I have done, you also must do. 16 I assure you, servants aren’t greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them. 17 Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.” (Jn 13:12-17, CEB)

The call to leadership is the call to serve. It is the call to do the mundane things everyone else isn’t paying attention to. It is to do the “cruddy” stuff when everyone else is thinking, “I’m not touching that!”

Pope Francis I will commemorate Maundy Thursday, and this passage, by washing the feet of youth offenders in jail. 

Foot washing is part of the ceremony of the day as we remember the actions of Christ.

Serving in the ordinary should be the action that follows. Jesus picked up the tools of the servant to do what no other person in that room was willing to do. It was a job that needed doing, so he showed the way. Then, he let the disciples know, “This is what I expect of your life.”

Foot washing today is the ceremony. There is nothing wrong with that commemoration.

It’s what happens after this day that determines if we are really people of the basin and the towel.

Am I willing to serve in the mundane?

Am I willing to pick up the jobs that need to be done and do them without the need for applause when it is finished?

Do I want to do a “foot washing” only so I can put the picture on Facebook?

We need the example of the Savior. Serve. And don’t let anyone else know about it. Just get the job done and move on.

“I have given you an example: just as I have done, you also must do.” (Jn. 13:15, CEB)

Holy Week — The Hour

John’s gospel doesn’t give us any doubt as to who Jesus was in his ministry. Jesus had no doubt. There is an assurance all the way through the story that he is fully aware of what the Father is doing.

From the first sign it was clear Jesus had a grasp of what was going on. His mother asked him to help with the wine situation at the wedding in Cana and he said bluntly, “My hour is not yet here.”

Then, we get to Chapter 12 and it is clear his hour was here. The time was upon him. The Greeks want to see him and he says, “The hour has come…”

He wrestles with this weight. “What shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”

Then there is the last supper. Church tradition holds that this is the day. Maundy Thursday. Jesus knew his hour had come.

It was time for him to leave this world and go to the Father. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (Jn. 13:1b)

This day, remember him. We have come to this hour. Please do not rush through this day without pausing for a moment and thinking, “This is your hour, Lord. You knew it. You didn’t shrink back. In the middle of chaos and disciples wrestling over who was the greatest, you served. You gave. This is your hour.”