Cycle [C] Holy Thursday

Exo. 12:1-8, 11-14; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Jn. 13:1-15

A man married a beautiful girl. They were a happy couple. One day the couple learned that she was developing a skin disease and slowly her beauty would start fading.

It so happened that one day her husband met with an accident while he was returning from a tour. The wife realized that he had lost his eyesight.

As the days passed, the wife’s beauty continued to fade and the blind husband did not know this. There was not much change in their married life. They continued to live a normal life.

One day she died. Her death brought him great sorrow.

He finished all her last rites and wanted to leave that town.

A friend came by and said, “now how will you be able to walk all alone? All these days your wife used to be with you.”

He replied, I am not blind. I was pretending because if my wife knew l could see her beauty deteriorating, it would have caused her more pain than her disease. I pretended to be blind.  I wanted her to be happy.

Maundy Thursday tells us the story of the greatest love history has ever witnessed. The love of a father who wanted all his children to be happy and enjoy peace.

During today's First Reading from the Book of Exodus, God the Father alluded to Moses and His people that the day of the New Covenant of grace was coming. God the Father gave many different pictures of things to come. In the institution of the Passover to commemorate the day when His people were freed from slavery, God indicated that month would mark for the people the beginning of months.  God commanded that the Feast of the Passover be remembered. It should be celebrated as a festival to the Lord, throughout every generation as a perpetual ordinance. 

In today's Gospel John tells us that during the Last Supper, Jesus did something very unusual. He got on His knees and washed the feet of His disciples. What tremendous humility we see in this act of Divine love. The greatest Teacher of all times humbled Himself as a servant of His children. He wanted to do something special by which He would be remembered. He wanted to leave them an example to live by. Thus the Feast of Holy Thursday is in remembrance of the institution of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, Institution of the Sacrament of Priesthood and exemplification of love as an action through washing the feet of his disciples.

Building monuments has been a common practice from time immemorial. There are many ancient monuments that still survive. Monuments create an everlasting object symbolizing the life and accomplishments of an individual, bringing meaning and understanding to future generations of those who have come before. 

Moai Statues of Easter Island, Pyramids of Giza of Egypt, Temple Mount of Jerusalem, Parthenon of Greece, Borobudur Temple Compounds of Indonesia, Tikal of Guatemala and Stonehenge of England reveal a lot about the age they belong to. In some places, including the steppes of Mongolia and in southern India monuments were built by a community to strengthen social bonds among equals. Whatever our previous generations left behind for their remembrance are built of rocks and metals. They erode and disappear with the passing of time.


But what Jesus has left behind in memory of him is beyond every thing. He instituted the Eucharist and commanded his followers to celebrate the Eucharist in memory of him. He anointed people to carry out his command by instituting the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

In a world where we are often surrounded by messages of retaliation, or vengeance, or an eye for an eye cry for justice, Jesus gave a different message. The last night of Jesus life on Earth, he wasn’t running away. He wasn’t preparing for a battle. He wasn’t plotting his revenge. Instead he was with his loved ones preparing them to continue his mission on Earth. His mandate was: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

This is the message we Christians all need to hear.