Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday

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Holy Thursday, the beginning of the Triduum… is the last celebration…the last Mass...before Easter. It is the day that Christ celebrated the Last Supper with His Apostles…it is the day He gave the Church three pillars of the Catholic Faith…the Holy Eucharistthe priesthood and the Mass…it is a big deal…It leads us right into the culmination of our Faith…

Tonight when the bells are rung, it will be the last time we hear them until the celebration of Easter… the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection….They will remain silent until late Saturday, at the evening vigil …There is a somberness that will settle over the whole Church…We know what tomorrow brings…We have come tonight to prepare ourselves for Good Friday… and Christ’s suffering…His Passion…His death on the Cross…Even though we know that the Church will continue on…and that the bells will ring again…it still leaves us with an ache in our heart… Tonight immediately after the Mass, we will stay in the church as they strip the linens from the alter…We will watch as the priest carries the reserved Eucharist to a small side chapel for late night adoration…the lingering somberness  will persist and weigh on us as we slowly leave the Church…The altar bare…the main tabernacle door left open… it will seem so empty…so void of Christ…it is always a sad time…contemplating the Church without the Eucharist….while at the same time contemplating the reality of Good Friday.

Unlike the Apostles and Mary, we have the benefit of knowing what the outcome was…Can you imagine being one of the first followers of Christ…His Motherthe Apostles??? Because Jesus was her Son, Mary had the benefit of a soul that had long united itself to the Will of God …Yes,she suffered…and it was immense, but she never lost Hope…the disciples on the other hand, well they were more like us….full of doubts…full of anger…full of boastful pride and weakness. They made promises they could not keep…some even went so far as to deny Our Lord….And all of this after He had spent so much time with them… personally preparing them…helping them to understand….But, they were still human…the Pentecost had not happened yet. They hadn’t the gift of the Holy Spirit…so there they were, struggling with their lack of faith…their Master having been brutally beaten and sentenced to death…it must have been hard…But God is good…He had shared with them the Last Supper….where He told them He would not leave…He assured them that He would be with them forever… be with us until the end of the world…He showed them His immense love for each one of them….He had washed their feet….as an example of how they were to love and serve others…He even gave them His own Body and Blood…

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Jesus knew…that man is weak…(a weakness that  has been proven  from the beginning of time…) So He instituted Three important Pillars of the Catholic Church. Out of His immense love for man…He gave us the Holy Mother Church, and the special order of priests…right there on Holy Thursday…the first Mass…(which was actually brought to fulfillment with His death of the Cross)..but still…He gave us so much on this special day….we need to be thankful…we need to pay attention….and pray that we may always seek the Truth and to serve it, particularly in matters of our Faith…the True Faith that Christ Himself instituted and handed down to us on this Holy Day.

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