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Holy Thursday ~ We are One Body in Christ

Christine Choo

The life journey of Jesus, then in his early 30s and born a Jewish man, was drawing to an end during the celebration of Passover. At Bethany six days before the Passover, when Jesus and his close associates shared a meal with his good friends Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary, those who were present witnessed how Mary lavished expensive aromatic ointment as she washed Jesus’ feet. The authorities had become alarmed when the number of people who were drawn to Jesus increased after the raising of Lazarus from the dead. (John. 12)

During the Passover meal, which was traditionally celebrated with family and close friends, Jesus, replicating the action of Mary six days earlier, went on his knees, girded himself with a towel and washed the feet of those present much to their surprise. Jesus wants us to follow his example, ‘I have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet’. (John. 13)

At the Passover meal, ‘on the night he was betrayed’, Jesus offered bread and wine as his body and blood, instructing that whenever we share this body and blood we do it as a memorial of him, ‘commemorating the Lord’s death until he comes’. (1 Corinthians. 11:23-26) This is the first account we have of the Eucharistic meal.
 

Christians are challenged to follow Jesus by reaching out to those on the margins of our society who are experiencing isolation, loneliness, being ignored, despised or misunderstood; to women, the sick and the troubled.

Reflecting on these events makes me aware of Jesus’ invitation to live our lives lavishly in love, compassion and service, just as he himself lived his life. We are challenged to follow Jesus who acted with compassion in all his encounters with others, and in the end was attacked and persecuted by the authorities who interpreted his actions as a challenge to the status quo.

Christians are challenged to follow Jesus by reaching out to those on the margins of our society who are experiencing isolation, loneliness, being ignored, despised or misunderstood; to women, the sick and the troubled.  

We can show them love by giving them attention and acknowledging their presence, and thus show them that we see them in their pain, and care for them.  

Christians are challenged to follow Jesus by speaking up against injustice wherever they see it. Whatever we do to the least of our sisters and brothers, we do to Jesus.   

Remember, through the Eucharist we are the Body of Christ. Each one of us, broken and healed, has a unique place in this One Body. 

Celebrating Maundy Thursday with Novena Church