HOMILY FOR THE HOLY THURSDAY (Maundy Thursday).
THEME: I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.’
BY: Rev Fr Deotacious Chikontwe SMA.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Dear friends in Christ,Today we celebrate the Holy Thursday, we gather together in our respective different parishes to officially open the Easter Triduum in preparation for the commemoration of the glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.
*What do we celebrate and commemorate on Holy Thursday?*
On this day of Holy Thursday we celebrate three anniversaries:
1) the anniversary of the first Holy Mass.
2) the anniversary of the institution of ministerial priesthood, in order to perpetuate the Holy Mass, to convey God’s forgiveness to repentant sinners and to preach the good news of salvation.
3) the anniversary of Jesus’ promulgation of His new commandment of love: “Love one another as I have loved you.
*ABOUT OUR FIRST READING*
In the first reading, God gives the Hebrews two instructions: prepare for the moment of liberation by a ritual meal and make a symbolic mark on your homes to exempt yourselves from the coming slaughter.
*ABOUT OUR SECOND READING*
In the second reading, Paul suggests that the celebration of the Lord’s Supper was an unbroken tradition from the very beginning of the Church by which Christians reminded themselves of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
*ABOUT OUR SECOND READING*
In today’s gospel describes how Jesus transformed the Jewish Passover into the Eucharistic celebration. After washing the feet of his apostles and commanding them to do humble service for each other, Jesus concluded the ceremony by giving his apostles his own Body and Blood under the appearances of bread and wine as spiritual food and drink, in addition to serving the roasted Pascal lamb.
*WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM THE FEAST OF HOLY THURSDAY?*
There are three humble lessons that we can learn from the liturgy of today.
1) A challenge for humble service. Our celebration of the Eucharist requires that we wash one another’s feet, i.e., serve one another, and revere Christ’s presence in other persons. In practical terms, that means we are to consider their needs to be as important as our own and to serve their needs, without expecting any reward.
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2) A loving invitation for sacrificial sharing and self-giving love. Let us imitate the self-giving model of Jesus who shares with us His own Body and Blood and who enriches us with His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. It is by sharing our blessings – our talents, time, health and wealth – with others that we become true disciples of Christ and obey his new commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
3) The third lesson is, an invitation to become Christ-bearers and Christ-conveyers:”Go forth, the Mass is ended,” really means, “Go in peace to love and serve one another’’ We are to carry Jesus to our homes and places of work, conveying to others around us the love, mercy, forgiveness and spirit of humble service of Christ Whom we carry with us.
Finally dear brethren, today is the feast day for all the priests, let us pray for our priests so that they will always enjoy God’s protection and guidance to faithfully fulfill their ministry of bringing Jesus Christ to his people through the Holy Sacraments: I encourage each one of us to say a small prayer for the priests we know, ask God to give them courage and strength to overcome the many temptations.
Happy Holy Thursday to everyone and Happy Feast Day to my brother priests.
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