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Today in Passion Week
Meditations, Reflections, Prayers

Maundy Thursday (Pes'ho)

Thursday of Holy Pascha Week
On Thursday of Holy Pascha Week, our Lord Jesus Christ washed the feet of His Disciple’s; celebrated the Last Supper and instituted the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist. We also remember his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and the betrayal by Judas.

In His Steps - A Lenten Series

Today: Gethsemane: The Traitor's Kiss

Bible Reading:

Passover (Maundy Thursday)

Opening Prayer:

O God, who anointed your Only Begotten Son with the Holy Spirit
and made him Christ and Lord,
graciously grant
that, being made sharers in his consecration,
we may bear witness to your Redemption in the world.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Readings (alternate)

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; Psalm 116; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-15

Daily Meditation:

You gave us an example to imitate.
Holy Thursday is one of the truly marvelous days in our faith community.
We celebrate the gift of the love of Jesus,
given to us for our nourishment -
given to us as an example of self-less love.

In our prayer today, we let our Lord wash our feet - love us unconditionally -
and we let Jesus be broken and given for us.
We pray that we might be faithful to the one commandment of Jesus -
that we might love others in the same way that we have been loved.

Where charity and love are found,
there is God.

Holy Thursday Reflections
by Laurence Freeman OSB

Do this in remembrance of me.

We feel offended or diminished if we meet someone we know and they don't remember who we are. To have significant days or events in our lives remembered by those whose affection or opinion we value means a lot to the sense of our own worth.

Yet remembering in a positive way - affirming we are still there and that the important things in life have not finally sunk out of remembrance under the waves of time - requires effort.

'Thank you for remembering', we say because the natural lethargy of egoism makes it easier to forget. Negative remembering - hanging on to past hurts and dead actions - is easier although sometimes we can feel a twinge of regret that even a negative memory is fading from our minds.

The Greek word that we translate as 'remembrance' and use to speak of the 'memorial of the Eucharist' is not just about remembering what we might (and one day probably will) forget as our brain cells run out. It means making present an event that had a historical beginning but whose life and influence has not yet expired.

Because we forget so much so quickly - what happened two days ago in a twenty-four hour period? - the things that ride the waves of time and do not disappear are the significant and life-enhancing forces. It requires effort and time to recall them but then we are called to life by their becoming present.

The gift of self never dies. It is ever present and can be called to mind at any time in order to renew and reassure us that life, for all its fatalities, is not just about survival. It is about flourishing, fullness.

This is what the Eucharist is. Despite the fact that it has been ringed round by rules and regulations and the politics of religion, its life-enhancing energies never cease to amaze. It is a channel of the endless generosity of one who cannot forget us.

Maundy Thursday Reflections from All Hallows in Leeds, England

Reading: Luke 22.23-34 and 54-62

Reflection

Peter seeks to be the perfect disciple. He fails, and is absolutely desolate. But Jesus told him he would betray him. Peter is not ready, or rather it is not necessary for him to make such a stand. He fails to hear Jesus telling him so. Perhaps Jesus' words should be read as less of a prediction and more as a gentle warning: 'Don't do this to yourself, Peter'.

In our discipleship, are we like Peter, striving to be the perfect disciple? So busy trying so hard, relying on our own resources, that we fail to hear the words of Jesus to us: 'Do not do this to yourself; it is not what I require'?

Peter's time came. His faith was tested: we are told in the Acts of the Apostles he had to change his mind and be open to God in a dream. And tradition tells us he was ultimately tested when he too faced crucifixion.

And we too face our own tests of faith. They will come; we don't need to create them for ourselves. We don't need to seek to prove we are the perfect disciples. Instead we need simply and prayerfully to be open to the wonder of God's grace working in us now. God loves us and knows us as we are, and if we let him he will use who we are now to his glory.

Ray Gaston

Prayer

O Jesus, stretch forth your wounded hands over your people to heal and to restore, and to draw us to yourself and to one another in love. Amen.

Intercessions:

The Father anointed Christ with the Holy Spirit
to proclaim forgiveness to those in bondage.

Let us humbly call upon the eternal priest:
Lord, have mercy on us.

You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into your glory,
- bring your Church to the Passover feast of heaven.

You were lifted high on the cross and pierced by the soldier's lance,
- heal our wounds.

You made the cross the tree of life,
- give its fruit to those reborn in baptism.

On the cross you forgave the repentant thief,
- forgive us our sins.

Closing Prayer:

Loving Provider,
you gather me in this upper room with your son,
to be fed by your love.
At that supper, Jesus told us to "love one another"
and I know that is the heart of his gift,
his sacrifice for me.

I ask that I might find the source of my own heart,
the meaning for my own life,
in that Eucharist.
Guide me to the fullness of your love and life.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Sources:
Creighton University Online Ministries - Praying Lent
The World Community for Christian Meditation (www.wccm.org)
All Hallows in Leeds, England
Lectionary of the Syriac Orthodox Church

Malankara World Journal Specials on Maundy Thursday

MW Journal Issue 339 - Pes'ho (Maundy Thu) (March 2016)

MW Journal Issue 275 - Pes'ho (Maundy Thu) (April 2015)

MW Journal Issue 211 - Pes'ho (Maundy Thu) (April 2014)

MW Journal Issue 133 - Passion Week Special 3 - Pes'ho and The New Commandment

MW Journal Issue 68 - Holy Week Special - 2 (Holy Monday thru Maundy Thursday)

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