Holy Thursday 2022: A Roman Catholic Woman Priest Reflects

Pastor Marina Teresa Sanchez Mejia and I serve Holy Communion to our Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community

At his last Passover celebration Jesus, foretelling his death, took the bread gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them saying “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of (the new) covenant, which is poured our for many for the forgiveness of sins..” (Matthew 26: 26-28. See also Mark 14:12-26 and Luke21: 7-22. In Luke’s account of this last supper he records that the disciples were quibbling over who is the greatest and Jesus tells them: “For who is greater, the one who is at table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22: 27) In the Gospel of John we have another part of that Passover celebration. Here Jesus washes his disciples feet and tells them that they should also wash another’s feet. “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you…” (John 13:1-17). And so on Holy Thursday we enact the washing of the feet and the sharing of the body and blood of Christ. With this, we too become the body and blood of Christ and we are commanded to serve one another.

First we note that Jesus is celebrating the Passover when he foretells his death and offers himself for us, for the sins of the world. Passover is an essential part of Jesus’ Hebrew faith and it is part of the covenant of God with God’s people to commemorate their freedom from slavery at God’s hand. The New York Times today had a wonderful article about the Passover Exodus account in the Scriptures. The reader would find it thought provoking particularly as we consider the words of Jesus “To Serve” with its subtext of “enact justice”.

For several years I have contemplated Holy Thursday in this blog. I am missing most the washing of the feet that we did at Good Shepherd. It is a moment of profound love and humility. The reader might go to

https://judyabl.blog

and where it says SEARCH on right top, put in Holy Thursday…many years will come up and each one will have a different meditation and pictures of our Good Shepherd Ministry on this holy day. I pray that the words and pictures of this day may move you this Holy Thursday. Move you to wash each other’s feet, and move you to become the body and blood of Christ.

Below is a lovely poem from one of our Roman Catholic Woman Priests-Rev. Dr. Roberta Meehan, currently of the Detroit, Michigan area. She has graciously given us permission to print it here.

Maundy (Holy) Thursday – 14 April 2022Holy Thursday
The meal complete, he looks around.
Are they ready?  His humanity wonders.
Challenge and pain curl his brow.
And emptiness closes his eyes.
Tightness grips his chest as he surrenders to the moment.
Then back – a slight smile spreads across his lips.
A laugh teeters in his throat.
Now! He thinks.  Now!  Now is the time.
They look at him – not knowing what to expect.
Wondering what he is thinking, planning….
He reaches for the breadbasket
And pulls it toward himself.
He chooses a small loaflet.
Elbows on the table, piercing dark eyes in a gentle teaching mode….
“Do you know what this is?”
Disbelief shrouds their sighs.“
“A remnant of bread?” ventures one.
“From our Passover meal?”
“Not so,” he instructs.  “Not so.”
“Think!”  He pauses.  “Think and watch.”
His attention shifts to his cup.
He toys with the edge and again questions them.
“Do you know what this is?”
“Your wine?” One asks.
“You haven’t finished your wine.  
Do you need more?  We have plenty.”
He becomes somber.
“No.  Not so.  You do not understand.  
Think.  Think and watch.”
He studies the bread –
contemplating, visioning.
A serious focus embraces the wine.
Back and forth he gazes, blessing and knowing –
Past and future merge!
Bread and wine converge on NOW!
He holds the bread, intently, carefully.
He instructs, “This is my body!”
 “Here, take it!”  A commanding offer.  “Take it and eat it.”
His eyes meet the first and move from one to another.
“All of you!  Eat it!”  And they do.
He holds his wine cup – studying it, swirling it.
“And this,” he says, “This is the cup of my blood!  This is the cup of salvation
Which will be shed for you and for many.
Here.  Take this cup and drink from it.
”Again their eyes meet.
“All of you!  Drink from it!”  And they do.
falls on those assembled.
They look each to the other.
They know only vaguely the enormity of what has happened.
He looks lovingly, sadly, at each of them.
“You,” he says.  “Now you are my body; now you are my blood!
Furthermore, I tell you to do this.  Do this in remembrance of me!
Do this until the end of time!  And I am with you!”
He looks down.  They become – all of them – one in him and he in them.
And he whispers, “It is finished!”
Original © 2003 – Roberta M Meehan
Updated © 2022 – Roberta M Meehan

Dear Friends, Let us Serve One Another

For we are the Body and Blood Of Christ,

A blessed Holy Thursday to all,

Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, RCWP

Pastor Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholid Community and Ministries

Fort Myers<Florida,

4/14/2022

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