Thought of the day
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday
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"I am among you as one who serves" (Lk 22,27)

Holy Thursday - Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper

Saint Anthony of Padua (c.1195-1231), Franciscan, Doctor of the Church 
Sermons for Sundays and Feasts, Maundy Thursday
"I am among you as one who serves" (Lk 22,27)

"Jesus rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet." We read a story of the same kind in Genesis. Abraham says to the messengers – the three angels who visit him: “Let some water be brought that you may bathe your feet and then rest yourselves under the tree; let me bring you a little food that you may refresh yourselves” (18,4-5). What Abraham did for the three angels, Christ did for his apostles, those messengers of the truth, who were to preach faith in the Blessed Trinity to all the world.

He stoops down to them like a child; he stoops down and washes their feet. What an incomprehensible humility; what inexpressible goodness! He whom the angels adore in heaven is at these fishermen's feet! The face that causes angels to tremble bends over the feet of these poor men! Therefore Peter is seized with fear... When he has washed their feet he makes them “lie down under the tree” as it says in the Song of Songs: “I delight to rest in his shadow and his fruit is sweet to my mouth” (2,3). This fruit is his Body and Blood, given them today by him. It is the “morsel of bread” he set before them and that gave them strength for the work they must undertake...

Behold, “on this mountain the Lord of Hosts will prepare for all peoples a feast of rich meat with the marrow” (Is 25,6)... In the upper room where the apostles are to receive the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the Lord of all the world throws a feast today for all the peoples who believe in him... This is what the Church does today throughout the world. It was for her sake that Christ prepared this feast on Mount Zion, this food that restores us, his true Body, rich in every spiritual virtue and charity. This he has given to his apostles and has commanded them to give to those who believe in him.

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