Holy Thursday. What a strange evening!
The Jewish Passover is a special holiday of thanksgiving and hope. Today it is even more exceptional.
Can you not feel the tension?
The meeting at a common table, which as a rule should be an atmosphere of cordiality, started one of the biggest wars between good and evil love and betrayal.
This evening also marked the beginning of Jesus' constant struggle for us.
Life is the highest asset which is usually bordering with evil and sin. We who live this life, are often too weak to fight a victory with the powers of darkness. We are too weak to be victorious over our selfishness. Life which should be an atmosphere of warmth and love sometimes becomes a life of war between the powers of darkness.
Therefore, this evening these very strong words echo a new commandment of love, realized only in ones service to man. For the Jewish Passover ritual begins by washing hands. A bowel and towel is given to the youngest child or servant. It is a symbol of surrender. None of the apostles wanted to do that. Jesus himself took on the servant role by becoming the lowliest.
It may seem to us that this was only a gesture. But gestures build our character. If you have any activities that you repeat, they become something natural in our life.
For Jesus service was His motto in life, and for this service to another, He gave His life.
This service is the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Often we understand the Eucharist as having Honorable Mention.
Of course the Eucharist is a feast. We forget that this is the same Passover. This is the same meeting that took place in the Upper Room, and the message is still the same. It should be something special but something daily in our lives.
The Paschal Triduum which begins today is a three day duel. The war of love and hate.
Jesus' gesture of humility toward man lead Him to the Cross. We know though, that evil did not triumph, because service will always increase our goodness which will kill evil.