Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MAUNDY THURSDAY, QUOTES for CHRIST, The LAMB of GOD, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION

Journey to the Cross – Maundy Thursday – 1 April – The Lamb That Was Slain, Has Delivered Us from Death and has Given Us Life

Journey to the Cross – Maundy Thursday – 1 April

The Lamb That Was Slain, Has Delivered Us from Death

and has Given Us Life

Today we leave dear Thomas à Kempis and read instead a reflection by Saint Melito, Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180) Father of the Church, whose Feast day it is today.

There was much proclaimed by the prophets about the mystery of the Passover – that mystery is Christ and to Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

For the sake of suffering humanity He came down from heaven to earth, clothed Himself in that humanity in the Virgin’s womb and was born a man. Having then a body capable of suffering, He took the pain of fallen man upon Himself; He triumphed over the diseases of soul and body, that were its cause, and by His Spirit, which was incapable of dying, He dealt man’s destroyer, death, a fatal blow.

He was led forth like a lamb; He was slaughtered like a sheep. He ransomed us from our servitude to the world, as He had ransomed Israel from the hand of Egypt; He freed us from our slavery to the devil, as He had freed Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. He sealed our souls with His own Spirit and the members of our body, with His own Blood.

He is the One, Who covered death with shame and cast the devil into mourning, as Moses cast Pharaoh into mourning. He is the One, Who smote sin and robbed iniquity of offspring, as Moses robbed the Egyptians of their offspring. He is the One, Who brought us out of slavery into freedom, out of darkness into light, out of death into life, out of tyranny into an eternal kingdom; who made us a new priesthood, a people chosen to be His own forever. He is the Passover that is our salvation.

It is He who endured every kind of suffering, in all those who foreshadowed Him. In Abel, He was slain, in Isaac bound, in Jacob exiled, in Joseph sold, in Moses exposed to die. He was sacrificed in the Passover lamb, persecuted in David, dishonoured in the prophets.

It is He who was made man of the Virgin, He who was hung on the tree; it is He who was buried in the earth, raised from the dead and taken up to the heights of heaven. He is the mute Lamb, the slain Lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe. He was seized from the flock, dragged off to be slaughtered, sacrificed in the evening, and buried at night. On the tree no bone of His was broken; in the earth His body knew no decay. He is the One, Who rose from the dead and who raised man from the depths of the tomb.

From an Easter homily by St Melito of Sardis

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, MAUNDY THURSDAY, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, The 5th Sorrowful Mystery - The CRUCIFIXION, The LAMB of GOD, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 April – Maundy Thursday – ‘ … Place all your trust in the Blood of Christ Crucified …’

One Minute Reflection – 1 April – Maundy Thursday, Evening Vigil Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Readings: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14, Psalms 116:12-13, 15-18, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-15

“Jesus, knowing that his hour was come, … he loved them unto the end.” – John 13:1

REFLECTION – “Be obedient to the death, following the example of the spotless Lamb who obeyed His Father even to a shameful death on the Cross. Reflect that He is the way and the rule you are to follow. Always hold Him present before the eyes of your spirit. See how obedient He is, this Word, this Utterance of God! He does not refuse to take up the burden of suffering laid on Him by His Father; to the contrary, He throws Himself into it, spurred on by His great desire. Isn’t this what He reveals during the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, when He says: “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Lk 22:15)? By “eat this Passover” He means, the accomplishment of the Father’s will and His desire. Seeing that scarcely any time lies before Him (He was already looking ahead to the end, when He would sacrifice His body for our sake), He rejoices, He is glad and joyfully says: “I have greatly desired.” Here is the Passover He is speaking about – that which consists in giving His own self as food, in laying down His own body in obedience to the Father.

Jesus had celebrated many another Passover with His disciples but never this one, O unspeakable, sweet and burning charity! You think neither of Your suffering nor of Your humiliating death – if You had thought of them, You would not have been so joyful, You would not have called it a Passover. The Word sees ,that it is He Himself Who has been chosen, He Himself Who has received all our humanity as His spouse. He has been asked to give us His own Blood so that God’s will might be accomplished in us, so that it might be His Blood that sanctifies us. This is, indeed, the sweet Passover, this Lamb without blemish accepts (cf. Ex 12:5) and it is with great love and great desire that He fulfils the Father’s will and wholly carries out His design. What unspeakably sweet love! …

That is why, my beloved, I beg you never to entertain the least dread and to place all your trust in the Blood of Christ Crucified … May all servile fear be banished from your spirits. You will say with Saint Paul …: “I can do all things through Christ crucified, since he is within me by desire and love and he strengthens me” (cf. Phil 4:13; Gal 2:20). Love, love, love! By His Blood, the gentle Lamb has made an unassailable rock of your soul.” – St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Dominican tertiary, Doctor of the Church, Co-patron of Europe – Letter 129

PRAYER – Love of You, with our whole heart, Lord God, is holiness. Increase then Your gifts of divine grace in us, so that, as in Your Son’s Death, You made us hope for what we believe, You may likewise, in His Resurrection, make us come to You, our final end. Listen we beg, to the prayers of Your holy ones and may the Blessed Mother walk along with us and keep our hand, ever in hers. Through Jesus Himself, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God with You, forever and ever, amen.

Posted in HOLY WEEK, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, Our MORNING Offering, The PASSION

Our Morning Offering – 1 April – When Mary Weeps

Our Morning Offering – 1 April – Maundy Thursday

When Mary Weeps
By Father Frederick M Lynk (1881-unknown)

When Mary weeps, her mother’s heart
Is full to overflowing.
When Mary weeps, pain’s piercing dart
Stabs Him beyond all knowing,
Who is by sinners Crucified,
Blasphemed, forsaken and denied.

When Mary weeps, God’s holy wrath
Is kindling cruel fires.
When Mary weeps, poor mankind’s path
Leads through war’s blood-soaked mires
And makes all human mothers moan
In love and pity for their own.

When Mary weeps, it’s time to pray
To have our sins forgiven.
When Mary weeps, each night and day
By sorrow must be riven,
Until His and her children will
Once more seek peace on Calvary’s hill.
When Mary weeps, we all must try
To dry her tears of sorrow.
When Mary weeps, we too must cry
To glimpse a brighter morrow,
When her Son’s name is recognised
And all, in love adore the Christ.
Amen

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, MAUNDY THURSDAY, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – ‘… Walk in Him …’

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – Maundy Thursday, Evening Vigil Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Readings: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14, Psalms 116:12-13, 15-18, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-15

Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not know now but afterward, you will understand.”   Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.”   Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part in me.” … John 12:7-8

john 13 8 if i do not wash you you have no part in me - maundy thursday holy 9 april 2020

REFLECTION – “Jesus, fully aware that the Father had put everything into His power and that He had come from God and was returning to God, rose from supper.”   That which had not been in Jesus’s hands before is put into His hands by the Father – not just some things and not others but everything.

David had said:  “The Lord says to my lord:  Sit at my right hand while I make your enemies your footstool” (Ps 109[110]:1).   The enemies of Jesus shared out, as it were, that ‘all’ which He knew His Father was giving Him. (…)   On account of those who were far away from God, He was separated from God who, by nature, did not wish to leave the Father.   He left God, so that all who have been separated from God, should return to God with Him, in His hands, according to His eternal design. (…)

So what was Jesus doing in washing the feet of His disciples?   By washing them and wiping them with the towel around His waist wasn’t Jesus making their feet beautiful at the moment when they were going to have to proclaim the good news?   It was then, in my opinion, that the prophetic word was fulfilled:  “How beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim good news!” (Is 52:7; Rm 10:15).   But if, by washing the feet of His disciples, Jesus makes them beautiful, how can we express the genuine beauty in those whom He immerses fully “in the Holy Spirit and in fire” (Mt 3:11)?   The feet of the apostles were made beautiful so that (…) they might set out along the holy road and walk in Him who said:  “I am the Way” (Jn 14:6).   For whoever has had his feet washed by Jesus and he alone, follows that living way that leads to the Father.   That way has no room for dirty feet! (…)   In order to follow this living, spiritual way (Heb 10:20) (…) they had to have their feet washed by Jesus who set aside His garments (…) so as to take upon His own body, the dirtiness of their feet with the towel which was His only garment, for “he bears our infirmities” (Is 53:4). … Origen (c 185-253) Father of Church, Priest, Theologian – Commentary on St John’s Gospel

the feet of the apostles were made beautiful -origen 9 april 2020

PRAYER – Love of You, with our whole heart, Lord God, is holiness. Increase then Your gifts of divine grace in us, so that, as in Your Son’s Death, You made us hope for what we believe, You may likewise, in His Resurrection, make us come to You, our final end. Listen we beg, to the prayers of Your holy ones and may the Blessed Mother walk along with us and keep our hand, ever in hers.   Through Jesus Himself, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God with You, forever and ever, amen.

mother of sorrows pray for us 16 nov 2019

Posted in MAUNDY THURSDAY, The PASSION

Maundy or Holy Thursday of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and The Seven Churches Visitation – 9 April

Maundy or Holy Thursday of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ 
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper and The Seven Churches Visitation 

last supper 1600 - 1700s jesus eucharist mass maundy thursday

Maundy Thursday begins the sacred Triduum—the holiest days of the Church year.  The liturgy reflects the beauty of the Paschal mystery and the Passover Feast of Christ.   The Triduum is a time that we walk in Jesus’ footsteps for His final hours on earth.   Personal devotions always spring up to unite the faithful’s domestic church with the liturgy of the Church but even more so during the holiest week of the year and in particular in this year of Covid19 when we are all locked down in our homes and are unable to accompany our Lord on His journey to the Cross.

At the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Gospel is John 13:1-15, Christ washing the feet of the Apostles.   The word Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum (commandment) which is the first word of the Gospel acclamation: Mandátum novum do vobis dicit Dóminus, ut diligátis ínvicem, sicut diléxi vos.   “I give you a new commandment – Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34).   At the Mass the priest washes feet of several people in imitation of Christ.maundy thursdayHoly-Thursday-For-I-Have-Set-You-An-Example-That-You-Also-Should-Do-As-I-Have-Done-To-You

The Seven Churches Visitation

seven churches

In metropolitan areas where there are more Catholic Churches, there is the popular tradition of visiting the Altar of Repose in seven local Churches.   This custom began in Rome (often credited to St Philip Neri) with visiting the seven major Basilicas of the City on Holy Thursday: St Peter’s in the Vatican, St Paul’s outside the Walls, St John Lateran, St Mary Major, St Sebastian’s, St Lawrence Outside the Walls and Holy Cross in Jerusalem.   See them all below.

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This Holy Thursday pilgrimage reflects the seven stops or “stations” during the night of Jesus’ arrest:

Jesus in the Garden in Gethsemane where He was arrested (Luke 22:39-46)
Jesus taken before Annas (John 18:19-22)
Jesus bound and taken before Caiaphas, the High Priest (Matthew 26:63-65)
Jesus taken before Pilate, the Roman governor (John 18:35-37)
Jesus goes before Herod (Luke 23:8-9, 11)
Jesus returns to Pilate (Matthew 27:22-26)
Jesus is scourged, crowned with thorns and led to His crucifixion (John 19:1-16)

The previous book of indulgences, the Raccolta, included this practice.   The suggested prayers were an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be, five times before the Altar of Repose of the Blessed Sacrament and then some private adoration and personal prayer (reflection on the scripture passages related to the “station”) before moving on to the next church.

The final Church stop can also include prayers for the Holy Father’s intentions and a longer time of adoration with Jesus in the altar of repose.   In some regions the number of churches expanded to 14 to include the entire Stations of the Cross.  Some other traditions of prayers, with the Seven Churches, is praying along with the Seven Last Words of Christ.   This year there will be many online resources and we can pray the Liturgy together in our home,s as well as, make the Seven Churches pilgrimage by reading each Gospel reading aloud and praying the prayers suggested.

May we all accompany Our Lord tonight and not leave Him alone!

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Our Morning Offering – 18 April – Jesus Christ Crucified, our Salvation

Our Morning Offering – 18 April – Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Jesus Christ Crucified, our Salvation
By St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35-c 108)
Father of the Church

Lord Jesus Christ
on the human side
You are sprung from David’s line,
Son of God, according
to God’s will and power,
born of the Virgin Mary,
baptised by John
and actually Crucified for us in the flesh,
under Pontius Pilate and Herod the Tetrach.
On the third day You raised a standard,
to rally Your saints and faithful forever,
in the one Body of Your Church.
By the grace and power of these mysteries,
fit us out with unshakeable faith,
nail us body and soul to Your Cross
and root us in love
by Your blood shed for us.
O Saviour of the world,
living and reigning,
now and forever,
amen.lord jesus christ, by st ignatius of antioch maundy thursday 18 april 2019.jpg

Posted in HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, The PASSION

Maundy or Holy Thursday – 18 April

Maundy or Holy Thursday – 18 April

The last three days of Holy Week are referred to as the Easter or Sacred Triduum (Triduum Sacrum), the three-part drama of Christ’s redemption – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.illustrated-guide-to-the-triduum-full-size.png

Holy Thursday is also known as “Maundy Thursday.”   The word maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum (commandment) which is the first word of the Gospel acclamation:

Mandátum novum do vobis dicit Dóminus, ut diligátis ínvicem, sicut diléxi vos.   “I give you a new commandment, Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34)
These are the words spoken by our Lord to His apostles at the Last Supper, after He completed the washing of the feet.   We should imitate Christ’s humility in the washing of the feet.infographic-holy-thursday.jpg

Except for the resurrection on Easter, Holy Thursday is possibly one of the most important, complex and profound days of celebration in the Catholic Church.   Holy Thursday celebrates the institution of the Eucharist as the true body and blood of Jesus Christ and the institution of the sacrament of the priesthood.last supper - maxresdefault.jpg

During the Last Supper, Jesus offers Himself as the Passover sacrifice, the sacrificial lamb and teaches that every ordained priest is to follow the same sacrifice in the exact same way.   Christ also bids farewell to His followers and prophesies that one of them will betray Him and hand Him over to the Roman soldiers.

Around the world, Bishops and priests come together at their local Cathedrals on Holy Thursday morning to celebrate the institution of the priesthood.   During the Mass, the bishop blesses the Oil of Chrism that will be used for Baptism, Confirmation and Anointing of the sick or dying.   At this Mass, the bishop washes the feet of twelve priests to symbolise Christ’s washing of His twelve Apostles, our first bishops and priests.

Later that night, after sundown – because Passover began at sundown- the Holy Thursday Liturgy takes place, marking the end of Lent and the beginning of the sacred “Triduum,” or three, of Holy Week.   This Mass stresses the importance Jesus puts on the humility of service and the need for cleansing with water, a symbol of baptism.   Also emphasised are the critical importance of the Eucharist and the sacrifice of Christ’s Body, which we now find present in the consecrated Host.

At the conclusion of the Mass, the faithful are invited to continue Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the night, just as the disciples were invited to stay up with the Lord during His agony in the garden before His betrayal by Judas.

After Holy Thursday, no Mass will be celebrated again in the Church until the Easter Vigil celebrates and proclaims the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“In spite of all this, we do not remain passive recipients of the divine goodness.   God gratifies us as personal and living partners.   The love that is given is the dynamic of “loving together,” it is intended to be a new life within us, beginning from God.   We thus understand the words that, at the end of the account of the washing of the feet, Jesus speaks to His disciples and to all of us:  “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34).   The “new commandment” does not consist in a new and difficult norm, one that did not exist before.   The new commandment consists in a loving together with Him who loved us first.”

Pope Benedict XVI – 20 March 2008 Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper

i-give-you-a-new-commandment-pope-benedict-holy-thursday-29-march-2008.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HOLY WEEK

29 March 2018 – Maundy/Holy Thursday

29 March 2018 – Maundy/Holy Thursday – The First Day of the Paschal Triduum

The History of Holy Thursday
Holy Thursday is more than just the lead-in to the events of Good Friday;  it is, in fact, the oldest of the celebrations of Holy Week.   And with good reason—Holy Thursday is the day on which Catholics commemorate the institution of three pillars of the Catholic Faith:  the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the priesthood and the Mass.   During the Last Supper, Christ blessed the bread and wine that He shared with His disciples with the very words that Catholic and Orthodox priests use today to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass and the Divine Liturgy.   In telling His disciples to “Do this in remembrance of Me,” Jesus instituted the Mass and made them the first priests.

 

Maundy Thursday:   A New Commandment
Near the end of the Last Supper, after Judas had left to arrange for the betrayal of Christ, Jesus said to His disciples, “A new commandment I give unto you:  That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  The Latin word for “commandment,” mandatum, became the source of another name for Holy Thursday: Maundy Thursday.I give you a new commandment - maundy thursday

The Chrism Mass
On Holy Thursday, the priests of each diocese gather with their bishop to consecrate holy oils, which are used throughout the year for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick.   This ancient practice, which can be traced back as far as the fifth century, is known as the Chrism Mass.

(Chrism is a mixture of oil and balsam used for the holy oils.)   The gathering of all the priests in the diocese to celebrate this Mass with their bishop stresses the role of the bishop as a successor to the apostles.

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Except in very rare circumstances, there is only one Mass other than the Chrism Mass celebrated on Holy Thursday in each church:  the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which is celebrated after sundown.   It commemorates the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion and it ends with the removal of the Body of Christ from the tabernacle in the main body of the church.   The Eucharist is carried in procession to another place where it is kept overnight, to be distributed during the commemoration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday (when no Mass is held and therefore no hosts are consecrated). After the procession, the altar is stripped bare and all bells in the church are silent until the Gloria at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.st jp the essence of our truthholy week trad