Today’s Thoughts: In his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis writes, “If we are to share our lives with others and generously give of ourselves, we also have to realize that every person is worthy of our giving. Not for their physical appearance, their abilities, their language, their way of thinking, or for any satisfaction that we might receive, but rather because they are God’s handiwork, his creation. God created that person in his image, and he or she reflects something of God’s glory. Every human being is the object of God’s infinite tenderness, and he himself is present in their lives. Jesus offered his precious blood on the cross for that person. Appearances notwithstanding, every person is immensely holy and deserves our love. Consequently, if I can help at least one person to have a better life, that already justifies the offering of my life. It is a wonderful thing to be God’s faithful people. We achieve fulfilment when we break down walls and our heart is filled with faces and names!”
These words of Pope Francis reflect the spirit of this most holy day that we celebrate. Yes, Holy Thursday is about the institution of the Eucharist. Yes, Holy Thursday is a special day for priests as we look to this day as a starting point for our life and ministry as priests. Yes, Holy Thursday is a day when we remember the beginning of Christ Passion which will lead to his Death and Resurrection. Yes, Holy Thursday is about a meal, Christ’s last meal and a meal that calls us to remember the history of our faith as God’s people released from slavery and beginning a journey to freedom.
Today, from my perspective is also about service, about looking beyond ourselves to the gift of God within us and sharing that gift. Pope Francis reminds us that all of us are God’s handiwork. All of us reflect the glory of God.
It was on this day that Jesus showed his infinite tenderness by washing the feet of his friends and by sharing himself in the Eucharist. It was intimacy, tenderness and a gift that defined Jesus life and ministry. As Pope Francis reminds us, it is this very way of life that Jesus calls us to as people of the Gospel.
While this is no ordinary Holy Thursday and the great liturgy will only be available to most of us on TV or the internet I pray that this Holy Thursday nay truly help us to break down the walls and open our hearts that they may be filled with face and names!
Have a blessed, holy, safe and healthy Holy Thursday everyone and please give a little time to God before the day is over!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...