On Holy Thursday Our Lord's heart was bursting with love for his followers.

Thursday, 4/13/17

As followers of Jesus let’s look at the love he had for his followers on Holy Thursday. In Luke’s Gospel we read where Jesus said, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” But if we translate literally when Luke quoted Jesus as saying, it is much stronger. Jesus actually said, “With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you.” 

When we receive Jesus in Holy Communion we love him as much as we can. In his saying that he eagerly desired to be with us, Jesus was saying that he longed for the intimacy he would feel when he came to you and me in Communion. It was like a future groom longing to be one with his beloved. 

What might Jesus have been feeling as he washed the feet of each of his disciples? St. John described how Jesus felt as he was taking off his outer robe, preparing to wash their feet. John wrote, “Having loved his disciples, he loved them to the end.” He handled each man’s feet lovingly.

Then, after the meal he gave his disciples the special commandment of loving one another: “This is my commandment, that you love one another.” 

How much did he want them to love one another? You know the answer to that. They had t love one another as much as he loved them. That should tell us that at that moment Our Lord’s heart was bursting with love for them.

Then, how much deep disappointment did he feel when he asked, “Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”


Speaking of the death by which Jesus saves us, St. Paul, in Romans, 6:10, wrote,  “As to is death, he died to sin.”

Since all sins are acts of selfishness, we might read that cryptic phrase as saying, “He died to selfishness.” The dearest thing to me is my self. That holds for you and your self. It held for Jesus. In contemplating Jesus on Good Friday we must sadly attend to the string of submissions by which he surrendered his dear self to abuse.

In the Garden, with his sweat becoming like drops of blood, he surrendered his self, saying, “Father, not my will but yours be done.”

That self next submitted to being left alone when his disciples all fled. It submitted to being blindfolded and mocked by the servants of the High Priest.

If you were ever spanked as a child, you might recall, as I still do, the stunning humiliation that spanking inflicted on your whole self. So, in reading about how the soldiers scourged Jesus, that childhood memory might help you know what it did to Jesus, not only to his back, but to his private self.

Added to that, was his humiliation when the soldiers laughingly turned him into the king of fools, wrapping a robe around his bleeding shoulders, and crowning him with thorns. 

Through all this we must keep in mind what Matthew quoted Jesus as saying in 26:53, that at any moment he could have called on the Father, and he would have protected him with twelve legions of angels.

The soldiers, as part of preparing to crucify him, robbed that dear self of all dignity by stripping him naked for the amusement of the crowd.
     
In having his wrists and ankles nailed to the cross, the pain of it was secondary to that self’s final loss of the ability to again move and act. 

When he said, “It is finished,” what was finished was a life of self-denial the like of which the world will never again witness. 

On Holy Thursday Our Lord's heart was bursting with love for his followers. 


Thursday, 4/17/14

As followers of Jesus let’s look at the love he had for his followers on Holy Thursday. In Luke’s Gospel we read where Jesus said, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” But if we translate literally when Luke quoted Jesus as saying, it is much stronger. Jesus actually said, “With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you.” 

When we receive Jesus in Holy Communion we love him as much as we can. In his saying that he eagerly desired to be with us, Jesus was saying that he longed for the intimacy he would feel when he came to you and me in Communion. It was like a future groom longing to be one with his beloved. 

What might Jesus have been feeling as he washed the feet of each of his disciples? St. John described how Jesus felt as he was taking off his outer robe, preparing to wash their feet. John wrote, “Having loved his disciples, he loved them to the end.” He handled each man’s feet lovingly.

Then, after the meal he gave his disciples the special commandment of loving one another: “This is my commandment, that you love one another.” 

How much did he want them to love one another? You know the answer to that. They had t love one another as much as he loved them. That should tell us that at that moment Our Lord’s heart was bursting with love for them.

Then, how much deep disappointment did he feel when he asked, “Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

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