Holy Thursday: Sacrament, Not Mystery

Holy Week is rolling to its climax day by day. Its first three days are full of tension, whilst Holy Thursday sticks out of the week because it carries a different mood, which is sad, bright, and pure at the same time. The Church commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and his disciples on Holy Thursday. The Lord established the Sacrament of Eucharist on the eve of his Passion and death on the Cross.

Prior to that, the Lord shows his love and genuine humility to his disciples: He washes their feet at the outset. His humility didn’t abase him, and it won’t be shameful for anyone else who does the same.

Immediately after that, the Lord talks with his disciples and reveals to them – the people who were his most intimate friends at the time – the truth about himself. The Lord tells them of his mission on earth, of his future suffering, and instructs them on how they should behave after He departs. The main theme of his conversation is Love. He repeats words “Love ye one another” more than once.

Jesus also tells his disciples that they are his friends!

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. (John 15:14-15).

Perhaps, it’s very important for us to realize one day that we don’t have a special Eucharistic mystery, which only a narrow circle of adepts knows. The Lord reveals himself to everyone equally: both infants and priests. He gives to everyone all that He can give: himself and the eternal life.

Every time we partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, we become true participants of the Last Supper and Jesus’s friends. You bet it’s very pleasant to realize that you’re a friend of Christ. It is a huge responsibility, at the same time.

Remain with God when He Is Lonely

I suppose everyone knows the feeling when you can hardly stay awake. Your body aches, your eyelids are too heavy, and your conscience turns off. It seems that you have closed your eyes a minute ago, while in fact you fell asleep and the reality is mixed with dreams in your brain.

A friend of mine posted a couple of pages from Zinaida Mirkina’s book You or Me? on Facebook. The text was about the three closest disciples whom the Lord took with him to the Gethsemane Garden after the Last Supper. He asked them for just one thing: tarry ye here, and watch with me. (Matthew 26:38). However, the disciples were too exhausted and fell asleep. Each of them could hear the Lord telling them something but they were unable to fend off sleep. Meanwhile, Christ was extremely lonely, asking his Father tearfully to let this cup pass from him.

Here I am alone in front of you. There is no one with me. Only You share my loneliness, just like I share yours.

I keep catching myself thinking that my reality is like a dream, and that there is Someone calling me by name while I can’t help sleeping. It appears to me that I am asleep at that crucial moment of his loneliness, even though I’d like to be his friend.

It is amazing that the Church still makes it possible for us to be with God in his loneliness.

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