Thursday, Apr 2
I wish I could go to Holy Thursday Mass tonight. One of the kids is sick with a fever, and well, it could be a long night that could turn into a long weekend, so I’ll be heading to bed early tonight just in case I’m needed in the wee hours of Good Friday morning. I was planning to take the three older children to Mass and I was really looking forward to introducing them to the beautiful Holy Thursday liturgy. They have never been to Holy Thursday Mass and I wanted so much to share this tradition with them. I have the fondest of memories from my childhood of attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at my home parish with my folks every year on Holy Thursday. We would stay and pray before the altar of repose and then visit a couple of local churches before heading home late at night. I remember learning and feeling and knowing all at once that our church, our catholic faith, was alive and beautiful. I think I was about eleven or twelve when I came to realize that the priesthood was a gift from God and that knowledge really came alive for me in the richness of the Holy Thursday Liturgy. Not only that, but my belief in the True Presence, that Jesus himself was the Eucharist and the Eucharist was Jesus – this truth was so very real to me at the Holy Thursday Mass. Watching my pastor wash the feet of twelve parishioners was always so moving as well. How can one not be moved by such a beautiful image? The humility of Christ, and what He was teaching by serving his first priests in this way!
I suppose what all these feelings add up to could be described as deep gratitude. Faith is a gift and belief in Christ and His Church is a gift as well. Even though I can’t be at Mass tonight, I am still filled with gratitude to God for the gift of His Son Jesus, for the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood, and for the richness and beauty of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I’ll be keeping watch tonight, perhaps not in the way I had in mind. I will stay with our Lord not in front of the Eucharist, but by taking care of the little ones he’s entrusted to my care.
Have a blessed Holy Thursday and Good Friday. I’ll be taking a break tomorrow and will be back to posting on Holy Saturday. I hope you have a holy and prayerful Triduum!