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Thursday, April 13, 2006
Holy Thursday
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Today is the beginning of the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) where we recall God's love for us through His suffering, death, and Resurrection. Lent officially ends tonight at the beginning of the Mass. I've looked back on my Lenten experience and I'm satisfied with it. I was able to pray the Stations of the Cross every Friday of Lent except for one of them, and I've really tried to live holier during this time. I'm so thankful for God's graces!

Today is Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday. Lent officially ends tonight at the beginning of the Lord's Supper. Tonight at Mass we remember the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper as well as the institution of the priesthood. At Mass the altar is stripped down and many times all statues and images are covered in a black veil. We are approaching a time of mourning. Posting here will be very light today and tomorrow. After Mass tonight I want to spend more time in prayer recalling the Lord of Christ - that He gave up His life for each one of us. He gave Himself up to His enemies for me before I was even born!

Likewise, we recall the humility of Jesus when He washed the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper. At Mass the priest will wash the feet of twelve men. I will be one of those twelve at my parish. At the very end of the Mass, the priest also takes the Sacred Eucharist and incenses it. He then carries it around to the "altar of repose". I love this part of the Mass.

The Eucharist is only allowed to be displayed until Midnight; after that we arrive at Good Friday, and Our Lord leaves us. Tomorrow is Good Friday and it is the one day in the entire year when no Masses are said in the world. The consecration cannot take place on Good Friday since we remember Our Lord leaving us. That is why I encourage you to stay after Mass, even if it is just ten minutes, and take part in adoration of the Sacred Eucharist.
Remember that there is a Plenary Indulgence available today.

Today we commemorate several important parts in the final hours of Jesus's earthly life:

(1) The eating of the Easter lamb or the paschal meal;
(2) The washing of the disciple's feet;
(3) The institution of the Most Holy Eucharist (the first Mass at which Jesus Christ, the eternal high priest, is the celebrant; the first Communion of the apostles; the first conferring of Holy Orders);
(4) The foretelling of Judas' betrayal and Peter's denials;
(5) The farewell discourse and priestly prayer of Jesus;
(6) The agony and capture of Jesus in the Garden of Olives.

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