Thursday – April 5, 2012
1st Reading: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt and said, “This month is to be the beginning of all months, the first month of your year. Speak to the community of Israel and say to them:
On the tenth day of this month let each family take a lamb, a lamb for each house. If the family is too small for a lamb, they must join with a neighbor, the nearest to the house, according to the number of persons and to what each one can eat.
You will select a perfect lamb without blemish, a male born during the present year, taken from the sheep or goats. Then you will keep it until the fourteenth day of the month.
On that evening all the people will slaughter their lambs and take some of the blood to put on the doorposts and on top of the doorframes of the houses where you eat.
That night you will eat the flesh roasted at the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
And this is how you will eat: with a belt round your waist, sandals on your feet and a staff in your hand. You shall eat hastily for it is a passover in honor of Yahweh. On that night I shall go through Egypt and strike every firstborn in Egypt, men and animals; and I will even bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt, I, Yahweh! The blood on your houses will be the sign that you are there. I will see the blood and pass over you; and you will es-cape the mortal plague when I strike Egypt.
This is a day you are to remember and celebrate in honor of Yahweh. It is to be kept as a festival day for all generations forever.
2nd Reading: 1 Cor 11:23–26
This is the tradition of the Lord that I received and that in my turn I have handed on to you; the Lord Jesus, on the night that he was delivered up, took bread and, after giving thanks, broke it, saying, “This is my body which is broken for you; do this in memory of me.” In the same manner, taking the cup after the supper, he said, “This cup is the new Covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do it in memory of me.” So, then, whenever you eat of this bread and drink from this cup, you are proclaiming the death of the Lord until he comes.
Gospel: John 13:1-15
It was before the feast of the Passover. Jesus realized that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, and as he had loved those who were his own in the world, he would love them with perfect love.
They were at supper and the devil had already put into the mind of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray. Jesus knew that the Father had entrusted all things to him, and as he had come from God, he was going to God. So he got up from table, removed his garment and taking a towel, wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing.
When he came to Simon Peter, Simon said to him, “Why, Lord, you want to wash my feet!” Jesus said, “What I am doing you cannot understand now, but afterwards you will understand it.” Peter replied, “You shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you can have no part with me.” Then Simon Peter said, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”
Jesus replied, “Whoever has taken a bath does not need to wash (except the feet), for he is clean all over. You are clean, though not all of you.” Jesus knew who was to betray him; be¬cause of this he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When Jesus had finished washing their feet, he put on his garment again, went back to the table and said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another’s feet. I have just given you an example that as I have done, you also may do.”
In Jesus’ conversation at the Last Supper, the word ‘love occurs 31 time, ‘life’ 6, and ‘light’ none at all. There is however, a significant mention of ‘darkness’: “Judas left…and it was night” (Jn 13:30). It is easy to love in an atmosphere of light and joy; the test is when hardships come. A scholar describes the Last Supper discourse: “Jesus disregards himself and his suffering, and shows only love for his own and compassion for their future trials. His words, mingling tenderness, restrained melancholy and triumphant certainty of victory, are set between two actions, one of humble service (washing their feet) and the other of prayer. For all time it is a model of grace under pressure.”
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