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HOLY THURSDAY - evening celebration
reading of the gospel
The Last Supper
I - Preparing of the Supper
(Saint Matthew 26:17-19; Saint Mark 14:12-16; Saint Luke 22:7-13)
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, the day on which the Law prescribed that the Paschal Lamb was to be sacrificed, the Disciples came to Jesus and said, “Where do You want us to go and prepare the Passover meal for You?”
Jesus sent two of His Disciples, Peter and John, saying to them, “You are the ones who will prepare the Passover for us. Go into the city. As you enter, you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him to the house where he will go; wherever he enters, you will say to the master of the house, ‘This is the message from the Master: My time is at hand; it is at your house that I will keep the Passover with My Disciples. Where is the guest chamber in which I may eat the Paschal Lamb with them?’
“Then he will show you a large cenacle adorned with carpets; there, prepare what we need.”
So they went into the city as Jesus told them. They found everything as He had said, and they prepared the Passover.
II - The legal Passover begins
(Saint Matthew 26:20; Saint Mark 14:17; Saint Luke 22:14-16)
Towards evening, Jesus came to Jerusalem with the Twelve; and when the hour had come, He sat down with them. Then He said to them, “I have ardently desired to eat this Passover with you, before I suffer; for I tell you that I will eat of it no more until it has been fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”
III - The washing of the feet
(Saint John 13:1-20)
Before the solemn day of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that the hour had come for Him to pass out of this world to His Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
The Passover supper had begun; and the devil had already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot the resolution to betray Him.
Jesus, who knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that having come forth from God, He was going to God, Jesus rose from the table, laid aside His garments, and taking a towel, wrapped it around Himself. Then He poured water into the basin and began to wash the feet of His Disciples, drying them with the towel attached to His belt.
He came to Simon Peter.
“Lord!” exclaimed Peter, “You… wash my feet?”
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,” Jesus said to him, “but you will understand later.”
“No!” protested Peter, “You shall never wash my feet!”
“If I do not wash you, you shall have no part with Me.”
Simon then replied, “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”
“He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet to be entirely clean,” replied Jesus. “And you are clean; but no, not all!”
He knew who was going to betray Him; that is why He added, “You are not all clean.”
Then, after He had washed their feet, He put on His garments and sat down again.
“Do you know what I have just done for you?” He said to them. “You call Me Master and Lord, and you say well: for so I am. If therefore I, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash the feet of one another. For I have given you an example, that in your turn you should do as I have done for you.
“Amen, amen, I say to you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is the Apostle greater than He who sent him. If you understand these things, put them into practice and you shall be blessed.
“It is not of all of you that I speak. I know the ones I have chosen. But these words of Scripture must be fulfilled: ‘He who eats bread with Me shall lift up his heel against Me.’
“I warn you now about these things before they come to pass, that after they have happened, you may believe that I am He.
“Amen, amen, I say to you: Whoever receives the one I send, receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives the One who sent Me.”
Hymn on Charity
by saint Louis Marie de Montfort
I believe it, I have to love
God hidden in my neighbor,
And God hidden in myself,
Both are all my good.
I love and I say anathema
To the heart that isn’t filled with it.
I believe it, I must love
God hidden in my neighbor.
When one loves, one knows all things;
Without love, one does nothing,
It’s the only necessity,
It’s the summary of every good,
It’s the divine character,
It’s the essence of being a Christian.
When that love is visible,
Sincere and from the heart’s depths,
He is the infallible mark
Of the love for the Creator.
One without the other is impossible,
Who denies it is a liar.
My neighbor has God as Father,
He’s bearing all His features.
He has Jesus Christ as a Brother,
He has all His charms.
He is the fruit of His Calvary,
He is the object of His blessings.
When my fellow man offends me
Or is playing a bad trick on me,
Though he may be indifferent
Even though he’d show no gratitude,
I love him patiently,
I redouble my love.
May he be holy, may he be guilty,
Let him be small, let him be king,
Let him be tough, let him be affable,
Whether he’s for me or against me.
He’s no less lovable,
When I see him through faith.
Let us love, let us love our brothers
After our Saviour’s example,
Despite all their miseries,
Despite their bad moods,
And let’s strive by our prayers
To win their hearts to God.
Let’s relieve the wretches,
Let’s protect the orphans,
Let’s convert the culprits,
Let’s repress deceitful people;
Let’s comfort the incurables,
And to all let’s lend a hand.
But most of all, let us help the souls
Who are falling into hell,
Let’s try to extinguish their flames,
Let’s try to break their bonds
Through all the blame
And in spite of the whole universe.
Listen to Jesus calling out:
Let the children come,
By My words of life
Teach the ignorant!
Without forgetting, I beg you,
The poor convalescents!
Great God, who can defend himself
From the laws of charity,
Since it brought You down
Down to our humanity?
It’s decided, I want to surrender
To its sweet authority.