As we enter the darkness of the Triduum we remember the night Jesus entered his passion, beginning with their remembrance of the Passover followed by his agony in the garden. This night is different because we watch how service in the midst of suffering is done; how God’s will is perfectly done through unconditional love. How Jesus “mandates” us to do this in remembrance of me.
Tonight is my favorite night of our Catholic, liturgical season – Holy Thursday. I embrace the silence that follows tonight’s Mass of the Last Supper when the tabernacle is emptied and the door left open symbolizing the emptiness we experience without Christ in our world. It is said that the Last Supper took place in the same hours of the sacrifice of the Passover lamb in the Jewish temple nearby making this more than a mere communal meal, it became a sacrificial meal. I am reminded of the times I feel the emptiness of not hearing God; His silence breaking my heart and my prayers are left unanswered. Then, I remember the words Jesus, himself, spoke, “Abba, why have you abandoned me?” He too, in his humanity, felt the emptiness of the moment, yet showed us how to perfectly trust in God, turn to Him, and never take our eyes off of Him.
I remember walking through the Garden of Gethsemene on my visit to Israel a few years back. On this particular day, the sun was shining and I had to close my eyes and picture Jesus in the midst of the olive trees, alone and consumed with what the next few hours were to bring. I imagine the shadows of the night surrounding him and I think of how the evening shadows often darken my own circumstances. Problems always seem so much heavier at night. But we see things looking back. Knowing what is to come. Knowing that dawn will bring words of hope that will forever dispel the darkness.
What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.
I will keep my promises to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die.
Lord, thank you for loving me to the very end of your life on earth. Help me to live out the next three days giving myself in service, walking with the hurt and lost, and loving those you’ve placed in my life with unconditional love…………right to the very end, in remembrance of you.