The Last Supper

On Holy Thursday, the gospel for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper held in the evening provides the account of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet.  Many people naturally reflect on the feelings Jesus might have experienced at this time.  The Gospel directly relates the thoughts of Jesus:  “Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and loved them to the end.” (John 13:1).  What would it be like to know your fate in advance, not just for yourself, but for all of humanity–the people who were, the people who are, and the people (like us) who are yet to come?  The beautiful, simple song by Jacques Berthier, “Jesus, Remember Me,” has one line of lyrics:  “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.”  How heavy and deep the night/morning between Holy Thursday and Good Friday must have been.  We were all part of the Lord’s Passion.  Yes, we take part in it each year through the grace of Mass, but Jesus also held each one of us in His heart as He endured His passion, remembering us as He came into His kingdom.
And what were the thoughts of Peter entering this pivotal point in time?  He could not have been completely aware of what was happening.  According to the Gospel, his attention was focused on the reason for Jesus washing his feet.
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him. “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” (John 13: 6-7).
What was it like to be Peter or any one of the disciples?  They understood who Jesus was but the gravity of the circumstances was still so incomprehensible at that “last supper,” it must have been difficult to grasp.  They locked themselves in a room after Jesus was crucified because they were afraid, but they almost all became martyrs for their faith later on.  Surely, Jesus knew what He was telling Peter when He said Peter might not understand what He was doing now, but he would in the future.  The account of the Lord’s Supper is a beautiful example of how much Jesus loved and loves us right from the beginning of His passion.  He has always been with us and will never leave us throughout our journey and He will have patience when we “know not what [we] do” because He knows we will learn from every step we take and grow ever closer to Him, just as His disciples did.

Hope and Trust

Have you ever noticed that the themes of Hope and Trust normally are paired together? These two themes also tend to point us to the Lord and the promise of happiness. If we place our trust in the Lord we will be blessed. The readings today focus on trust and hope, pointing out the difference between one who places his or her trust in earthly possessions and one who places his or her trust in Lord.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.” –Jeremiah 17:7
 
The Gospel makes a comparison between a rich man and a poor man, Lazarus. The rich man was rewarded during his time on earth, as opposed to Lazarus who received his reward in heaven. I must admit when I was younger I would read this passage and focus more on the rich man. I focused more on the fear that I might end up suffering the same fate as the rich man instead of focusing on the inspiring story of Lazarus. As humans, I think it is easy for us to fall prey to fear, and by doing so we lose sight of the hope that the Lord is really trying to show us. For the first time, I was able to read this passage without fearing I would endure the fate of the rich man. The truth is that our Lord is calling us to grow and draw closer to Him by asking us to place all our trust in Him. By doing so we will never have to worry about successfully enduring the hardships of this earthly life or even ending up like the rich man in the afterlife. We can be like the tree in the first reading from Jeremiah: “In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit.” The reason why the themes of trust and hope are always paired together is because by placing our trust in the Lord we are promised the gift of hope, the hope of eternal life with Him and in Him.