Malvern Minute – Thursday
Malvern Minute

 

April 1, 2017 – Holy Thursday

I give you a new commandment, says the Lord: love one another as I have loved you.

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (13:1-15)

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,

he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“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.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

Reflect: If I, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. Jesus at the Last Supper, fully aware of his betrayal and his immanent passion and death, chooses to wash his disciples’ feet. Until the end, he is instructing his little flock about the need to serve. So, at the same meal, he offers the apostles his Body and Blood through the institution of the Eucharist. But he wasn’t finished.  To receive him means to model him and to become his Body for the world. As we celebrate this holy feast, Jesus invites us to not only recognize that bread and wine truly become his Body and Blood, but also to imitate his example to serve. He calls us to be his Body for the world. He calls us to bring his presence, his compassion, forgiveness, reconciliation, love, joy, hope, justice and peace to all who are in need of God’s love. We give thanks today in a special way for the gift of the priesthood; and we pray fervently for our priests, bishops and the Holy Father. But service isn’t limited to the ordained ministry. Jesus, who loves us and is with us always, asks us to transform the world through bringing his Body and Blood, his love, to a hungry, aching and wounded world – one person at a time. He calls us to be ready and willing to wash the feet of anyone who we encounter, without distinction.

Questions: How open is my heart to “wash the feet” of those who Jesus puts into my path? How is Jesus asking me to serve and to bring his body and blood to others in need? Do I recognize that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity? Did I pray for and in thanksgiving for priests today?

Pray: Loving God, thank you for gifting me with your Body and Blood. May what I receive become the source of charity and service to the world, beginning with those closest to me.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

This is the Body that will be given up for you; this is the Chalice of the new covenant in my Blood, says the Lord; do this, whenever you receive it, in memory of me.

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ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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