14 April 2022 – Maundy Thursday (Thursday of the Lord’s Supper) (Year C)

by Fr Francis Anthony


Exodus 12:1-8,11-14
Psalm 115:12-13,15-18
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-15

Theme: Let Us Serve With Humility



Dear friends,

We are celebrating the most important feast in the Christian church, not only the Catholics. We are celebrating the intensity of God’s love for us. It is not I am loving God and it is shown very beautifully in the whole liturgy and in the Opening Prayer that we had, the text says:

that we may draw from so great a mystery the fullness of charity and of life, the fullness of love and life.

And this is the Opening Prayer for today and what is happening is we are recalling the last days of Jesus. We are coming to the climax of Jesus becoming man. Yes, God created the world just by word but when it came to our salvation, He sent His only Son to redeem us, to save us from sin, to give us life and most of all, to teach us the way we should live a life of love.

Today is Maundy Thursday or the Holy Thursday and we are celebrating on this day two great Sacraments:-

  1. The institution of the Holy Eucharist.
  2. The institution of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

On this day, Jesus who knew he was leaving us, he was not wanting to leave us orphans. He wanted his service to continue. And that is demonstrated in the episode of the washing of the feet (we had in the Gospel).

This was not showing how humble Jesus is. No. And so I must be humble. It is showing what it means to love, to do things that is not normal. To do things and act not the way I think. And the Gospel text it says, “Yes, you called me Lord and Master. Yes, I am.” That one sentence there is fully loaded in aesthetical understanding, Lord is the one who rules, Master is the one who teaches and the ‘I Am’ (Call me Lord, Master and that is what I am, I am God).

For us just reading in English, we will say ‘I am’. But if we look into the Greek, then it is the meaning, the ‘I Am’.

It is God who is teaching us what it is to be able to serve. And serving is not a limit – how long must I love, how long must I forgive, how long must I share. No, it is completely self-giving.

And Jesus here in the text after blessing the bread and the wine, he said:

Do this in memory of me.

‘Do this in memory of me’, that is what the Priests are doing and we are keeping the memory of the Last Supper. Jesus has come to the second last day of his life. This is Thursday, Friday and the next day he dies. And it is coming as a crown of his ministry among us. ‘Do this in memory of me.’ Jesus there sitting with his disciples and is telling them, do this, not only this taking the bread and wine, all that I have done to you, all that you have seen me as my disciples. You carry on doing it and that is reflected on us. That Jesus is telling us we make him alive and present in the world by they way we act and live.

Yes, Christ is gone. He is in the world today through us. We are the disciples of Christ. So it is a responsibility. We always speak of the priesthood. Today, yes it is the priesthood of the Orders but in the scriptures we will also read the priesthood of the laity. All of us are priests. That means to say the role of the priest among the many is to be able to be a person between God and mankind, between mankind and God and trying to reach out and linking both of them. And in this way, the priesthood of the laity, when we behave and act like how Christ behaved and acted, then you will see the important role that you have. You are not an ordained priest.

Now coming to the ordained priest. It is their role to sanctify the people. Yes, the priests, through the powers they receive at the ordination. The reason is to make the people holy, bringing them to God, linking them with God, making God present in their lives. And that is what we have in all the 7 Sacraments. The priests bringing the love of God, the concern of God, the mercy of God and through that the priests’ role is, as I said, to make the people holy, to make the people to be the disciples of Jesus who lived in dignity.

And also today, it is the priest day. It is an opportune time for all of us to pray for our priests. Yes, if you look Father had to say the Chinese Mass. That should trigger what is happening, not to the church but to MY church. Let us own the church. What is happening to my church?

On a great feastday, we have Mass in a language but the Celebrant is not speaking that language.

So let us pray for various reasons. Somehow or other, the vocation is dropping. And those who are in it, many of them are not able to be active. So pray that the church would flourish with number of vocation to the priesthood, to the religious life. And that our schools, you can look for yourself, that our schools, and I mean the Catholic schools, the Convent and the La Salle brothers, would be flourishing and be able to give us that direction of faith.

My dear friends, as i said, today we celebrate the love of God. Let us ask God to bless each one of us and that love grow in us, whatever be the hardship. Look at the First Reading in the Book of Exodus, how the people had to prepare and to leave Egypt to go to the Promised Land. Though God was guiding them, they had to face hardship. In a similar way, we wanting to be with Christ, wanting to be his disciples, we will have difficulties. But let us not forget God is with us.

Do this in memory of me – that all of us take a resolution, in our own small way we will make Jesus present in this Parish. I don’t mean inside the church but where you come from, in your neighbourhood, by your love, by your kindness, by your willingness to share your life with them just as Jesus is sharing his life with us.

Click below to listen to homily and watch video:


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