About Today

The Last Supper by Francisco Ribalta [Public domain]

Holy Thursday

“When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?’ You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you (John 13:12-15).[1]

Today, while the Lectionary pauses from the Servant songs of Isaiah on Holy Thursday, the Gospel reading from John continues the theme of servanthood. Jesus, knowing his hour has come, gives and performs a new commandment. [2] In the washing of feet and the sacrament of the Eucharist, we see, “the same mystery of a divine expression of love.”[3] Those who believe in Jesus, beginning with Peter and the disciples in the Upper Room, are commanded to do the works that he does; participating in the Divine Supper, serving one another, and seeking to unify the scattered children of God. When they do these things, Jesus promises that He and his Father will come and dwell with them.

Some years ago, Pope Francis told representatives of Orthodox churches and other Ecclesiastical communities: “There is much that we can do to benefit the poor, the needy and those who suffer, and to favour justice, promote reconciliation and build peace. But before all else we need to keep alive in our world the thirst for the absolute, and to counter the dominance of a one-dimensional vision of the human person, a vision which reduces human beings to what they produce and to what they consume: this is one of the most insidious temptations of our time.”[4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “John, The Gospel According to.”
[2] Adrian Nocent, OSB, The Liturgical Year: Lent & Holy Week (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1977), 202-220.
[3] John Paul II, Homily, April 17, 2003.
[4] Francis I, Address, March 20, 2013.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Liturgy of the Hours for December 08