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Thursday, April 20, 2000

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Holy Thursday

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Psalm 116
John 13:1-15

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"how beautiful...are the feet..." (is 52:7)

" 'If I do not wash you,' Jesus answered, 'you will have no share in My heritage.' " —John 13:8

Today we begin the Triduum, about seventy hours of prayer, followed by the Easter season, fifty days of celebrating the risen Christ. Today, in this Great Jubilee, we begin one of the most important times in our lives.

By going to the Mass of the Last Supper tonight, we are deciding to have our feet washed. Even if our feet are not washed at this Mass, we are still deciding by our presence to have our feet washed. We decide to do this because otherwise we "will have no share" in Jesus' heritage (Jn 13:8). The foot-washing means we accept fully our heritage from Jesus. We accept the eucharistic Jesus, eternal life, the cross, the Church, the Sacraments, the Bible, peace, freedom, holiness, discipline, self-denial, and love.

To receive our full Christian heritage, we must center our life on our eucharistic Lord and desire to receive Him daily and deeply in the covenant love of Holy Communion. "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ Himself" (Priests, Vatican II, 5, quoted in Catechism, 1324). Try to go to Mass daily. Make frequent visits to Church to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Pray a Holy Hour as often as possible before our eucharistic Lord. Receive your full heritage. After all, Jesus has washed your feet.

Prayer:  Father, deepen greatly in the next seventy hours my love for the body and blood of Jesus.

Promise:  "The Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread, and after He had given thanks, broke it and said, 'This is My body, Which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.' " —1 Cor 11:23-24

Praise:    Praise the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus!

Reference:  (For more teaching, order our book, This Is My Body.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999