Holy Thursday, 12.4.2012
1 Cor 11/23-32;Luc 22/1-23
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I want to meditate with you, on this Easter night, on the mystery of God’s love to us, through the following four points:
- It is the Thursday of the Sacraments, during which our Lord culminates His life on the Eve of His passion, offering Himself for us, through the Eucharistic Gifts that is the bread and wine. He established the mystery of Holy Eucharist, which summarizes the path of humanity towards this hour, during which He saves mankind from sin and liberates it with His death and resurrection. Through Holy Eucharist we thank and praise Him for the life and salvation He gave us. In this way, we glorify the Father through the spirit that makes us participate in this symposium of the bread of life.
- It is the Thursday of the washing of the feet, which clearly shows, that Jesus Christ, the King of Kings leaned towards our sinful humanity. Let us remember that He himself leaned during His incarnation and was born in a place full of humility. He, himself entered Jerusalem riding a donkey and was welcomed by the pure and the righteous. And on this night, he completes the ceremony of the washing, in order to give an example to His disciples, to all of us, that love is expressed with service and the most prominent should be the first servant. In this mystery of His love we were baptized Christians to serve humanity.
- It is the Thursday during which our Lord established priesthood. He is Himself the priest of the New Testament. All baptized participate in His priesthood through baptism. Some are called to serve the community through the priesthood of the altar, celebrating the Holy Eucharist and the other mysteries. The presence of priests in the world shows God’s mercy towards humanity. Because of the presence of priests in human societies, the faith within the community is testified. Jesus continues to invite young people to follow Him. My youth, open your hearts to hear His voice and accept Him.
- It is the Thursday during which we renew our faith in front of this huge mystery of His love towards us. Let us be honest with ourselves, let us be consistent to our baptism and Christian mission. Let us search deep inside to realize what kind of faith we live: Is it a temporary faith? Is it faith received from the family and society without any personal or deep commitment? Is it a faith in which we exercise some external religious ceremonies without considering that we adore the Living God who loves us and requests from us only to love Him? Let us renew our faith, let us apologize in front of the generosity of His love. Let us meet the challenges of faith in today’s world, because life in Christ today, tomorrow and for ever is the greatest and most beautiful gift ever. To Him be Glory for Ever. Amen
Nicosia, 12 April 2012
† Youssef Soueif
Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus