Holy Thursday: Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Do you realize what I have done for you? (John 13:12)

It’s amazing the number of significant events that occurred on Holy Thursday. In fact, this is probably one of the most eventful and significant days in Jesus’ entire life!

Here’s a list of just some of the important things that Jesus did on this day:

• He washed the apostles’ feet and told them to wash each other’s feet.
• He instituted the Eucharist.
• He instituted the priesthood.
• He identified his betrayer.
• He identified Peter’s special role as the one who would “strengthen” his brothers (Luke 22:32).
• He endured the agony in the garden.
• He was arrested.
• He was subjected to a mock trial and abuse from the Sanhedrin.
• He spent the night in prison, awaiting his execution the next day.

In addition, Jesus also gave us new teachings:

• He gave us the new commandment to love one another.
• He called us his friends.
• He promised to send the Holy Spirit to help us live out his commands.
• He prayed that we all might be one.

Everything Jesus did that day was tied to his plan for the Church. He wanted all his people for all time to be grounded in the Eucharist, in a priesthood of service, in unity, and in love. And he promised to send the Holy Spirit to help us do all that he asked of us.

Surely this was a bittersweet day for Jesus. But as painful as it was, Holy Thursday was also a day filled with love. Jesus did all of this because he loved us—“to the end” (John 13:1). So let’s remember what has happened. Let’s spend the day pondering everything Jesus has said and has done. Let’s treasure it. And let’s celebrate it.

“Thank you, Jesus, for loving me to the very end. Thank you for calling me your friend and inviting me to help you build your Church.”

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18
1 Corinthians 11:23-26