March 28. Holy Thursday.  Are the days of offering sacrifice according to tradition past?  Is there a new way of self-giving to come?  They had wanted to make him their leader and king but he had refused. “I am no leader of a rebel army,” he told them.   “My way is different and for this I will be made to suffer.  These words are my message to you.  ‘Greater love has no one than to lay down his life for his friends. Be one as the Father and I are one.  Love one another as I have  loved you.  Know that I will be with you. Call it a people’s way, a fraternal, synodal way.”  They knew his life was at risk and he would not be with them much longer.  He could be arrested, tortured, killed when the agents of the power-hungry found him.  Those men saw him as a trouble-maker, who was taking up the cause of the poor and dispossessed against abuse by the wealthy.  Striving for the values, dignity and rights of each human person his way was against control of the strong over the weak. He pleaded for the concern of the rich and strong for the poor, marginalised and hurting ones, for families old and young.  

He had given them his vision, given them himself, this motley bunch from all sectors of society, young families, middle-aged and old men and women, sick and healthy, rich and poor.  “Blessed are the pure in heart, the merciful, those who hunger and thirst for justice, the poor in spirit. Blessed are you when from the love you experience, which is God’s love, you can reach out and share my love with others.”  They knew they were still at the beginning of a journey for life, but they were ready to live out his manifesto, his beatitudes. This is a special day for the priesthood, when they renew their commitment at the Chrism Mass which is symbolised later by the washing of the feet at the Mass of the Last Supper which commemorates the institution of the Eucharist.

Read, reflect, share and pray. Where true love is dwelling God is present there. So when we are gathered together let us strive to keep our minds free of division. May there be an end to malice, strife and quarrels and let Christ our God be dwelling here among us. Ubi Caritas.   Pope Francis: creation is of the order of love. God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things.  LS 77. Choose appropriate action. and pray for all clergy on this day as they rededicate themselves to their ministry.