The Holy Week Triduum begins with the Lord’s Supper/The Last Supper on Holy Thursday evening.
“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (John 13:1)
Let us listen to the Word of God as it portrays Jesus’ final act of love before his death.
With the feast of Passover at hand, Jesus knew that his time to “pass” from this world to his Father had arrived. He was also aware that Judas was planning his betrayal, so he rose from the table and proceeded to wash the feet of his disciples. Peter objected saying: “You are not going to wash my feet”; Jesus reassured him that while he did not understand what he was doing, he would understand later. Peter replied, “Not only my hands and feet but my hands and my head as well.” Afterwards, Jesus said“you are clean, but not all”-referring to his betrayer.
After returning to the table Jesus said, “Do you appreciate what I have done to you? You call me Master, for so I am; If I your Master have washed your feet, you too ought to wash one another’s feet, for I have given you an example, so that what I have done to you, you also should do.”
Continuing with the meal, Jesus appeared troubled and shaken in his inmost soul and spoke plainly: “I tell you truly, one of you will betray me.!” Amazed, the apostles looked at one another; then John who sat next to Jesus, whispered,“Who is it, Master?”
Jesus replied, “It is he to whom I give bread dipped.” After dipping some bread in the bowl, he passed it to Judas. After this, Satan took possession of him and Jesus said to him: “Do quickly, what you mean to do.” Since Judas kept the group’s funds, those at table thought that Jesus comment referred to the purchase of provisions or alms for the poor. ‘Judas left immediately and it was night.’
Jesus Institutes the Holy Eucharist:“It has been my heart’s desire to eat this Pascal Supper with you before I suffer…I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. And after receiving the cup and saying the blessing, he said: ‘This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, which is about to be shed for your sake, take it and share it among you…He also took the bread into his hands and, after saying the blessing, broke it into portions and gave it to them, saying: “This is my body, which is about to be given for your sake. Do this in memory of me’.”
Then addressing his disciples, Jesus continued, ”Only a little while longer am I with you. You will miss me…where I am going you cannot come. A new commandment I give you: love one another. As I love you, so you also should love one another. By this shall the world know that you are my disciples-by the love you have for one another.”
Jesus Bids Farewell:“Do not let your hearts be troubled! You have faith in God, have faith in me also. In my Father’s house there are many mansions…..I will come back and take you home with me that where I am you shall also be… “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Since you know me, you will also know my Father. In fact you know him now, and see him….If you love me you will treasure my commandments.”
Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit: “I will ask the Father, and he will grant you another Advocate to be with you for all time to come, the Spirit of Truth! When he comes, he will witness on my behalf. And you, too will witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.”
“At present, you are in sorrow, but I shall see you again, and then your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you….And now I am leaving the world and going home to the Father…In the world, afflictions are in store for you, but have courage, I have overcome the world.”
The Last Supper comes to an end Jesus enters the Garden of Olives to begin his Agony: “Father, your will not mine be done.”
On the header: The Last Supper.