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Maundy Thursday

2009 April 9
by Gordon Reid

16atfootwashingThe Last Supper Рbut the First Mass.  Or is it?

This week in St Clement’s has been one of rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal. Not for me (the M.C’s have either given up on me or else they think I can “wing” it on the night!) but for the servers and choir and all who will take part in the Triduum.

In a way, the Last Supper was the rehearsal for the Sacrifice. The Body of Christ was in the Upper Room in all three of its modes of being: the body of the person of God the Son, the bread of the Thanksgiving, and the faithful disciples. But it took the Crucifixion to put the match to the firework, and then the rocket took off and on Easter day exploded over the cosmos in the glory of the Resurrection.

That same glory takes off in every Mass, where the three modes of the Body of Christ are again present: the glorified Body of Christ in Heaven, the sacramental Body of Christ on the altar, and the Body of Christ sitting in the pews. The Blessed Sacrament is the narrow neck of the hour-glass, through which the dynamism of the life of the Trinity pours into the faithful disciples, making them “other Christs”.

So out we go into Philadelphia (or Dallas, or Edinburgh, or Calcutta) to live like Christ – and that will always include Crucifixion moments. But though we have to get down and dirty in the gutter, we can at any moment lift up our hearts and eyes and see the sky bursting with the Resurrection fireworks.

There are always feet to be washed – but then we get to party – here and in Heaven.

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