Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday

Christianity gives us much to think about, much to figure out, it gives us lots of thoughts and words. But above all it gives us actions to do. Jesus, who in the agony of his last night, handed himself over once and for all to us, gave us an action as his living legacy. “Do this in remembrance of me”.

So what are we doing? Paul tells us we are showing forth the Lord’s death until he comes again. What we have to do is to put the Cross at the centre of our lives. This Cross on which God revealed his passion for us. The Lamb of God keeps us company in all our lives, the ups and downs, the hopes and fears, our joy and our pains. He is with us and for us.

Our gospel is about justice and mercy. It concerns compassion, it offers us redemption from death and self-destruction. Now, this evening, we show forth the Lord’s death and we remember that this is all about atonement. We need atonement, we need redemption, and we need the blood shared for the remission of sins. All these awesome and archaic phrases we had so easily let slip to the back of our minds, suddenly come to the fore. We are told to lift up the chalice of Christ’s blood, to do this in remembrance of him.

So what are we doing? In the Eucharist we do the act of sacrifice , of offering. We take everything we are and everything we have, we take everything Christ is and everything Christ did and we hand it all over to God at the altar as one single offering. What ever our lives, whoever we are, what ever our life experience, whatever our hopes for the future, we place it into the hands and the heart of Christ, offering him at the altar in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. We hand it up to God in this eternal cross of sacrifice. We offer ourselves and our lives for him. So first, this is an offering. We offer

Do this. What are we doing? We are receiving. We receive from God his love, his mercy, his hope and his truth. We need the grace of Communion. We need to feed on Christ, drink his life into ourselves. Let him bring life to its fullness in us. Let us feed on him in our hearts. We receive him and are nourished by his meal

Do this. What are we doing? We are sharing. We are doing it together as we are told. Christ gives us the Eucharist, this Holy Communion so that we can do something to experience the mystery of his love in actuality. The reality is that we are all one, that we are interconnected, that we are members of a single body, breathing the same breath. We are not alone or separate. In a single day on the Cross, in just two nights in the tomb, and early one Sunday morning, bound us for ever in one, in himself. So in the sharing Christ holds together all those who have gone before, all one, all held together in mercy. Together, we share

Do this. We offer. We receive. We share. This is the Bread of Life. Whoever feeds on me will never die.


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