LENT DAY 38 - MAUNDY THURSDAY (April 5)
"While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. 'Take it,' he said, 'this is my body.' Then he took a cup, gave thanks to God, and handed it to them and they all drank from it. Jesus said, 'This is my blood which is poured out for many, my blood which seals God's covenant." (TEV 22-24)
Do you remember the first time you took part in this sacred meal? I do. It was on a day just as this, a Maundy Thursday, when I was 12 years old. I remember a special feeling of warmth and presence - of being wrapped in God's arms of love. What has happened to that feeling over the years? It has been trivialized through routine.
Ritual should NOT become routine. It need not become ordinary and lose its sense of awe. We have the opportunity to regularly remember Christ's continuing presence in our lives - to remember he died for us, body and blood. How can I better remember? First, to give thanks! To come to the table with thanksgiving and praise! (And not agonizing at the LENGTH of the "Great Prayer of Thanksgiving"!) And second, to ask myself, what am I bringing to Christ's table? Am I bringing an open heart every time, free of details and lists, free of criticism, free of preoccupation? I need to come to Communion with a heart free to receive the love of God. Then the sacred ritual will again infuse me with the Holy Spirit. Then I will better be able to REMEMBER.