“And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes”(Lk 22:17-18).
The institution of the Eucharist is rich with sacred mystery. A facet of it symbolizes the literal death Jesus is soon to endure. By dividing his body and blood, he separates himself from his individuality. This concept is echoed in our own Holy Week walk. We recognize Jesus is the Way; yet we fear the death of our ego. Will our own will be annihilated if we surrender? We long to be consumed by the will of the Father; yet are aware of our personal identity.
Today’s paradox is personal identification is limiting; a hindrance. Instead, we are called to Social Teachings; encouraged to be the body of Christ in the world. On Holy Thursday, we remember the new covenant, loving one another as in Christian charity, and honor it through today’s ancient foot washing rite.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:34-35).