I haven’t written anything here for a while, and with the Triduum beginning, I figured that I would take some time to do a little reflection on the day that’s gone by and on the season of Lent. And this is the first time I’ve done any kind of a religious reflection here since August. It’s nice to get back to talking about faith, and there’s no better time to look at it than Holy Week! And I’m gonna do one of these posts every day for Holy Week. I’ll have my reflection for Monday and Tuesday out later today.
So since February 10th, Christians all over the world have been praying, fasting, and giving alms in attempts to develop a stronger faith life in the season of Lent. I’ll save a full reflection until Lent is over, but I’d say I’ve had mixed levels of success there. I’ve taken good time to read more scripture, reflect on my college career, and figure out where God is leading me next. It’s been a fruitful time and I’ve seen growth in my life. Challenges as well, to be sure, but still fruitful.
But there is much more to follow. Holy Thursday is the start of the most holy time of the year and by some distance. Holy Thursday sees the institution of the most holy sacrament, the Eucharist. This is when Jesus was last able to enjoy a meal with his disciples before his passion. This is the start of the church in many ways. It’s one of the most powerful days of the year, and it hits me over and over again every single year.
I rarely know how to feel about Holy Thursday. It catches me in an awkward time. I’m not ready for Lent to be over when it arrives, and I’m not fully prepared for the pain and heat check that is in store with the events of the rest of the Triduum. I got that exact sentiment this year. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the events of Holy Week, and will wait to see what unfolds. Holy Thursday has given me that feeling many times before, but even stronger so this year. Why? Because I’m in my last year at BU, my last year singing in the choir at Mass at Marsh, and my last year as a full member of the BU Catholic Center. That hit home when I went up to have my feet washed.
If you’re unaware, part of the Holy Thursday Mass is a reminder of the need to be servants. This is shown with members of the congregation having their feet washed by the priest. At BU, the seniors are those who have their feet washed. I’ve seen this for years and thought “They served the CC well”. When it came time for me to go up and have my feet washed, it hit me that I have reached that same stage where others can hopefully say “He served well”.
I still got familiar chills too. I walked into St. Clements Eucharistic Shrine expecting to see the Eucharist there, as they have perpetual Adoration there. Instead, I walked in and there was no Eucharist. There was just a crucifix and an sense of mystery, with the smell of incense still lingering and hanging in the air. It’s eerie every single time. The most eerie thing is that I know important and painful things are coming. The next day is the day Jesus is to be crucified. It always has an impact on me to think of what happened to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he went after the Last Supper, to pray before he was to be killed. Cardinal Sean O’Malley had that as his reflection for Night Prayer at the Cathedral last night. That was more prevelant this year with a priest in Yemen being captured and ISIS announcing that they will crucify him on Good Friday.
This year’s Holy Thursday was certainly powerful. I have plenty more to think about and reflect on, and that’s bound to be even more true after the events of Good Friday.