Si bien toda la Semana Santa es muy especial, Jueves Santo es mi favorito de la mayoría. While the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and we observe the incredible symbolism of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, it is the solemn adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that follows the Mass that brings so much joy and meaning to me.
I liken the after Mass adoration hours to the hours on the Mount of Olives in the garden of Gethsemane. "Luego, después de cantar un himno, they went out to the Mount of Olives… to a place called Gethsemane” (Mt 26:30, 36). Cuando estaba en la Tierra Santa el año pasado, we saw a relief sculpture on an outside wall near the Cenacle area where the Last Supper was held. En la obra de arte, Jesus and the disciples were holding torches and walking across the Kidron Valley toward Gethsemane. We retraced those steps, caminando por el mismo camino a través del valle de Cedrón hacia Getsemaní. Jesus told the disciples to stay with him while he prayed, para vigilar y orar; pero se quedaron dormidos. “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Velad y orad para no caer en la prueba. The spirit is willing, pero la carne es débil " (Mt 26:40-41). I recall as a youngster the solemn adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was held all through the night of Holy Thursday until the morning of Good Friday. (Durante los años, the hours of solemn observance were changed so as not to go past midnight.) En mi parroquia, St. Patrick está en Onalaska, we had the custom of having altar servers take shifts through the night. I had always signed up for hours in the middle of the night – like at 2 o 3:00 por la mañana. I’d get up and ride my bike to church in the stillness of the night, deslizarse en la entrada lateral, chaleco con el atuendo de los servidores, and take my place at the altar of reservation that had been so beautifully decorated by the parish sisters. I would silently read the passion accounts over and over imagining what may have been going on at such and such a time – the betrayal and arrest in the garden, Jesús ante Pilato, La negación de Pedro, etc. It was so still and quiet in the church at that hour; tal vez yo sería solo o con sólo uno o dos más. But I never felt alone or afraid. Yo estaba, literalmente, en la presencia del Señor - y yo estaba decidido a mantenerse despierto, para vigilar y orar.
I continue the practice of keeping the vigil hours of solemn adoration on Holy Thursday evening. Sin embargo, mi enfoque y la meditación ha cambiado. En particular, Contemplo el Lavatorio de Pies. In that moment of simple servanthood, Jesús nos demostró un total de llamadas al servicio, “If I your Lord and Master, os he lavado los pies, ¿cuánto más debe lavarse los pies unos a otros " (cf. Jn 13:14). Paraphrasing a meditation by Bishop Morneau, Jesus challenges us who are with him at the Eucharistic table and who stay awake with him watching and praying; para aceptar la llamada para alimentar a los hambrientos, clothe the naked, y tienden a aquellos que necesitan un toque sanador. Our Holy Thursday celebration has the power to transform our lives!
Diácono Richard Sage