Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Saturday
The Triduum begins with the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and ends with Vespers on Easter Sunday. The greatest event of our faith is all ONE liturgy: The Death and Resurrection of our Savior. Each celebration is enveloped in silence, even in darkness, as a reminder that it is to be continued, that ALL THREE DAYS are ONE event.
The Triduum is not a ‘story-telling’ drama recreating stories of the past; true, the Gospels relate the events as they happened, but today, the focus is on how we live these events ourselves. We are not watching ‘a game’ from the sidelines; we are at the very center of the Paschal Mystery.
On Holy Thursday, at what was to be the Last Supper with his disciples, Jesusrevealed his love by a last teaching, in words and in actions. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end…” (John 13:1). Jesus, the Servant, lovingly washes the feet of his disciples and challenges them to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:15). This challenge is also ours today.
In remembering the crucifixion and death of Jesus, Good Friday reminds us that what Jesus asks of us, he has already experienced himself – loneliness, abandonment, fear… However, he did not give in to despair but trusted his Father’s will right to the bitter end. Today, we are invited to the foot of the Cross to witness God’s ultimate expression of love and commitment to us.
During the Easter Vigil,we recall the history of the people of God on their journey as they waited longingly for the coming of the promised Messiah. BUT he is not exactly as they had expected! Jesus’ Resurrection was a totally unexpected twist in the story of a loving God, who desires all of humanity and creation to enter into his tender, merciful and loving embrace.
The Vigil liturgy is longer than the Sunday liturgy because there are more readings and it often includes the Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist as we welcome new members into the Church, reminding us of our own baptism. With these readings and the responsorial psalms, we may begin to recognize our journey in faith….
Are we ready to continue our Lenten Journey with the resurrected Christ on our way toward love and union with God now and in eternity?
Submitted by Sr. Janice Fournier, p.m.