3 Compelling Images from Maundy Thursday's Mass

While most everyone hies off on vacation during the Holy Week, our family stays put. This year is no different. Apart from going on the 7-hour trip from Makati to Lucena in the morning, the only thing we did on Thursday is attend the Holy Thursday Mass at Our Lady of Penafrancia Parish Church in Capistrano Subdivision, Lucena.

'Last Supper' by Filipino artist Joey Velasco.

This special liturgical celebration is also called Mass of the Last Supper as it commemorates the night before Jesus Christ's passion and death. For us Catholics, this is significant as this mass relates to the establishment of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist by Jesus, when he offered His body and blood for the salvation of mankind and asked us to "do this in memory of Me"--a command that we follow in every Mass.

Catholics offer candles to the Holy Sacrament.
Photo: instagram.com/sweetangel03lc
In this Mass, we also remember Jesus' washing of the Apostles' feet. Each year, on Maundy Thursday, Catholic priests the world over reenact this scene from the Bible, by washing the feet of 12 acolytes or lay people. Manila Archbishop Luis Cardinal Tagle washed the feet of former drug addicts, a policeman, and relatives of victims of extrajudicial killings. Even the Pope, first of equals in the Church hierarchy, washes and kisses the feet of 12 people on this Mass. This year, Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 prisoners.

On this blog post, I just want to share the priest's reflection on the Gospel of the washing of the apostles feet. He asked the Congregation to focus and reflect on three compelling images of Jesus Christ, God incarnate,  as we find Him in this particular Bible verses.

God who kneels

Jesus Christ knelt at the apostles' feet and washed their feet. God himself humbled himself before humans in order to cleanse them. In the same way, we must respect each other's dignity. We need to lift each other up, as Jesus did, by forgiving others and looking for the goodness in everyone.

God as a slave

In the context of the Biblical times, the servant who washes the guests' feet is the lowest of the low. Jesus Christ became the lowest of the low in Jewish society in order to cleanse humankind. In this act, Jesus had to check his ego at the door--something that we Christians need to follow. We have to give up our own sense of self and our pride in order to follow Jesus and to allow us to serve each other.

God as food

During the Last Supper, God offered himself as the bread and wine--our spiritual food. And as in physical nourishment, what we eat, we become. As we welcome Jesus Christ as our bread and wine during mass, we have to strive to become more like Him.

I'm sure there are a lot of other lessons from these verses. If you have more ideas, do share in the comments section. Share other homilies, too, from the Holy Week masses you attended.


  1. Is there anybody else who observe the Holy Week with genuine piousness?

    1. There's millions of Christians who observe the Holy Week. It would be cynical to say there's none who commemorate it with genuine piousness. And definitely, I think it's safe to say there are people who observe it with sincere intentions.


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