As Maundy Thursday and Holy Week comes upon us this Holy Week, I am finding myself in a contemplative mood, with lots of philosophical dissertations occurring in my head at random times throughout my work day. If I had my way, this week would be spent in silence and reflection, however, it is not my way, so this week is filled with commuting in horrible traffic, hours on the phone with customers and insurance companies, loud children, unexpected expenses– so basically, everything the opposite of what I would prefer in this time of leading up to the annual holy spiritual pilgrimage that is Easter.
This opposite of getting what I want and prefer is probably just what Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are about, don’t you think? You see, those two Holy Days recall for us the last 24 hours before his Crucifixion, and in that time Jesus gave the disciples a new ritual, was betrayed, was tried before Rome and the Sanhedrin, and was put to the death on the cross like a common rebel. And in all of that, through his institution of the Holy Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, he said to keep doing this, keep saying this, keep on keeping on, and He would be with us, and that the wine and bread will somehow become His Body and His Blood. That this recalling of the ritual, this anamnesis, would make present again His Death upon the cross, where His blood was poured and His body broken, and that in His Death, and through our recalling (which is participation in a sense) of it, the strangehold of Death, Sin, and the Grave would be broken.
So this is more than just a cutesy day to remember the Last Supper– this is the institution of the meal that sustains the life of the world. And this meal that sustains me in the midst of all the busyness and hurriedness of mundane daily life. It’s a reminder to me that in the midst of ordinariness that God has broken into the World through Jesus Christ and through Jesus, is reconciling the world to Himself.
So yeah, it’s not quiet…but it is wholly holy.