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Thursday, April 5, 2007

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Holy Thursday

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Psalm 116
John 13:1-15

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ultimate freedom

"This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the Lord, as a perpetual institution." —Exodus 12:14

The Passover was a celebration of freedom from slavery. The new Passover, the Eucharist, is also a celebration of freedom. However, after the Last Supper Passover celebration, all the apostles abandoned Christ, Peter denied Him three times, and Judas sold the Lord for thirty pieces of silver. By these sins, the apostles showed they were not free but manipulated by the evil one.

Yet Jesus was truly free. He was the only One at the Last Supper Who was free — free enough to wash the feet of those whom He knew would abandon, deny, and sell Him. Jesus did the work of a slave, although He alone was not a slave. Jesus' amazing freedom extended not only to foot washing but even to giving Himself, His body and blood, to all who would receive Him. Jesus had the freedom to do this, even knowing this was "the night in which He was betrayed" (1 Cor 11:23). Jesus' freedom extended into infinity when He was free to forgive us even while He hung on the cross (Lk 23:34) and free to die for us, who were His executioners due to our sins.

"That is why, if the Son frees you, you will really be free" (Jn 8:36). Receive freedom; receive Jesus; receive Communion daily.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I want to receive You in Holy Communion every day of my life.

Promise:  "If I washed your feet — I Who am Teacher and Lord — then you must wash each other's feet." —Jn 13:14

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Servant of all, Who teaches us how to love and how to receive Him.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Freeing People for Christian Community on audio AV 76-3 or video V-76.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006

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