Archbishop Banda’s Holy Thursday – 2018

Today, we begin the Easter Triduum – the three days when we recall and remember the great events of our salvation in Jesus Christ – His crucifixion, death, burial and Resurrection. Tonight we trek back into our history, to the Cenacle – the Upper Room, where on this Holy Thursday Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the Priesthood.

In this holy night, Jesus showed us His perfect love. He offered Himself totally and completely without reservations. It was a love which entailed sacrifice – both at the altar of God and at the altar of humanity. At the altar of God, He broke Himself completely in the breaking of bread and ultimately on the Cross. At the altar of humanity, He humbled Himself to take up our human nature and ultimately like a servant went onto His knees to wash away the feet of His disciples. This is an act of modesty service.

Therefore the Passover He celebrated is about sacrifice – that self offering on the cross. The priesthood He inaugurated is about service – being at the service of each other, washing away one another’s feet. The Eucharist and the Priesthood flow from the other. There is no Eucharist without a Priest, and a Priest without the Eucharist is incomplete.

Our Lord, offers Himself in the service of humanity. In this commemoration we are invited to sacrifice ourselves in the service of God and neighbour. Let us offer all our pride, infidelities, inconsistencies, insinuations, innuendoes etc. We have walked far and wide from the presence of God. We have walked away on account of our prejudices, envy and jealousy. We have walked away because of malice and wickedness. Our feet are soiled and dirty from travelling.

We need cleansing, purification and deliverance from all that deters our spiritual growthand freedom in the Lord. Hence, the need to wash our feet so that we may have communion with the Lord at the Eucharistic Table (Passover meal). Cleansing,purification and deliverance may also entail keeping away from bad company. Bad company is a danger to our spiritual growth.

It is said: “Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships”. Again it is said: “If you run with wolves you will learn how to howl”. However, “If you associate yourself with eagles, you will learn how to fly to greater heights”. Remember, “A mirror reflects a person’s face, how beautiful and cute someone has made himself or herself to look like. Save for what he or she really is; it is shown by the kind of friends he or she chooses”. On this score our Lord adds, “You shall know them by the fruits they bear”.

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