Holy Week reflections are from this year’s Lenten reflection booklet, The Beauty We Must Hold Fast To: Reflections for Lent 2022. Click here to see all reflections from throughout the Lenten season. Today’s reflection is written by Anne McCarthy, OSB, Pax Christi USA’s national coordinator from 1991-94.
reflection for HOLY THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2022
by Anne McCarthy, OSB
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 | 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 | John 13:1-15
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
“Do this in memory of me.” (1 Cor 11:24)
When my mother was dying of brain cancer, my siblings and I were able to care for her at home with hospice. In that graced time, our Holy Thursday home celebration was our last meal together. Sr. Mary Grace, the pastoral associate at the parish, had left the Eucharist for us to have at home. We shared it in the midst of a meal with favorite foods and wine, scriptures and memories and stories and song. Our Dad, who had been a eucharistic minister before a stroke that took most of his speech, began the eucharistic sharing, offering his wife the host. It was an oasis in a difficult time. Sustenance in the midst of a difficult, wrenching journey. It was later a treasured memory that sustained each of us in different ways.
That goodbye, set over a meal, was of the essence of Jesus’ command to “do this” blessing, breaking and sharing bread and wine and story in the midst of life, as the essence of community.
- How have you lived Jesus’ command to do this eucharistic action?
- How might you offer this eucharistic action?
Anne McCarthy, OSB was the national coordinator of Pax Christi USA from 1991-94. She coordinates the online Monasteries of the Heart communities, co-facilitates the Listening Hearts program & is the resource person for Monasteries of the Heart in prisons. She coordinates Benedictines for Peace, leads retreats on nonviolence & monastic spirituality and has been an active member of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative.