Maundy Thursday brings before us the profound words of Our Lord to His apostles during the Last Supper when there was a dispute among them about who was the greatest:
“The kings of the gentiles lord it over them, and they that have power over them are called beneficent. But you not so. But he that is the greater among you, let him become as the younger, and he that is the leader, as he that serveth, for which is greater, he that sitteth at table, or he that serveth? Is it not he that sitteth at table? But I am among you as he that serveth.”
By washing the feet of His apostles, the Lord showed Himself to be the humble servant. But that word “service” reminds us of another passage where He said that the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. And that was a clear reference to the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 who serves by giving His life.
It is good for us to remember, especially during these holy days, that the kind of service Jesus came to teach us is service unto death; it is offering one’s life as a sacrificial oblation to save souls from sin and hell; it is the total gift of self, regardless of consequences, knowing that by dying to self we open ourselves up to the true life.
As we celebrate these holy days, let us ask for the grace to mingle our blood with that of the Saviour, pouring out ourselves so that others may come to see the light and embrace the truth.
Then the Lord will be able to say to us one day: “You are they who have continued with me in my temptations, and I dispose to you as my Father hath disposed to mea kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom, and may sit upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”