Friday, March 30, 2018

HOLY THURSDAY Mass of the Lord’s Supper March 29, 2018

HOLY THURSDAY   Mass of the Lord’s Supper      March 29, 2018

“During supper, 
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power 
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,   ….”
          What did Jesus feel at that moment?    fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power 
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,”….
          That must have been a fantastic, wonderful, special sensation.  A feeling of great harmony, of unfathomable peace, of tremendous power.  God the Father had put everything into His power.   More than that, Jesus was fully aware of Who He most deeply was, that he had come from God and was returning to God.
          To say that Jesus was at the top of his game would be a gross under statement of the phenomenal, fantastic, self-realization of Jesus.   fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power 
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,”…
          And so, what is Jesus going to do with this fantastic realization of His special relationship with God the Father?   He could do anything!  There were no limits.  No barriers.  Nothing to hinder him at all.  He could do anything.
          And what did He do?  “he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.”
          That is what Jesus did.  Fully aware of His unique and special relationship with the source of all being, all power, all potentiality, Jesus rose and took off his outer garments.
I believe this to be a highly symbolic act in the highly symbolic Gospel of John. 
          What was Jesus symbolizing in removing His outer garments?  For Jesus was not just taking off cloths, not just removing his dinner jacket, loosening his tie and getting comfortable.  No.
          He was symbolizing something much deeper.  Jesus was shedding Himself of any defensiveness.  Of any sense of worldly protection.  Fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God, Jesus let go of any and all human defense, any human concern for dignity or protection, any human claim to importance or being special, and in its place relied fully and exclusively on God.  //          Just as Jesus would be forcibly stripped of His clothes the following day at His crucifixion, so Jesus now graciously and voluntarily anticipates this humiliation by choosing to remove His outer garments.   He is already being stripped, and it is Jesus’ choice.
          Jesus strips Himself of self-importance, of His pride, of any need to look like He has it all together.  Instead Jesus is able to rely totally and completely on His relationship with His Father in complete vulnerability.   And Jesus does not need anything else.
          Freed from any concerns about His self-importance, about how He looked, about what people thought of Him, of public opinion, Jesus was so free in Himself that he could bend down and wash the feet of His disciples.  So free that He could give Himself away to us in the Eucharist.  This is my Body for you.  This is my Blood for you.  All of me for all of you.  He was perfectly free.
          Tonight’s service challenges us to enter into that mindset and that heart-set of Jesus.  We are invited to take off the outer garments of our self-importance, our pride, our dignity, our concern for how we look, our defense mechanisms, all the masks and outer garments we use to hide and protect ourselves.  We are challenged to take those off, lay them aside, and instead to trust only in the Lord’s love for us; a love that frees us to be so humble that we can be free enough to wash one another’s feet. 
          We are challenged as we receive Holy Communion to be so freed of our selves as to be able to give ourselves away to others in love.
          Tonight’s service is not for the timid, the faint of heart, the easily embarrassed, the overly cautious. 
          Tonight is a night for taking a risk.  Take off those old, ragged outer garments of pride, of prejudice, of self-importance.  Strip yourself of your defenses.  Let Jesus wash your feet, // and to love the real you. 

No comments:

Post a Comment