Linda Kaiser, director of Catholic Education Ministries, reflects on Holy Thursday.
Today is Holy Thursday, the beginning of the Triduum. As I pondered to write this reflection, I visited with third-graders at St. Mary, Help of Christians, School in St. Augusta. I asked them to tell me about Holy Thursday.
The students explained their Seder meal they were having and how it reminded them of the Last Supper. They talked about the bread and wine, linking it to Communion and the Holy Eucharist. I was impressed with their knowledge of this special day.
Who are disciples of Jesus and who was present at the Last Supper? Many paintings depict Jesus with the apostles. I would guess more people were present than these paintings showed. I imagine women, children, and followers of Jesus were there with him. There must have been a kids’ table like we do with our families and I am sure the women were there preparing the meal.
Why would I imagine this? All of us are disciples of Jesus. Each of us has been called to be a follower. Bishop Kettler reminds us of this in his pastoral letter. “Jesus is open and welcoming to all who approach him. Much to the dismay of the religious leaders of his day, he eats with and even forgives sinners….”
We can all imagine ourselves at the Last Supper with Jesus. Everyone there must have felt the pain as we do when we know someone we love will soon leave this earth. Jesus is different. He is with us today in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. What a gift Jesus is!