Holy Thursday, March 23, 2016
Jeremiah, Chapter 40, Verse 9
Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, swore an oath to them and their men: “Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, so that everything may go well with you.
Israel has been warned and finally they are capture by the Chaldeans and taken to Babylon. God has promised to bring them back after they have been chastised for not trusting God nor taking actions as He directed. God wants us to take action to ensure the Kingdom is here and now. To do this we must have faith but we must also prepare for success.
John Maxwell, noted author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Series states that all Christian leaders need to learn the proper balance between faith and preparation or planning.
Law#4-The Law of Navigation: Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course. To make it happen, you have to take action. You must do what you know needs doing. You must do it when it needs to be done. Don’t wait. You can make it happen. Knowing how is not the key. Taking action is.
Where should you start?
1. Follow your conscience. What do you feel you should do? What do you want to do?
2. Consider your passion. What do you get excited about? What do you need to do?
3. Consider your natural talents. What are you naturally good at without much effort? What hobbies do you have? What interests do you have?
4. Consider what society needs and values. What do you love to do so much you would do it for free, but people are willing to pay others to do? What do you see others doing that you would like to do?
If you want to find your purpose, you must get on the seldom traveled road to significance filled with setbacks, roadblocks, obstacles, and detours. This road leads to your purpose. You must develop the vision in order to see where you want to be next. Then, you must take the steps to move from where you are to where you want to be. You should always be grateful for where you are and what you have, but you should never be satisfied.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it. (Lk. 11:28)
Holy Thursday is also known as Maundy Thursday and is a celebration of the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood. There were originally three separate Masses for Maundy Thursday. The first, no longer in use, is the Mass of Remission, whereby the public penitents who had been doing special penance during Lent were received back into the Church. The second is the Chrism Mass, when the bishop blesses the holy oils to be used for the year. The third is the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, in which the Church celebrates the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood. The special ceremonies for this exultant Mass (the Gloria returns and white vestments are used) include the priest's washing the feet of twelve men, the removal of the Eucharist to the Altar of Repose, and the stripping of the altars.
The Maundy Thursday Vigil. After the Blessed Sacrament is "laid to rest" in a special tabernacle on the Altar of Repose, it is customary for the church to stay open all night and for private devotion to take place. A variation of this custom is to visit seven such shrines during the night in imitation of the Sette Chiese of the Roman Stations (see Stations). This custom was quite popular in American cities like Boston until the late 1960s.
"Clean" Thursday Customs. Because it was the day that penitents and catechumens were cleansed of their sins (and allowed to bathe again), Maundy Thursday is known in some parts of the world as "Clean" Thursday. The idea of cleanliness also extended to the rest of the faithful. In a time when bathing did not happen every day, Clean Thursday became the occasion for thoroughly cleansing the body in preparation for Easter.
There is also a charming legend that after the bells are rung for the Gloria during the Mass of the Last Supper, "they fly to Rome" where -- depending on who is telling the story -- they either are blessed by the Pope and sleep on the roof of St. Peter's Holy Saturday night, or are given Easter eggs to return with them on Sunday morning.
The Mass was the center of life for the disciples of Jesus, and so it has ever been. The first Christians were Jews, living in a Jewish culture, steeped in Jewish forms of worship. The liturgy of the new covenant had been foreshadowed in the rituals of the old. The Mass is explicitly connected with the Passover meal. There are also parallels between the thank-offering or todah and the Mass.
A todah sacrifice would be offered by someone whose life had been delivered from great peril, such as disease or the sword. The redeemed person would show his gratitude to God by gathering his closest friends and family for a todah sacrificial meal. The lamb would be sacrificed in the Temple and the bread for the meal would be consecrated the moment the lamb was sacrificed. The bread and meat, along with wine, would constitute the elements of the sacred todah meal, which would be accompanied by prayers and songs of thanksgiving, such as Psalm 116.
The Talmud records the ancient rabbis’ teaching that, when the Messiah has come, “All sacrifices will cease except the todah.” In fact Greek scriptures rendered the word todah as eucharistia, the word from which we get “Eucharist.”
 John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 4. The Mass.
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