Maundy Thursday of Holy Week

Gospel Lesson: Mark 14:17-30

Key Verse: Jesus said, “I assure you that one of you will betray me – someone eating with me.”


The sacrament of holy communion, the words we speak and the bread and cup we share, are a participation in the supper in the upper room. We re-member the occasion, as if were there that night, each time we celebrate the sacrament. But sometimes we forget that the meal was shrouded in betrayal and faltering faith. We are told that all the disciples asked, “It’s not me, is it?” Jesus does not name the one among them, but later, in the garden, says, “You will all falter in your faithfulness to me.” As we know from the rest of the story, Jesus was accurate in his prediction. Although we prefer to blame Judas, and shame Peter, the probability is that we, too, will falter in our faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus does not break the covenant God is making, does not limit the table to those who are worthy. Who among us would sit down to a meal with people we know will betray or deny us? Yet that is what Jesus does – offering himself to us – in spite of our unworthiness. Knowing us, knowing our faults and failures, Jesus offers us love and forgiveness. Knowing that, we are better able to love him and forgive one another, sharing the meal that makes us one.

Meditation/Call to Action
  • What if we had been among the disciples in the upper room, and heard Jesus’ announce that one of us would betray him?
  • Can we imagine a time or way in which we might do that? Would we ask, “It’s not me, is it?”
  • In what ways does a recognition of our likelihood of stumbling in our faith journey, as well as Jesus’ compassionate response to us, encourage us to move deeper in faith and commitment?

O Jesus, who knows us so well,

            who feeds us knowing we will stumble,

            how we long to love as you love.

Teach our heart to love,

            and our lives to serve,

            that we may glorify your name. Amen.


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