Thursday, 21 April 2011

Maundy Thursday: "A new commandment I give you: love one another as I have loved you"

Maundy Thursday

Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos, dicit Dominus.

"A new commandment I give you that you love one another as I have loved you, saith the Lord."

Philippe de Champaigne. The Last Supper. 1654.

ALEPH: Quomodo sedet sola civitas, plena populo, facta es quasi vidua; domina gentium, princeps provinicarum, facta est sub tributo.

ALEPH: How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

[Lamentations of Jeremiah 1:1, the beginning of Tenebrae (Matins) for Maundy Thursday]

How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! (Lamentations)

"And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 'This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first in the months of the year...on the tenth day of this month let every man take a lamb by their families and houses... and it shall be a lamb WITHOUT BLEMISH, a male, of one year...and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood thereof and put it upon both the side posts and on the upper door posts of the houses wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted at the fire and unleavened bread with wild lettuce... neither shall there remain any thing of it until morning. If there be anything left you shall burn it with fire. And thus shall you eat it: you shall gird your reins and you shall have shoes on your feet, holding staves in your hands and you shall eat in haste for it is the Phase (that is the Passage) of the Lord... And I shall see the blood and shall pass over you...and this day shall be for a memorial to you and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord in your generations with an everlasting observance'... And Moses said... 'Thou shalt keep this thing as a law for thee and thy children forever...and when your children shall say to you "What is the meaning of this service" you shall say to them "It is the victim of the passage of the Lord when He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, striking the Egyptians and saving our houses..."
[Exod 12]

The Paschal lamb.
Scripture fittingly depicts the Christ as an innocent lamb led to the slaughter - the innocent "Lamb of God" sacrificed for the wicked sins of ungrateful and rebellious men, going dumb, innocent and in silence to torture and death at the hands of sinful men.

"Now the feast of the unleavened bread which is called the Pasch was at hand...and when the hour was come He sat down and the twelve apostles with Him and He said to them 'With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer, for I say to you that from this time I will not eat it till it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God'... And taking bread He gave thanks, and brake and gave them saying 'This is my body which is given up for you. Do this for a commemoration of me'. In like manner the chalice also, after He had supped, saying 'This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you'.
[Luke 22]

"On the night of that last supper,
Seated with His chosen band,
He the paschal victim eating,
First fulfils the Law's command.
Then as food to all His brethren
Gives Himself with His own hand"

[Pange lingua gloriosi, sung at the Maundy Mass]

"Before the festival day of the Pasch, Jesus knowing that His hour was come...having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end. And when supper was ended... He riseth from supper and..having taken a towel, girded Himself. After that, He putteth water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded...Then after He had washed their feet and taken His garments, being set down again, He said to them 'Know you what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord. And you say well; for so I am. If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."
[John 13]

Vincenzo Civerchio. Christ washing the feet of the disciples. 1544.

Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos, dicit Dominus.

"A new commandment I give you that you love one another as I have loved you, saith the Lord."

[John 13:34, sung at the Maundy Mass]

Ubi caritas et amor ubi Deus est. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exultemus et in ipso jucundemur. Timeamus et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

"Where charity and love are there is God. The love of Christ has gathered us together. Let us rejoice in Him and be glad. Let us fear and love the living God and let us love one another with a sincere heart."
[John 2:3-4, sung at the Maundy Mass]

"And going out He went, according to His custom, to the Mount of Olives and His disciples also followed Him... and kneeling down He prayed saying 'Father, if Thou wilt, remove this chalice from me but not yet my will but Thine be done'...And He being in agony, He prayed the longer and His sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground."
[Luke 22:39-44]

Christ sweats blood in fear at the torment to come and is comforted by an angel.



Anonymous said...

You know, the whole thing (religion) makes less and less sense the more people talk to me about it.

Tribunus said...

Dear Nixon,

Oh, I suspect that no-one need talk to you about it.

I suspect that it makes no sense to you whether anyone talks to you or not.

To understand religion you need imagination, humanity and largeness of mind and spirit.

Narrow-minded myopia will not assist you to understand it, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Like believing the Masons are behind lots of revolutions and that Pius IX was right to take away the Mortara boy from his parents? That putting the walls of the Roman Ghetto back up was a good idea?
That the cesspit of sexual scandals in Ireland isn't the reason for lots of the Irish ignoring the catholic church, just an excuse? Like the idea that leaving the crosses up in Italian classrooms isn't pointless grandstanding but key to their educational system's success?
Narrow-minded and stupid like that?

Tribunus said...

Dear Mr Pretended Nixon-lover,

Your second-hand ideas would still be weak, even if they weren't already associated with your particular brand of know-nothingism.

(1) That Masons were behind revolutions is their own proud boast. They say it themselves. Not all Masons are revolutionaries, particularly today, but in times past they boasted of their revolutions. If you don't know this then you simply don't know history.

(2) Edgar Mortara was, himself, the chief witness for the cause of Blessed Pope Pius IX and gives the most glowing of testimonies of the man he regarded as a spiritual father and benefactor. You can read it on-line today for yourself - if you dare! Therefore, if you wish to argue the Mortara case, you'll have to deal with what Mortara himself said.

(3) The walls of the Roman Ghetto were put back up by the anti-papal Revolutionaries in 1848, after Blessed Pope Pius IX had taken them down. So your facts are simply wrong. As a matter of fact, it was the Jews themselves who chose to live in ghettos and they paid Christians to close the gates of the ghetto so that they did not need to do it themselves since that was forbidden at certain times. They did not want the gates of the ghettos to be taken down. Thus putting the gates back was indeed, at least in their view, a "good idea".

(4) The sexual scandals in Ireland (and elsewhere) are shameful and inexcusable but they are small compared with the cesspit of shameful sexual abuse that is to be found among other communities and countries, not least in secular humanist Sweden where the Children's Minister recently admitted a "dark period" in Swedish history and the existence of up to 100,000 child abuse cases - a simply huge number - occurring in the government children's homes over the last 60 years. You don't complain about that, however! Or, could it be that, like so many anti-Catholic and secular hypocrites, you are only interested in attacking the Catholic Church and so ignore all other, and far worse, evidence against others? Could it even be that you do not really regard the sexual use of children as a "cesspit" after all but, like so many who criticise the Catholic Church, you actually think, while hypocritically attacking the moral teachings of the Church, that the age of consent should be lowered so that adults may have sex with children? Is this only a "cesspit" when it is done by those with whom you disagree ideologically? If so, then I must ask you if there are any depths to which your shamelessness will not sink?

(5) Could it be that you, with equal hypocrisy, believe that signs and symbols of your own belief-system should be shown and displayed in classrooms but that you wish to tear down those of belief-systems and faiths with which you disagree? In which case, why don't you simply admit that you reject toleration, freedom of conscience and belief, and prefer bigotry, prejudice, intolerance and narrow-mindedness, even though you probably call yourself, with yet still more hypocrisy, a "liberal"? Ah, the so-called "liberals"! They are truly something indeed to behold.

Well, Mr Pretended Nixon-admirer, if even half of your views are thus then many could be forgiven for considering them truly "narrow-minded and stupid".

You seem to have almost no grasp of the history of ideas, or of freedom, or of the history of the world.

You appear to be embarrassingly ignorant of even the simplest of known facts.

But - hey! - why let facts get in the way of a cheap story, eh?

Well, folks.

There it is.

Some mothers do have 'em!