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Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Maundy Thursday)

Day Thirty-Eight

Scripture: Mark 14:12-26

12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ 13 So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ 16 So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.

17 When it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.’ 19 They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, ‘Surely, not I?’ 20 He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’ 22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24 He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’


For an ordinary day, my highlight is typically the time when all four of us have dinner together. Sometimes we watch a Korean drama while eating, other times we just chat about how the day went by. Lucy likes to talk about her friends at school, Aiden talks about some nerdy scientific facts he learned, and Soojin and I pleasantly listen to whatever they have to say to us. Even though there is nothing really special about it, having dinner together is an important ritual for my family because by sharing the meal we share love.

I imagine Jesus had a meal with his disciples pretty much every night for three years. On an ordinary day, perhaps they talked about how the day went by; how many evil spirits they cast out, how many miracles they witnessed, how many people they healed, how many came to listen to the teachings of Jesus, and so on. I imagine the dinner table was always filled with excitement about what happened on the day and expectations for the next day. By sharing the meal, they must have built friendship, trust, and love together.

The last supper was totally different. According to Mark, at the beginning of the Passover meal, Jesus dropped the bomb on the table by saying “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” Can you imagine sitting there and eating amidst that atmosphere? The trust was broken. The “Jesus band” was about to be dismissed, stained by the betrayal of one, and desertion of all others.

Then, in that atmosphere, Jesus started his first Holy Communion. He broke the bread and gave it to them, including the betrayer, and said, “Take; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave it to them and after they all drank from it, he said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many - for all.” I wonder if Jesus wanted to teach one last lesson by sharing the meal in this way: “When your human trust is broken and you feel like it is all over, remember how I gave my life for you. Have a meal together, and love one another.”

In our Christian tradition, today is called Maundy Thursday. “Maundy” is a shortened form of the Latin word “mandatum” which means commandment. It originated from that during his last meal Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and gave them a new command: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:34).” Even though, Mark and other gospels do not record the feet washing, the message we are invited to reflect on is the same: love one another.


  1. Have you ever washed someone’s feet? If possible, would you try that for someone today?

  2. Can you find a way to express God’s love for someone around you?

Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: Love Never Fails You

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