Carol E. Parrish-Harra

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Maundy Thursday

Maundy or Holy Thursday is remembered annually we commemorate the gathering of Jesus and his disciples for the Last Supper.

We contemplate this event remembering disciples are not perfect people; they are beings-in-process. We remember Judas who sold Jesus’ safety for a few coins. Our brother Peter denied knowing Him. Our brothers James and John argued about who would be the greatest in heaven.

We fall into the same mistakes. We deny knowing better when we leave our faith at the church door and live our lives according to our own desires. We push Christ Jesus away from the center of our lives when we struggle to keep ourselves and our fragile egos at the center of our attention. Forgive us our weak and sad excuses, and help us to become what we are to be.

When Jesus entered the upper room to eat the Passover meal He was aware a dark fate awaited him. Note: the term denotes he and the disciples are in a higher state of consciousness. We are lifted into an altered state of consciousness as we receive Communion. We are lifted by thought to a more holy state of mind. This happens when we recall the meaning and reality of the blessed Communion Meal. Here,in this higher state,we receive the sacred food and the reality of the Spiritual Forces. 

Here, on this night, powerful forces were against Him ready to take his life, even as we live in a world of negativity and duality. Beside Him that night were the disciples arguing among themselves as they took their place at the table. Jesus sensed impending betrayal. He still “fed his sheep” the new covenant of his teachings.

 

Jesus took bread and gave it to his disciples. “Take this”, He said “this is my body,” He then took the cup and gave it to them. “This is my blood, the blood of the new covenant, to be poured out in behalf of many”.

 Jesus praying russian

That night, He gave himself up, in love, to his Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. As a part of His initiatory path, He delivered himself into the arms of His enemies and surrendered to Higher Will. Master Jesus gave himself, unhesitatingly, to the Great Test.

 

Maundy Thursday focuses on the last hours before Christ was betrayed and arrested. It delivers two special concepts. First with the rite of washing the feet of the disciples, Christ Jesus is establishing a new and different social order.

 

The foot washing, an ancient ceremony, is remembered with this special occasion. It has a very practical purpose. The people in the Middle East wore sandals and of course, their feet got dusty and dirty. So,when they arrived as guests in someone’s home, it was the custom for servants to wash the feet of guests.

But here, we find Jesus, the Master, taking on this menial task—an act which was certainly against the social code of the day, as is made clear with Simon Peter’s hesitancy to allow Jesus to wash his feet. But in the foot-washing, Jesus demonstrates the qualities we need to build in ourselves, to go forth in a new way. Feet represent “walking the path” and Jesus shows us we must practice humility and tolerance and our motivation must be pure.

The second concept is Communion and the commandment to be one with each other, called the new covenant. His disciples had been vying for position of power. Each looked ahead to the time when the Kingdom of the Master would be established and each one wanting a position of importance. They were already striving for self importance within their own little Community.

communion

But the Master showed them that the Greater always serves the Lesser. He told them no servant is greater than the master and no apostle greater than the one who sent him or her. He showed them that in order to be one with each other they must serve each
other, just as He served them. Just as He washed them, they were to do the same. We are to remember the Creator serves us each day of our lives, often with little or no remembrance.

Foot washing has an important symbolic meaning. It is a cleansing of that hidden urge within each of us: our motivation. It is rich symbology to show us how to walk our path. On this evening Master Jesus also gives to His disciples the Eucharist or Holy Communion to help all realize we are to be a source of love and light, power and beauty and to become One with the Creator and for each other.

Communion is to help us focus on the Inner Christ and let be fed, nourished, and transformed by the holy food from the Christ who guides us from the inner planes. Master Jesus gave this holy meal special significance by telling us the bread He shared with the disciples was His Heart Center, the buddhi,as it is called. He held his heart center in his hands, passing the flame of his love, the fire of his heart (the fervor) to each disciple.

The wine the Master shared represented His spiritual Will, the Life force, the blood of his dynamic Will. As the disciples drank the wine, it too nourished them. They could then express their will through the opened heart. The Master shared his blood, his DNA, through the spiritual ritual he gave to his disciples although there is little understanding of this. As we frequently receive Compassion and Unconditional love begin to flow. We then receive the blessing of the Christ energy; it is to sustain us as we grow spiritual and serve our Soul purpose. It is our Sacred Food.

The language of body and blood fulfilled the mystery of the Savior King… the divine heritage passes through the DNA. We become the people of Christ,made in the image and likeness, identifying with the Master within us.

There is a teaching called Spiritual Cannibalism. The concept teaches each student devours the teacher as he or she is being taught. The teacher is to nourish and to love the student or not accept them. And to the degree the student opens themselves to the teacher they can receive. The student takes all the teacher has to give. They feed us of their own personal spirituality. This is a prevalent teaching of the East.

A good book by the name Spiritual Cannibalism is available, in the US, by a guru named Swami Rudrananda. It helps us understand the appreciation and love the Eats has for it’s teachers and their efforts. This established the spiritual lineage concept referred to in the esoteric reality.

When we take communion at the most simple level, it is remembrance bread and purely sentimental. If we see it as transformative, it is alchemy. If understood as a mystery, it can be all we allow it to be. It can bring us an entirely new grasp of the depth of Last Supper and we see how it has continued sustained devotees or even martyrs in our rich heritage.

The mystery of Holy Thursday is how to bring our Will in harmony with Higher Will.

 We pray:

 Lead us, O Lord, from darkness to Light,

                              from the unreal to the Real,

                              from death to Immortality,

                              from chaos to Beauty. Amen.

 

Blessings, Carol

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