Sisters and Brothers,
The Most Sacred Three Days are here. You are invited to join with all the faithful as we journey through the sacred mystery of Jesus' Last Supper, arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial and resurrection. As I have stated before, remembering is more than just keeping something in mind. For Jews it was entering into the events as if we are now taking part of the sacred story.
Perhaps, like me, you may have watched news reports about the Notre Dame fire that threatened to destroy that sacred, treasured and ancient structure. I grieved with others who watched in horror as their beloved cathedral burned. And I was emotionally moved as they knelt down and began singing songs of their faith.
Thankfully, the firefighters and clergy were able to save some important relics. Perhaps the most notable is the Crown of Thorns. I was asked recently whether the Crown of Thorns are genuine. The truth is, we may never know this side of heaven. Ancient writings do seem to claim that the crown of thorns existing amidst the church. So there is a good chance that this could be the actual crown Jesus was made to wear during his trial and mocking.
Whether or not it is genuine, the crown is an article of faith. It is like an icon. It points us to some deeper truth. And much like the wooden cross we reverence on Good Friday, it helps us remember the events that took place and the anguish that Jesus endured.
Both the Crown of Thorns and the cross invite us to use more than just our minds. They invite us to use our selves - our bodies as well as our minds to pay homage. And, that is also the "gift" of Maundy Thursday because we are invited to put our love for one another into practice.
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