A Maundy Thursday Prayer

I copied this from another blog because it spoke so deeply to me on this Maundy Thursday. Here is a prayer from Henri Nouwen:

“I am looking to you, Lord. You have said so many loving words. Your heart has spoken so clearly. Now you want to show me even more clearly how much you love me. Knowing that your Father has put everything in your hands, that you have come from God and are returning to God, you remove your outer garments and, taking a towel, you wrap it around your waist, pour water into a basin and begin to wash my feet, and then wipe them with the towel you are wearing …

You look at me with utter tenderness, saying, ‘I want you to be with me. I want you to have a full share in my life. I want you to belong to me as much as I belong to my Father. I want to wash you completely clean so that you and I can be one and so that you can do to others what I have done to you.’

I am looking at you again, Lord. You stand up and invite me to the table. As we are eating, you take bread, say the blessing, break the bread, and give it to me. ‘Take and eat,’ you say, ‘this is my body given for you.’ Then you take a cup, and, after giving thanks, you hand it to me, saying, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the new covenant poured out for you.’ Knowing that your hour has come to pass from this world to your Father and having loved me, you now love me to the end. You give me everything that you have and are. You pour out for me your very self. All the love that you carry for me in your heart now becomes manifest. You wash my feet and then give me your own body and blood as food and drink” (Henri Nouwen).

Maundy Thursday is the best example of true love. It’s love that is expressed not just in kind words and poetic sentiments but is lived out in sacrificial deeds. It is the supreme selfless love that goes out to people undeserving and often unwilling to receive such love.

May that kind of love fully dwell within our hearts so that we can in turn show love in the breaking of bread and washing of feet and selfless service with those with whom we live and work and play.

 

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