Thirty years ago in 1981 in my hometown of Danville I participated in the Easter Triduum that would shape the rest of my life. It was in that Easter Vigil that i was received into full communion with the Catholic Church. At 20 years of age, I had no idea what it really meant or where it would lead. Sure I had gone to the classes and read the books, but that only gives us a superficial, intellectual knowledge of the faith. The faith has to be lived to be understood, and even then, we still see dimly as in a mirror.
Thirty Holy Thursday's later, I am even more moved reflecting on what that evening with his disciples would have been like, Jesus knowing that the end of his mission was near and trying to prepare his disciples for what would lie ahead.
For one of my parishes, St. Patrick, this marks the 150th anniversary of their first Holy Thursday mass in their church. Easter was early in 1861, March 31st. By Holy Thursday March 28, Virginia had not yet succeeded and both side were courting its residents. The uncertainties and fears of the parishioners must have resonated with that of the disciples in the gospel of the day, both wondering what the future would bring.