Weekdays in April, May, June 2021

Thursday 1 April
Maundy Thursday
Exodus 12.1–8,11–14
Psalm 115
1 Corinthians 11.23–26
John 13.1–15
The earliest account of the Institution Narrative of the Last Supper is that of First Corinthians, composed c. AD 53. Crucially, Paul begins by explaining what he has received – the traditio (Latin verb: tradere – to hand over – from which is derived ‘tradition’), and this is what he has been handing down. There are variants – as in each of the Gospels – of the exact words, and Paul is unique in recording ‘as a memorial’ (Greek: eis anamnesin) with both the bread and the cup (Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11.23–26). The full significance of the biblical understanding of ‘memorial’ (Hebrew: lezikkron) is expressed in the rites for the Passover, a real participation here and now with the past event itself (First Reading: Exodus 12.1–8,11–14). Deliberately, the Church proclaims tonight Jesus’ washing of the feet of his disciples and the subsequent command of love (Gospel: John 13.1–15).

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Breaking the Word - Weekdays

The weekday readings can sometimes seem a little ‘bread and butter’ compared to the liturgical feast of Sunday. That said, the sustained nourishment, the ‘daily bread’ of the weekday mysteries connotes the Manna that sustained the Israelites on their journey through the desert. These readings are from the Ordo for the Archdiocese of Westminster. Tarcisius Mukuka is a lecturer in Biblical Studies & Exegesis, and Anthony Towey is the Director of the Aquinas Centre in the School of Education, Theology and Leadership at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.