Holy Week – Thursday 1st April

Reading: Mark 14:12-16

Reflection – Passover preparation

Each day of Holy Week holds special significance and traditions have been attached to these days over the years. Thursday known as Maundy Thursday has become the day in the week that we celebrated Holy Communion and we will do so this evening on our zoom service. For the moment I want us to spend some time looking at the daytime of Thursday because there is something happening that warrants our attention. As always there is imagery here that appears elsewhere in this gospel and across the others too.

The acting out of finding the suitable upper room resembles the finding of the donkey in preparation of the Palm Sunday entry. Of course there is one glaring difference in all of this. The preparation for Sunday was to set in motion a very public procession. The preparation for evening meal was to eat with disciples in secret. It also reveals something else that may catch us by surprise or in fact it may be something we have never really thought about too much. We read much about the disciples. Jesus calling the twelve then the seventy-two and they remain in the story at varying degrees. But there are a couple of points here that reveal much. ‘a man carrying a water jar will meet you.’ And, ‘say to the owner of the house he enters.’

‘they found things just a he had told them.’ The other day I was speaking with a colleague and we were saying how every year we visit Holy Week and every year there is something new and fresh to discover, such is the depth of the story. I have to say this is one of those moments for me. I’m not sure if in haste and trying to get to what happens next but whatever the reason I have always skipped over these verses and they do reveal something of value to us. Jesus mentions these men it would appear just in everyday conversation. But it shows us he must have followers and unknown disciples or friends. People he could trust and rely on in times of need and at this point in times of danger. The task of carrying water was normally carried out by women but Jesus knew that today a man would be doing this and more than that Jesus knew this was a man that could be trusted. He also knew this man did not have the room required for the meal but he would know the man that he was to lead the disciples to in order to carry out their task. When arriving at the house the phrase, ‘the teacher asks’ is enough for the homeowner to know who had sent these people. How deep is this? Jesus knows our gifts. Jesus knows our limitations. Jesus puts us to work in his kingdom where he knows we can fulfil the duties he requires of us. In these couple of verses in the turmoil of everything that is going on around them and with the knowledge of what lies ahead of him Jesus still finds time to encourage us with this message that whatever gift we have he can use. There is no person and there is no gift that he cannot nor will not call upon.

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