Teaching Holy Thursday Lessons

I love teaching in a Catholic school religion class on Holy Thursday more than any other day of the year. It’s a moving, holy day for us all.

First, we read the Gospel story of the Last Supper. Then we re-read the section on Jesus’ washing of the feet. Why did Jesus do this?, I ask. Because their feet were dirty? Little heads nod. I ask them to think about the love and care their parents give them, and help them understand that Jesus was caring for his apostles the way a loving parent cares for her/his children.

We talk about how we want to be like Jesus. We want to help care for others. In fact, our school motto echoes this theme: “Enter to learn, exit to serve.”

Our principal comes in to help. We call the children up one at a time for the washing ritual. We suds up each student’s hands, rinse and dry them. We ask, again, Why did Jesus do this? Why did he tell his friends to remember what he did? Why does he want us to remember it?

This Holy Thursday activity is one of great tenderness and love. The children really get it, and our principal and I do, too.

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