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Tomorrow is Holy Thursday



TRADITION: The ceremony of the washing of the feet.

Holy week: This week the World's Catholics and the Christians will commemorate the central events of Christ's Life, basis of our faith: Passion, Death and Resurrection. The three principal days of the 'triduum' of the Holy Week are the Holy Thursday, The Good Friday and the Holy Saturday.

Tomorrow, Holy Thursday, also known as 'Maundy Thursday' or 'Great Thursday' the faithful would try make the most profound religious observances. This is the day, the disciples gathered with Christ to celebrate the Passover. Passover (Pesah) means crossing over the Sea of Reeds (Red Sea). Passing over to the Promise Land.

The day is also called 'Maundy Thursday'.

The word 'Maundy' derives from the old French 'Mande' and from the first word of the Latin phrase " Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos.(a new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you)."

Mandatum" means a mandate, a commandment." I give you a new commandment:that you love one another.Just as I have loved you,you also should love one another.By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13: 34- 35).

The old English name for 'Maundy Thursday' was 'Shear Thursday' The penitents obtained absolution, trimmed their hair and beards (customarily shear the beard on that day) wash in preparation for Easter.

The idea behind the word is that it is the day of cleaning (schere). In German the usual name for Holy Thursday is 'Grundonnerstag' which means 'Green Thursday'. It is said that this word is coined using grun (green) and Donnerstag (Thursday).The Czech Republic, the day is called "Zeleny ctvrtek" means Green Thursday. In Malta the day is called "Hamis ix-Xirka" means "Society Thursday".

There are other opinions on the origin of the word. Some are of the view that the term derives from the word 'maund' from the old French 'mendier' and Latin word 'mendicare' which means 'to beg'.

An English custom is there to support in support of this view.It is said that each year on this day the King, monarch gives alms to the deserving senior citizens (a man and a woman of the monarch age) or the poor in a container which is known as 'maund' or 'maundy purse'.

The money given is called 'Maundy money' or 'Royal Maundy' and is given in red and white purses.This custom dates back to King Edward I. The red purse, regular currency given in place of food and clothing.

The white purse, contains currency, one penny for each year of the monarch's age. Giving Special 'Maundy' money came to practice from the year 1822. It was also on record that the monarch (King) washed the feet of the selected poor and that custom continued until the death of King James II.

On this particular year, the reign of Tiberius Caesar, the Jews celebrated the Passover on a Friday, the day Jesus Christ made the most sublime offering on the Cross, the Self-offered Passover Victim. On the previous day that is Thursday night, Jesus celebrated His Last Supper with His 12 disciples before the Nisan 15th day, the day before the Passover or the Preparation Day or Friday as we now understand. (before Nisan 15th day, Sabbath of that year.

The theologians speculate that Crucifixion occurred on April 3, A.D.33). The Last Supper also signifies the farewell to his assembled disciples, some of whom would betray, desert or deny Him, before the sun rose again.

Holy Thursday will bring to our mind the lesson taught by the Lord by 'Washing of the Feet' of the 12 including the one who betrayed Him. (dress and duty are those of a slave). It ascribes to the humility of service and the need for cleansing with water (a symbol of baptism). Jesus performed the washing of the feet of His disciples before the supper is taken. He explained its significance by action.

Symbolising this act of Christ, on Holy Thursday the washing of the feet is done by a Bishop, priest or today laymen. The emphasis is on ritual washing give rise to the ancient tradition of spring cleaning the home in preparation for the feast of Passover (Easter celebrations).

Also the establishment of the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and the institution of the sacerdotal priesthood (as distinct from the priesthood of all believers').

The day is sacred and holy because it was that night the Lord Jesus was taken away from the Garden of Gethsemane,(oilpress) the betrayal of Judas for 30 silver shekels; price the law fixed for a slave's life.

The Holy Mass of this day marks the last Mass before the Easter Vigil. The services of the evening ends with the solemn procession taking the Blessed Sacrament to the flower-bedecked Altar of Repose where the Body of Christ, present in the consecrated Host, remains 'entombed' until the communion service on Good Friday.

The adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by the people reminds us the staying of the disciples with the Lord during His agony on the Mount of Olives, before the betrayal by Judas.

On this day a special Mass is held in the Cathedrals attended by priests of the dioceses in observance of Christ's institution of the priesthood. During this 'Chrism Mass', the Bishops bless the oil of Chrism used for Baptism and Conformation.

(Internet provided the information)

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Jesus and Judas: The redeemer and the traitor

Continued from last week

RELATIONSHIP: The meaning of resurrection is that Justice and love and the struggles waged for both have meaning. Their future is guaranteed. Justice, love and our struggles to attain them have failed in the process of history.

They shall triumph. God is not different to the pain of the victims of history. Out of love and solidarity God becomes poor, is condemned, crucified and murdered. Therefore we must follow Jesus to take his path pursue his cause and achieve his victory. Another point to consider is Judas's betrayal in his calling. His service to carry Gods word to the people as a disciple.

His vocation to tell all mankind of the glorious kingdom of God and call men to repentance for all their follies, to show forth the word of God and show the way to redemption, to everlasting life, a life of dedication to the master.

But Judas betrayed that trust of his ministry, the materialist won the spiritualist the kingship on earth he visualised for his master and preened himself to bask in its aura for the edification of his people.

In Ford Maddox Brown's painting Jesus washing Perer's feet Jesus kneels before a bemused looking Peter. The muscles in his bare arm and neck remind us that Jesus was not an ivory tower theorist. This is a man who could lift beams and pound nails, putting his strength at the service of a man who will in a few hours deny knowing him.

It is a pictured humility and service we still re enact to this day. Which routines and images might Jesus use from our modern live to illustrate eternal truths? Which hidden treasure is worth our selling all that we have ?

Which helpless creature do we value more than our own lives ? which of our chores and skills could represent the service of God's Kingdom ? listen to him. Unlike other disciples Judas had his innate avariciousness.

A love of money is very obvious in his demand for the thirty pieces of silver. Judas's position as the treasurer of the disciples gave him ample opportunity to jingle with the accounts without much deviousness. Judas was in his element, with money to satisfy his personal wants with no one to question why.

The process of corruption was infinitesimally gradual and Judas had not realised that avariciousness had taken over him completely. The godlike quality of loyalty a mere shadow in his spirit. Judas was guilty of accepting a bribe.

Jesus transfigured suffering pain and condemnation to death by transforming them in to acts of freedom, and a love of self surrender by transforming them in to a way to god and a new approach to those who rejected them. He forgave the rejectors and abandoned himself in trust and confidence to one who is greater.

To give and be crucified for the sake of justice and for god's sake is to live. This is why the message of the passion is always accompanied by the message of the resurrection.

Those who have died in the rebellion against this system of the world. Those who have refused to fit in to the schemata of the world are the risen ones. Insurrection for the cause of god and neighbour is resurrection. Death may look meaningless yet it is death that has a future for it is death that guards and protects the meaning of history.

Resurrection is the fullness and manifestation of the life that resonates within life and within death. The traitor Judas made a fraudulent manipulation that caused a precedent among christs ministry.

Juddas became a fore runner to the numerous arterial loving comfort seeking and amassing wealth of successive people like Judas. He forgot the original calling to feed the spiritual starvation rampant at the time.

The ministry money was made a cover to tax the people where there were instances so blatant that no money could mean no spiritual solace. Sadly Judas not even in passing considers asking for forgiveness. He displays here his utter lack of hope.

Hope where in understanding what led him to such a criminal ack. Hope in a least shade of forgiveness event though grudging. Judas would have pictured hundreds of times the affectionate camaraderie of his master Jesus, of his colleagues and so would have thought no hand would be raised in forgiveness. Judas never had hope.

To be continued

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Human rights and justice in Islam

RIGHTS: Islam provides many human rights for the individual. The following are some of these human rights that Islam protects.

The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred, whether a person is Muslim or not. Islam also protects honour. So, in Islam, insulting others or making fun of them is not allowed. The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "Truly your blood, your property, and your honour are inviolable."

Racism is not allowed in Islam, for the Holy Qur'an speaks of human equality in the following terms:

'O mankind, we have created you from a male and female and have made you into nations and tribes for you to know one another. Truly, the noblest of you with God is the most pious. Truly, god is all-knowing, all-aware (Qur'an, 49:13).

Islam rejects certain individuals or nations being favoured because of their wealth, power, or race. God created human beings as equals who are to be distinguished from each other only on the basis of their faith and piety. The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "O people! your god is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety."

One of the major problems facing mankind today is racism. The developed world can send a man to the moon but cannot stop man from hating and fighting his fellow man.

Ever since the days of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Islam has provided a vivid example of how racism can be ended. The annual pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah shows the real Islamic brotherhood of all races and nations, when about two million Muslims from all over the world come to Makkah to perform the pilgrimage.

Islam is a religion of justice. God has said. "Truly God commands you to give back trusts to those to whom they are due, and when you judge between people, to judge with justice ...." (Quran 4:58)

And he has said

"And act justly, truly god loves those who are just" (Quran 49:9)

We should even be just with those who we hate, as God has said:

... And let not the hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety (Quran 5:8)

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "people, beware of injustice, for injustice shall be darkness on the day of judgment."

And those who have not got their rights (i.e. what they have a just claim to) in this life will receive them on the day of judgement, as the prophet (PBUH) said: "On the day of judgement, rights will be given to those to whom they are due (and wrongs will be redressed."

An extract from: A brief illustrated guide to understanding Islam.

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Prophet Muhammad

Prophet was he chosen by Allah Almighty
Religion of Islam is the code He preached
Offering Brotherhood and Tranquillity to the Ummath
Peace be on him for ever and ever from everyone
Honour glory and praise bear name
Enlightened by the Creator and the Guide
Throughout a Span of twenty three years
Muhammad His name praised and prayed
Unique achievement in a life of sixty three
Heaven he made a journey as Mihraj
Ascension from Mecca to Jerusalem and above
Most successful as the Messenger of peace and harmony
Allah alone knows the magnitude of Muhammad
Divine Apostle Prophet and His only Representative

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Hinduism

VALUES: Hinduism, one of the oldest living religions in the world is unique as it has no single founder yet has grown to be a world religion over the past 4,000 years.

Hinduism is a synthesis of the religions found in India brought by the Aryans. The two most general features are the caste system and acceptance of the Veda as the most sacred scriptures.

While Hinduism lacks any unified system of beliefs and ideas yet represented a broad spectrum of beliefs and practices. It also uses Bakthi, (devotion) Dharma (what is right and correct) and Yoga (discipline) to depict the essential aspects of the religion.

Hinduism doctors virtues such as non-violence, compassion, truthfulness, purity, self-control and to be generous. The most popular deities in Hinduism include Vishnu, Incarnations Rama and Krishna, Shiva, Ganesha, Durga Devi, Lakshmi and Sarasvati.

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