Tonight is that night.

On the morning of Holy Thursday, I was preparing myself for the approaching Triduum when the reality struck me : that Christ was betrayed (by someone who is close to him – Judas, one of his 12 chosen disciples) on Holy Thursday.

Odd as it may sound, I never really saw Holy Thursday in it’s fullness until this time round.

Yes, I always knew that Holy Thursday was the night when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and he was arrested that night. Yes, I always knew before that he had the Passover meal in the Upper Room with his disciples and he washed their feet.

FACTS. Head knowledge.

It was no coincidence that on Palm Sunday, I watched the movie “The Gospel of John”

…and all the Gospel readings during Holy Week, Holy Thursday and Good Friday was from the Gospel of John. During mass, the movie was playing in my head as the Gospel was proclaimed.

Thanks also to this article on Holy Thursday by Jimmy Akin, I didn’t just attend mass on Holy Thursday this time. I felt the sorrow of the disciples when “As I Have Done For You” was sung by the choir. A beautiful hymn by Dan Shutte puts into song all the last words/advice/teachings by Jesus to his disciples at the Last Supper. Heart-wrenching at parts especially verse 2. And consoling as well.

After the mass and a quick dinner, I went to another parish to spend time at the Altar of Repose. In this parish, the Altar of Repose was set at the chapel at the back of the church so I had to pass through the darkened church and approaching the altar where the cross was covered, I shuddered seeing the tabernacle doors opened and it was empty. Again, it dawned on me why this is so: Jesus had been taken away.

Reflecting on this and the song above, I really felt the emptiness; that Christ had left. It was akin to the feeling of having lost a person dear to you. It made me recall my grandparents who both passed away a few months ago. It truly felt heart-wrenching.

After midnight, still in the mood for reflections/contemplation, our faith group watched the Passion of Christ and again it dawned that what was portrayed in the film was happening at that very moment. Jesus had been arrested – and was then being persecuted, tortured and charged a criminal. And on the morning of Good Friday, he would be sentenced to Crucifixion.

And it was his fellow Jews who wished this upon him. How could one person (what more his own brethren!) wish for another to be CRUCIFIED? The horror!

And yet, that is what happened.

And this is what happens when we sin. For Christ died for our sins.