by John Morton
"Christ redeemed us all and gave perfect glory to God principally through his paschal mystery: dying he destroyed our death and rising he restored our life. Therefore the Easter Triduum of the passion and resurrection of Christ is the culmination of the entire liturgical year."
(General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, # 18. Second Vatican Council)
Fully Alive’s Lenten Scriptural Commentary helps Christians get more out of Lent by taking God’s word seriously.
Mostly avoiding personal stories and anecdotes, our commentary dives deeply into the scripture readings for each day and applies them to the broader context of Lent. We use the daily Mass readings from the Catholic lectionary.
If possible, read each passage slowly, taking in each word. If you find that you’ve hurried through a reading, read it over a few more times. Let the words reverberate in your heart. After you’ve let it sink in, read our Lenten Scriptural Commentary.
In the Old Testament reading today, Isaiah explains the joy God’s people will have upon the fulfillment of his promises: rejoicing, an end to subjugation, salvation.
The second reading touches on Christ’s second coming, which reminds us that we ought to willingly submit, receive, and honor Him.
In the Gospel, Christ goes back to where his earthly life began, Nazareth, and makes clear His purpose, and His essence. Through His act of sacrifice, God’s love frees those who are spiritually oppressed, and heals those who are spiritually broken.
Readings: Is 61:1-3a, 6a, 8b-9 / Rv 1:5-8 / Lk 4:16-21 (from the Chrism Mass)
Click here to read the complete text from the USCCB website
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
He said to them,
"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
(cf. Lk 4:17-19, 21)
Holy Thursday begins the Paschal Triduum, the most solemn of days of the liturgical year during which we recount the last three days of Christ’s life. We have been preparing for this for the past 40 days, and now we make our first entrance into the Easter season.
Christians have a different understanding of time that is based on the liturgical calendar. Each year teaches us the story of our Savior. All of the feasts and fasts point to the salvation, the great offer of grace, that culminates in the season of Easter.
On Holy Thursday, we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, where we relive the institution of the Eucharist and the establishment of the priesthood. One of the most moving features of this mass, though optional, is the washing of the feet. With the example of Christ, who humbled himself and washed the feet of the apostles, the priest does the same, and reminds us of his role as a servant.
But as Christians, we are a part of the “universal priesthood," and as such we are all called to serve. During the season of Lent we are called to focus on three things; prayer, fasting, and alms-giving. Today we should be asking ourselves: how do we fulfill that call to alms-giving? Do we act as Christ, making ourselves servants to those around us? Do we bring glad tidings, proclaim liberty, and seek to heal those in need?
John Morton is a writer, historian, and theologian from Minnesota. He founded Fully Alive with Erik Ritland in 2017. In addition to writing articles, he is also the podcast co-host and social media content strategist.
Erik Ritland received his MA in Theology in 2017. He's the founder and content manager of Fully Alive Christian Media and Rambling On, copy editor and writer for Music in Minnesota, and an acclaimed songwriter.