Maundy Thursday : Day of Jupiter

 

From: Jo Ann Schwartz
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 6:13 am
Subject: Maundy Thursday : Day of Jupiter

Maundy Thursday : Day of Jupiter
Emil Bock
The Three Years

Thursday of Holy Week; the day Christ instituted the Eucharist. It is a solemn feast in Christian calendars.

On Maundy Thursday evening a holy stillness descends, and all the clamour of the first half of the week passes into silence. By day the sounds of swarming streets, the bargaining and noisy talking of thousands of Passover pilgrims, have reached their peak. Then, shortly before the deep red sun has sunk in the west, faced by the silver disc of the rising full moon, the trumpets sound from the Temple and give the signal for the beginning of the day of Preparation. On the eve of the Passover, the faithful of the Old Covenant are preparing for the Sabbath, which begins on the following evening. In every house people gather round the table to eat the Passover lamb in the circle of their blood-relations. The streets are suddenly emptied and an oppressive silence falls. It is the curfew of Passover night, when the destroying Angel is abroad, as once long ago, in Egypt.

So Jesus and His disciples also withdraw to the room in which they are to celebrate the Passover. The stillness of this room is enhanced, for Providence has brought them to no private dwelling, but to the house of the Order of the Essenes. The Coenaculum, which the Essene Brotherhood has placed at the service of Jesus and His disciples for the eve of the Passover, stands on holy ground. Here, on Mount Zion, a sanctuary of humanity has existed from times immemorial. Immediately opposite, also on a traditional spot, stands the house of Caiaphas, the ancestral home of the Sadducean Order. A circle has gathered there, also, to celebrate the Passover. They can scarcely give thought to the coming Feast, for they are actively concerned with a plan of hatred and enmity. For a time the struggle must cease; the holy hour must first have passed. And so His enemies themselves give the order: "Seek to arrest Him, but not at the Feast." In the room where Jesus is assembled with His disciples, the words of the 23rd Psalm are fulfilled, "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies."

The Passover lamb on the table in the Coenaculum assumes a new meaning. At the table is seated the One of whom John the Baptist could say: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Nowhere in that hour nor ever before nor since, has the Passover Lamb been so near to the One for whom it was an image. For thousands of years the eating of the Passover lamb was a prophetic custom, and now the fulfillment of the prophecy is at hand. The apostle Paul will presently be able to say, "For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. 5,7). In the Coenaculum, prophecy and fulfillment meet each other. A heavy foreboding fills the room; separation and tragedy rest in the air. Christ's death of sacrifice throws its shadow before and the consciousness of the disciples has a heavy test to endure.

The ancient tradition of blood-sacrifice has its symbol in the Passover lamb upon the table. The magic of the blood, signified by all pre-Christian blood-sacrifices, has an active power. IT was believed that the shedding of the blood of pure sacrificial animals was able to transport people's souls, formerly more loosely united with the body, into a state of ecstasy. Divine forces from the other world could then be reflected in human conditions. And now the ancient sacrifice loses its significance for ever in the Coenaculum on Mount Zion. The diving Being has now Himself entered this world; therefore the old blood-sacrifice has become superfluous. The Power which it was sought formerly to bring down from other worlds is now there, come to unite itself inseparably with this world. The Passover lamb has magical forces no longer, for in earth-existence itself a seed of heavenly forces is being formed. The lamb becomes the pure image of the sacrificial deed of Divine Love.

On the table of the Holy Meal, however, there is also bread and wine. And when the ancient custom of the Passover meal has been observed, Christ takes, to the astonishment of the disciples, these other representatives of food and drink and adds a new meal to that ordained by the Old Testament. IT is a new and unexpected deed when Christ gives to His disciples bread and wine and says: "Take, this is my body--this is my blood." But these symbols are not on the table by accident. Something comes to light which has always existed. Externally blood-sacrifices were carried out in the Temple in the presence of the people, but in hidden sanctuaries esoteric Sun-Mysteries had always been preserved, where bread and wine were the symbols of the Sun-God. On the very spot where now the circle were gathered at the Last Supper, the sanctuary of Melchisedek had stood, whence he took forth bread and wine and carried them down to the valley of Cedron to dispense them to Abraham. Now bread and wine became more than symbols. The dive Sun-Spirit is present in Christ, and as He distributes the bread He can say: "This is my body," and in handing the disciples the chalice: "This is my blood." His soul surrenders itself and streams into the bread and wine. In the twilight of the room bread and wine are enveloped with a shining sun-aura. In as much as they become body and blood of the Christ soul, they become body and blood of the Sun-Spirit Himself. All the Sun-Mysteries of antiquity were but prophecy; at this moment they grow into fulfillment. In the transition from the blood offerings of the past to the bloodless offering of bread and wine, the whole idea of sacrifice changed. Ancient sacrifices ere always material offerings. Now the sacrifice of the soul is founded, and there begins the true tradition of inner sacrifice. The lunar sacrifices of antiquity are at an end; the solar sacrifice of Christianity comes into being. Christianity, the true Sun Religion, dawns in this evening hour.

By performing significant acts before and after the Meal, Christ brings about a fourfold Whole, anticipating the four parts of the central Christian sacrament which thenceforward will be continually celebrated. Before the Meal He follows the custom observed in the Order of the Essenes and washes the feet of each of the disciples, even of Judas. A deeply moving picture, unfathomable in its full significance: Christ utterly surrendering Himself in loving devotion, on which His death will soon set the seal. After the Meal another ceremonial act is observed by Christ, this time in accord with the custom followed by all the neighboring households at this hour. When the Passover has been eaten, the head of the family begins to recite from the Haggada, the history of the People from ancient times set down in legendary form. With Christ, too, the meal is followed by a discourse. This is recorded and gathered together by St. John in the wonderful "Farewell Discourses" culminating in the High Priestly Prayer (St. John, Chapters 14-17).

Four stages are passed through: the Washing of the Feet, the Passover Lamb, the Bread and Wine, and the Farewell Discourse. The Washing of the feet sums up in a pictorial act the essence of Christ's teaching: "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." The Washing of the Feet is, as it were, the last of the parables, enacted, not merely spoken. It teaches Love as the ultimate purpose of Christ's Gospel. The eating of the Passover Lamb corresponds in the structure of the Communion Service to the stage of the Offering, which follows the Reading of the Gospel. The image of the Offering emerges: Christ the Passover Lamb Who on the next day dies for humanity on the Cross. Then comes the third stage: Christ gives the disciples Bread and Wine. For the first time Transubstantiation is consummated, forming the third part of the Sacrament, after the Reading of the Gospel and the Offering. Now the Spiritual lights up in earthly substance. In the Farewell Discourse, the fourth stage, Christ imparts to the disciples the most intimate information about His own being. These words are body and blood of Christ in a still higher degree than the bread and wine. The soul of Christ gives itself to the souls of the disciples who are only able to receive them as yet as though in a dream. Only John, who lies at the breast of Jesus, and listens to the speaking heart of Christ is able in his Gospel to preserve for mankind a reflection of this moment.

The Christ, from Whom proceeds the stream of cosmic Love, speaks at the same time as the Spirit of Wisdom. It as though Jupiter, the god of Wisdom, has appeared in new form among men.

The sacred Round Table breaks up dramatically. It is a strict regulation of the Passover that on this night no one may leave the protection of the house. If he does so, he meets the Destroying Angel. The streets remain empty of people. In spite of this, at a certain moment, someone does go out; he does not delay after he has received the bread from Jesus' hand. St. John's Gospel adds: "It was night." It was also night within Judas; at this moment Satan entered into him. Judas goes to the house opposite, where Caiaphas and his circle are keeping the Passover. They are ready and eager for the business that Judas wants to transact.

The soul of Judas founders on the Mystery of the Sacrament. On the evening before, as the sacramental mood unfolded in the house at Bethany, he was already seized with the demon of unrest. In the Coenaculum he has met the sacramental substance for the second time. Peace within himself would alone enable him to receive the blessing of peace through the sacrament, but this he does not possess. So that which could dispense peace to him serves to throw him into the final restlessness, into the Ahrimanic displacing of the ego, and possession.

Once more the Passover is broken. Jesus rises from the table and beckons to the astonished disciples. They follow him out into the night, where the light of the full moon had for some time been almost extinguished. It is passing through an eclipse. The frosty chills of winter giving place to spring begin to be felt as Jesus goes with His disciples to Gethsemane.

The two acts of going-out-into-the-night symbolize inner events. The going out of Judas shows that his true self has abandoned him; outside he meets the Angel of Death in reality. ahrimanic spirits make him their pawn. The going-out of Christ is a picture of the free surrender of the soul which has been from the beginning the cosmic bearer of Sacrifice. As Judas goes out, the Gospel says, "It was night" and soul of Judas is also shrouded in night. As the Christ goes out, one could say, "It was day." A golden shimmer mingles with the chilly night as the Christ goes down with the disciples the same path into the valley that was trodden 2,000 years before by Melchisedek, carrying down bread and wine.

The shining aura which people saw radiating from the Being of Christ on Palm Sunday has now contracted into much deeper levels. No one perceives it, yet the world receives a new glory on this holy evening, which is more an Easter Eve than an eve of Good Friday. On that other Thursday, Ascension Day six weeks later, the seed of light, whose growth began in the Coenaculum, will have already spread over the whole Earth with cosmic power.

[Thanks again to Liz, she knows why!]

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From: walkinsnotwelcome
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 4:40 pm
Subject: Maundy Thursday / Transubstantiation

Hi JoAnn -

The soul of Judas founders on the Mystery of the Sacrament. Peace within himself would alone enable him to receive the blessing of peace through the sacrament, but this he does not possess. So that which could dispense peace to him serves to throw him into the final restlessness, into the Ahrimanic displacing of the ego, and possession.

I hope this was some kind of special case, or that Bock doesn't know what he's talking about, or something. If being in the wrong frame of mind throws the entire sacramental effect out of whack, then all I'm doing is aggravating the situation. I don't recall this potentially ugly consequence being spoken of in the Christian Community; do you know of this being referred to elsewhere?

Larry

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