Today is April Fool’s Day. Under any other circumstance, we’d be having all sorts of fun today with crazy posting and the like. But not this year. This year April Fool’s Day happens to fall during Holy Week. That take precedence in my book.
The Events of Holy Thursday
On Holy, or Maundy, Thursday, in an upper room, Jesus and His disciples shared the Last Supper. On this day, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, and broke break with them for the last time.
Of all the stories and images of that last supper together, it is the washing of the feet that I find most interesting. More to the point, it is Peter that brings a smile to my face. As a Catholic, I acknowledge Saint Peter as the First Pope. But that’s not why it warms my heart.
“He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied “you do not realize what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” – John 13:6-9
Such love, such dedication. Peter’s enthusiasm is contagious.
I’ve told you that in the past I have participated in a Christian Seder, both at home and during a church event. The event was not at a Catholic Church, but a friend’s Non-denominational Christian Church. As I prepared for this year’s Holy Thursday posting, I dove headlong into research as to how to hold a Seder from a Christian perspective. After days upon days of reading and researching, my advice is this: Don’t. We should honor the Seder by respecting that it is Jewish. The symbolism is Jewish. The meal is intended to allow the Jewish people of today to experience and remember their past, the slavery and Exodus. To take that experience and apply it in a Christian way may be, unwittingly, doing a disservice to the experience. My advice now would be to learn about Passover, from a Jewish perspective. Learn about the symbolism, appreciate the beauty of it all, but don’t adapt it as Christian observance. We have our own symbolism and reenactments within the Mass and Communion. If you want to participate in a Seder, that’s fine, but respect the fact that it is Jewish.
This is my opinion. Like all opinions, there is no right or wrong. Besides, there is more going on here then a reenactment of Last Supper. On Holy Thursday Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment, the most important of all.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.” – John 13:34
This is one command that we can all take to heart regardless of faith or belief or whatever else might separate us. Love unconditionally.
Crisp Spatchcock Roast Chicken and Vegetables
3-1/2 lb Chicken Roaster
1-1/2 lb Baby Red Potatoes, quartered
1 medium Red Onion, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
2 tablespoons Montreal Chicken Seasoning, divided
1 tablespoon fresh Thyme Leaves
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Heat oven to 400-degrees.
Scrub potatoes, quarter and place in a medium size bowl. Peel onion, cut into wedges, add to the bowl of potatoes. Drizzle vegetables with 2 tablespoons oil, the thyme, salt and pepper. Toss until mixed well, set aside.
Place chicken, breast side down, on cutting board. Using heavy-duty kitchen scissors or poultry shears, cut closely along one side of backbone from thigh end to neck. Repeat on other side. Remove backbone, and discard. Turn chicken over so breast side is up; press down to flatten breast area by pressing firmly with heel of hand. Rub chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot; place chicken breast side down. Season side facing up with 1 tablespoon chicken seasoning; top with 10-inch heavy skillet to weigh down. Cook 6 minutes or until skin is golden brown. Remove smaller skillet, and transfer chicken to plate.
Arrange vegetable mixture in single layer in the 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Place chicken, breast side up, on vegetables, and sprinkle top with remaining 1 tablespoon chicken seasoning.
Roast; uncovered in the heated oven for 45 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when thickest pieces are cut to bone and vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
For a rustic presentation, serve directly from the skillet.
Great with Thyme-Dill Carrots.