We started this Holy Week off by singing Hosanna’s and waving palm branches in jubilation, we will end it with shouts of “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!” All of this is the plan for our salvation. As we hear in the well-known scripture verse of John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
Last night at the Chrism Mass in the Diocese of Owensboro, in his homily, Bishop Medley talked about our Lenten journey ending as we prepare to celebrate Easter. He also made mention that we are being prepared for mission and mission is future oriented. So, what is our mission as Catholic Christians? Being people of the Gospel and sharing it with everyone we encounter in both word and deed.
One of my favorite moments of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday is the foot washing. After eating the Passover meal with his disciples, Jesus began to wash their feet. He could have done anything for them but chose foot washing. There is nothing glorious about feet…I mean feet stink! Feet can be rough and calloused and cracked. Most feet are not fresh from a pedicure and ready for the fashion runway. Then Jesus gives an explanation, as we read in John 13:12-15:
“So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”
MISSION! Jesus was not merely saying do as I say, no, He went a step further and said do as I do!
On our convent wall in Memphis, right beside our front door, hung a picture of a statue of Jesus washing the feet of one of His disciples. The photo served as a reminder to Sr. Jacinta and me that every time we went out our door we were called to wash the feet of others — in big and small ways of love.
May the example of Christ shine through our lives during this holiest of weeks and throughout the Easter Season.