Holy Thursday 2007
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Today we celebrate the glorious Mass of the Lord's Supper. Holy Thursday begins the holy time of The Easter Triduum. We pause and take time to remember and honor the journey of Jesus to the cross, his death, burial, and resurrection. We celebrate the glorious gift of our salvation and God's unwavering love for us.
Holy Thursday is a vibrant call to us all that we seek the good of God's people over our own desires and wants. We commemorate this through the action of washing one another's feet. To say that this can be uncomfortable to some would be an understatement.
Every day we are bombarded with the message that we are to strive to be powerful, rich, or famous. Actually the slogan of "I want it all" is programmed in to us beginning in childhood. Prestige is almost a commodity in our modern culture. However, we selfishly pursue prestige, fame, and wealth at our own peril. Now I am not saying that being respected and having money is a bad thing. However, it does become a problem when those things are our reason for living. They are fleeting things in the cosmic scheme of things.
Jesus does something shocking at The Last Supper. Jesus places himself as the disciples servant and does a very intimate thing, he washes their feet. I can think of few things more intimate than taking someones feet and washing them. It is a fantastic sign of respect. It is an action that places the other person above and beyond our own wants. The disciples actually protest Jesus' doing this. How can the Lord humble himself so? Peter is shocked by Jesus' humility. Jesus' gentleness and love is shown in this very simple but spectacular gesture. I can think of nothing more symbolic of being a servant than washing feet.
And so we reenact the Last Supper by the washing of feet and celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We enter that night when Jesus proclaims that in order to be a disciple of his, we must empty ourselves of the lust for power, prestige, wealth, and authority. To truly be a disciple, we must be willing to be the servant of all. In doing that we fulfill Jesus' command to love God and neighbor.
We are all called to "wash one another's feet". We may not physically wash feet but we do the same thing when we willingly place the good of God's people above our own desires and seek to serve. We can do nothing more powerful than to work for the good of God's Children. We can have no greater respect than when we see in one another the face of God. We have no greater wealth than when we say yes to Jesus' call.
When we answer Jesus' call we have more prestige, power, and wealth than we can imagine! To truly and faithfully follow Jesus gives us a part in God's Kingdom and nothing on earth can remotely equal that.