Thursday, April 01, 2010

The washing of the feet, the paschal offering, and Jesus

Holy Thursday, Cycle C
Washing of the feet
Gospel: John 13:1-15

As we are commemorating the washing of the apostles' feet by our Lord, we are reminded of three symbols that are deeply connected with Jesus in his desire to prove his total love for us.  These things also mark the very essence of our being Christians, both you as laity and I as a priest:

1. slavery - the washing of the feet; to get things done we have to do the work ourselves; there is no room for delegation, for management or even planning.  Only the slave can cleanse a dirty feet.  Only someone who knows how to bend can easily toil the land.  Only a man who humbles himself can cause another to live.  Let us then serve one another from now on!

2. the paschal lamb - sacrifical offering; there are two sides to the paschal lamb; the meat to enable the household to live and the blood for the angel of death to pass while the first born of the Egyptians were killed.  Jesus is the paschal lamb; only through his self-offering we are healed.  We are reminded that for the sake of love we are to place our lives at the line.  If only to make others live, I would offer everything I have - time, talent and treasure for the sake of the others.


3. the bread of life - the unleavened bread, hastily done, brings temporary relief to the family on their way to attaining freedom.  Jesus is the bread of life who feeds the hungry.  When we minister to one another, we need not delay, nor plan how it would go; rather, we need to do it now.  Our hunger for life needs to be fulfilled today.  Our ministry to proclaim the word has to be done now.

These three symbols, the Lord Jesus asks us to do in his memorial.  It is the new covenant sealed in His body and blood.  Let us appreciate the real essence of Christianity by living these symbols today.

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