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Holy Thursday Lord’s Supper

Today’ Mass Readings

Holy Thursday Lord’s Supper Washing the Feet

Something that strikes me about this whole passage
is the timing at which Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.

Foot washing was a gesture of hospitality
that a servant girl did for anyone
who entered their home.

But Jesus turned this humbling gesture
into an act of pure love and honor and dignity.

So, St. John purposely says
that it was “during the Supper”
that Jesus rose from the table
and began the foot washing,
not when the disciples entered the home.

 

John is teaching us that there is a vital connection
between eating the Lord’s Body, drinking the Lord’s Blood
and serving each other in community
as well as those who are not a part of our community.

 

Intentionally, St. John connects the Passion of Jesus
celebrated in the Last Supper and Good Friday
with the washing of his disciple’s feet.

The washing is more than just a model of service.

It is a very intimate act
where we give of ourselves completely to another,
as Jesus gave himself on the cross.

It’s not a question of us liking or not liking a service.

It’s not about us.

It’s about eating and drinking at the supper of the Lord
and become what we eat and drink.

 

Because we eat and drink of the Lord’s Body and Blood,
his very same love for the least of society becomes our love for them.

Could it be that the least in society
are not just the poorest of the poor
lacking food or housing?

Could it be for Jesus that the poorest of the poor,
the least in society are the ones who are poorest in my heart?

The ones I am not inclined to serve but still need me?

 

“Do you realize what I have done for you?

I, 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 for one another.”

So what did Jesus do?
Whose feet did he wash?

 

He washed the feet of Judas who betrayed him;
he also washed the feet of Peter who denied him;
he stooped to wash the feet of the rest of the Apostles
who fled and deserted him when he was arrested.

This gesture of Jesus teaches that those who believe in him
should serve not only families and friends
but should serve also those who oppose and betray them.

In the holy Mass we receive the strength of Jesus himself
to love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable,
and serve those we humanly would despise
or not serve because it’s not our thing.

He told us, with me all things are possible.

 

In a few moments I will wash the feet of my brothers and sisters.

May the Lord wash our hearts free of all bitterness
from anyone who betrayed us, denied us
and abandoned us in our weakest moments!

Having been cleansed, have no fear in washing the feet
and serving especially those who have been estranged from us
or especially those we estrange from ourselves.

My friends let us prepare our hearts.

Rick Pilger

Father Pilger, I.C. was born in Canton, Illinois and was ordained at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh, England in December 1978. He joined the Blessed Sacrament Parish in August 1995, coming here from Sacred Heart Parish in Bradenton Florida. After 22 years as Parochial Vicar, he was appointed Pastor by Bishop Gregory Parkes in June 20, 2017.

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