Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Thursday

I cannot begin to discuss Holy Thursday without first mentioning the question my daughter asked today.  "Is Holy Thursday a Holy Day of Obligation?"  When I told her no, a huge sigh escaped her lips.  Grant it, she is 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant and was relieved she could miss Mass tonight.  Now, those of us who know her well realize what happens at Holy Thursday Mass is something unthinkable to my darling daughter.  It's the Mass where feet are washed as Jesus washed the apostles feet at the Last Supper.  The thought of it alone is enough to invoke gagging noises.  Let's just say she is not a foot person.  (Sorry sweetie, you know I couldn't resist!).

The beauty of today's Gospel (John 13:1-15) and the washing of the feet was significant for the apostles in comprehending their role after Jesus' death.  Jesus needed them to visually see and experience what true discipleship dictates . . .  serving one another.

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."

In Anne a lay apostle’s book, Serving in Clarity, she affirms our service to the Kingdom is not without effort.  It requires blood, sweat and tears: 

"There is a line we have drawn in our heads and the line represents our 'this far and no further' mark. In this time, in this apostolate, we are called to gently step beyond that line as Christ draws us. This is not a glory-filled, noisy charge made amongst cheering multitudes. On the contrary, this is a weary 'one step further for Christ' increase. This is a sometimes tear-filled, sometimes nearly broken, and usually fear-filled 'YES' to the Lord that draws us past our intended limit of service. Such fear! Such trepidation! But Jesus will not see us perish and it can be stated that there are times when the act of clinging to this truth is the only means of buoyancy we possess."

Today lay apostles, find a way to increase your service to the Kingdom of God.  While it may not be washing another's feet, it could be as simple as a smile, a kind gesture or patience when there is none to be found.  

Thank you, Lord, for showing me how to cross the line into greater service for You and Your Kingdom.  I will withstand anything for You!

God bless,

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