Thursday, April 5, 2012
The Holy Thursday ritual is one that sustains me throughout the liturgical year. It’s the dramatic gesture of first stooping low to wash another’s feet, and then in turn, being served, and having my own feet washed, This simple deed becomes a profound act of mutual love, one that I like to imagine might transform the whole world if it were performed by the entire human family. Dreams like this bring hope.
There’s that initial moment of uneasiness in removing the shoes and feeling vulnerable and exposed . Being served can evoke a variety of reactions, from feeling important and loved to feeling utterly undeserving. But the foot washer serves as a peer and equal who freely chooses to do the washing and drying with such care and holy intention. The deep sense of belonging and tremendous gratitude I feel can be overwhelming.
The foot-washing amplifies the meaning of eating the bread later on when we share the Eucharist, that most radical act of love in which we remember that we who are many are one body, ingesting Christic energy and celebrating the Mystery of Love.
We remember. We believe. We celebrate.
Louise Hiniker, CSJ Consociate