“The washing of the feet and the sacrament of the Eucharist: two expressions of one and the same mystery of love entrusted to the disciples, so that, Jesus says, ‘as I have done… so also must you do’ (Jn 13: 15).” ~ St. John Paul II
Today begins the three holiest days of the Church year. There is nothing that is more important than Easter. Some people put their stock in Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, we needed Jesus to be born. However, if that Child grew up and did not suffer and die for us, well, we would still be waiting for the gates of heaven to be opened. Christ’s death and resurrection are the be-all and end-all of our faith.
As if that were not enough, Jesus, the night before He suffered and died, instituted the Eucharist. He gave us His very own Body and Blood. The consecrated host is Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Himself. That great gift nourishes us on our way to the Kingdom. It is such a great and important gift that the Church calls it the Source and Summit of the Christian Life. The Eucharist, after all, is what makes us one.
Now, as if that were not enough, the Eucharistic meal first given to us by Jesus Christ began with a very important faith action called the mandatum. We call it the washing of the feet. It was Jesus’ mandate to His followers that, if we were to be like Him, we would need to wash the feet of others. In other words, we need to be servants to others.
A servant is a very particular position. A servant has no power or authority. A servant needs to look out for another and anticipate the other’s every need. Not only should the servant anticipate the needs of another, the faithful servant also provides for those needs. This would be contrary to what the disciples wanted to do. They wanted to be important and in charge. Yet Jesus told them importance meant caring for others, not being in charge but serving in generosity and love.
All of this is remembered tonight in the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. It sets the stage for the next two days when we will see Jesus arrested, crucified, and laid in a tomb not sure what would happen afterwards. Do you want to be important? Do you want to be considered great? Get your servant on.
FAITH ACTION: Do your best to be a humble servant today, giving all glory to God rather than looking for praise or attention for yourself.
At St. Thomas More Church, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper
takes place at 7:00 p.m. this evening. All are welcome.