I was particularly touched when I stooped down low and began washing the feet of the members of the pastoral council, the Evangelizing Team. When I informed them of my desire to do such a thing which as I was told, hasn’t been practiced for sometime, a couple of them sounded like Peter, “You, my Pastor slash my Boss, are going to wash my feet?” No way! For real? Well, if that’s the case, wash my car, too! It was surprisingly shocking. This very humbling gesture in which not even a slave/worker in those times was allowed/required to perform to a Master/Employer for whatever reason was a clear reminder of the nature of my priestly ministry, that is, pattern it according to the example of service Jesus showed to his disciples. It triggered my commitment.
This is why it is called, Maundy Thursday (from the word, Mandatum), that on the night before he died, in the midst of all sorts of tension, adversity, betrayal, arrest, fear of death and uncertainty, instead of blaming others and feeling grumpy about it, he gave thanks and left them a new commandment of loving one another as he loved them through washing each other’s feet, the trademark of a real and genuine disciple.
The first reading, Exodus 12, provides an account of the institution of the passover meal in which God as laid down in the logistics, asked Moses to remember the even: the deliverance/rescue of the oppressed Jews from slavery in Egypt, make it perpetual and observe it as an annual event to mark that it was him who was responsible and not any other. The words of St. Paul to the corinthian community was striking, considering its context. As the earliest evidence of the Holy Eucharist, he faithfully shared what he received and instructed them that gathering together is a sign of unity and not division. To limit membership only to a certain number of people, was a scandal in the name of God and the church. He was well aware of the issues.
I’ll stop here…Amen.