Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
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.”
REFLECTION: "He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist."
A few years ago, the pastor of our church was set to perform the washing of the feet ceremony during Holy Thursday Mass.
Everything was going as planned. Twelve people from the parish, mostly parish council, or other well known parishioners were on each of the chairs. I can even imagine-- wearing clean socks, and already very clean feet.
After father was done with this part of the Holy Thursday celebration, he stopped, as to think something over. And after a brief pause, he grabbed the water pitcher, bin, and towel, and started walking around the church. Then he randomly selected an unprepared parishioner, asked them to remove their shoe, and proceeded to wash this person's foot. Those feet were unclean, probably smelly feet of people that came to church right after an arduous day at work. Father didn't mind. He wanted to be with his sheep and show us how much he loved us. Imagine how much Jesus loves us that He gave us this priest.
In this simple act, this priest taught me several things. One, that things don't have to be over planned. Another that the priest is here for us. He humbles himself, and does all he can to reach us. To bring us to Christ.
On Holy Thursday we read at the Mass how Jesus humbled himself, and served his disciples. He gave them the model of service to one another, to follow His example.
Yesterday I saw another example of humility and true calling from a priest.
Because of Covid, many parishes have restricted hours and settings for confession. Many did not hold a Lenten evening of confession for the parish. A Lenten evening of confession is during a certain night in Lent, many priests come to that parish and hear confessions for hours at a time. But many parishes did not do that this year.
Early in the morning I saw in Facebook the feed of a young millennial priest saying that he would be hearing confessions for 10 hours straight in one of the overflow rooms at his parish. Note that he is not the pastor. Also, other young priests gave him the thumbs up for doing this.
I thought that would be great! I would have rather gone in the morning, though I had to work, kids at school, etc. However, I made it a point to leave work/school promptly and head to that parish.
It wasn't surprising to see lots of people taking advantage of this beautiful sacrament. I was pleasantly surprised that Our Lord was exposed in the monstrance, and another priest was aiding him in another part of the church.
What truly caught my attention was to see that father was standing up hearing confessions. By the time I was there, he'd been doing this for 7 hours, and he still had 3 more hours to go!
This is one of the priests you will not hear from in the news. He is not going to be a celebrity priest. But his sacrifice is going to bring many souls into heaven...
He is following the model of service that Jesus left for him to follow...
Pray with us the PAPA Prayer for Priest so more and more priests become saints, and help their parishioners be saintly as well.