Holy Thursday 2012


Today's Gospel Proclamation and of course the rest of the celebration cannot be understood apart from the action depicted in the Gospel: the washing of feet. This is not just a side incident or an introduction to the main point of the dinner. This is one way of stating what the gift of His Body and Blood proclaim: Jesus Christ offers Himself up completely for us, and then calls us to offer ourselves up completely for others. My brother, my sister, the washing of feet is an action demanding our humble acceptance of the Lord and an action mandating that we do to others what is done for us: serve them without limits, with sacrificial love[1].

When Jesus washed the feet of his disciples he performed, let us say, a prophetic action. Even a slave could not be made to wash the feet of his or her master. It was degrading, disgusting. But not to the Lord. He would empty Himself in service to His people. He would give Himself completely to them. He would give them His Body and Blood. He would die on the cross for them. He would demonstrate to them that the Love of God had no limits. Nothing was too demanding. Love was all that matters. The Last Supper began with a prophetic act demonstrating the love them and us all experience pouring down on us from the cross.

But this action of the Lord demands, at the same time, that we accept Him in our lives. We need our Savior. We cannot conquer the evils of the world alone. We have to let Him save us, and Jesus save us trough the Church which is “Sacrament of Salvation”[2]. You remember this very well: Peter tried to prevent the Lord from humbling Himself: Would you wash my feet, Lord?[3] And Jesus tells Him and us that if we do not allow Him to give Himself to us, if we are so proud to think that we do not need Him, or we do not need the Sacrament of Confession, or we do not need the Magisterium of the Church, then He will have no part of us.

So, this evening we are reminded that the Meal of Love begins with our humble recognition that we need Christ to empty Himself for us.

In a few moments we will perform the symbolic action of washing the feet of the children of our parish, and afterwards we will celebrate the action of Christ in His Gift of Body and Blood. At the end of the Mass we will process with the Blessed Sacrament and we will wait and watch with Him remembering his night at the Garden of Olives. Let us pray for the humility to be nourished by Him and the determination to nourish others. But especially let us pray together may we be a Eucharistic People ■


[1] Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. Readings: Exodus 12:1-8. 11-14.  Psalm 116, 12-13.15-16.17-18.  I Corinthians 11:23-26. John 13:1-5
[2] Cfr Lumen Gentium nn. 1, 2; 48, 2; 59, 1; Gaudium et Spes n. 45, 1; Ad Gentes nn. 1, 1; 5, 1
[3] Cfr Jn 13:6. 

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris