Friday, April 06, 2007

Holy Thursday (Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper)
Moving and Remembering – Washing and Being Washed

Readings: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

(NB: The following reflection was submitted to Shalom. Permission to publish it here is presumed.)
I often find it easy and consoling to identify with the way in which Peter is portrayed in the gospels. I can, for example, empathize with his reaction in the gospel today. You shall never wash my feet. Like Peter, I too sometimes tend to think that it is I who should be doing things for the Lord and not the other way around. After all, doesn’t Jesus ask us to copy what I have done for you?

Yet isn’t it also true that we can only imitate Jesus to the extent that we have first experienced and continue to experience him washing our feet? If I do not wash you, you can have nothing in common with me. And isn’t it only when I continually remain present to the memory of what Christ does for me, for us, that I receive the strength and wisdom to move out and do likewise for others? Isn’t this what the Eucharist is all about? And isn’t this also the experience of the Exodus? The people were told to be ready to move – you shall eat hastily – but they were also told to rememberthis day is to be a day of remembrance for you?

We can move only when we first remember. We can wash others only when we allow ourselves to be washed.
How is Christ washing us today? How is he inviting us to wash others?

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