Easter Retreat: Day Five – Holy Thursday: “The New Passover – Our God on His knees, washing our feet”
Read Exodus 12:1-14, John 13:1-15
The Lord leaves His temple. The altar is laid bare. The tabernacle is empty. In many Catholic Churches, the red light that signifies the presence of Christ is off. The battle to be fought these days will not be in temples or tabernacles made of human hands. The Lord journeys into the thick of battle. The Lord journeys into the hidden and the dark part of our lives, where sins and demons lurk. He journeys into the prisons and graves of our lives, where our innocence, dreams and hopes are held prisoners and murdered. He takes our place in these graves and prisons to set us free. He chooses to pay the ultimate price to lose Himself in our hidden graveyard of pain, shame, hatred, pride, laziness, lust and fear so that we might find ourselves in God.
This journey begins with Holy Thursday, the feast of the Tabernacle, the feast of the Holy Eucharist, the feast of the new Passover, the feast of the Holy Priesthood. Here the Lord offers us his body and blood, the sacrifice that initiates the Passover from death to life, from fear to faith, from sin to grace and from darkness to light.
Today, our Lord shocks our world with the symbol of our God on his knees washing our feet. In a world where pastors and religious leader are wealthier than their whole congregation and fly on luxurious jet, our God is on His knees washing our feet. In a world where political leaders live in secured affluence in a country where majority of their citizens are suffering, our God is on his knees washing our feet. In a system where political leaders see their elected position as their birthright and refuse to leave office, our God is on his knees washing our feet. In a world where a boss or a leader cannot be seen serving his or her employees or followers, our God is on his knees washing our feet. In cultures where a husband cannot be seen cooking for his wife and taking care of his children, our God is on his knees washing our feet. In continents where ministerial position are seen as positions of power and honour and wealth and not as a position of service, our God is on His knees washing our feet.
Here the Lord reminds us that true greatness is seen by being on our knees washing the feet of others. Anyone who wants to be great among you must be the servant of all.
Today we celebrate the vocation of priesthood. Minsters on their knees, washing the feet of others. This is our place: to wash the dust of tiredness, despair, hurt, fear and suffering from the feet of our brothers and sisters. Our place is not on a seat of privilege but on our knees washing the feet of others. Today the Lord shows us and reminds in every Eucharist sacrifice what our ministerial priesthood means.
My dear friends, If you want to be great, if you want to be happy, if you want your life to be pregnant with meaning, there is no better vocation than to fall on your knees and wash the feet of others.
Remember our God is on His knees washing our feet. May God bless you all. And please pray for your priests.