Holy Thursday at STM
By Steve Taranovich
On Holy Thursday, the beginning of the Triduum, one of the things that is done at Mass is a seemingly humiliating task, of washing people’s feet just as Jesus did for His disciples as the Master became the servant. This act is actually very personal and kind of intimate. It was one of the last acts Jesus performed on Earth. None of us are above serving the poor and less fortunate.
After Jesus washed their feet, He said to the disciples, “You should wash one another’s feet,” He told them. “I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:1-17)
What this means for us in the 21st century is that we are called to serve our neighbors, even if it means we must do things we do not like. The work may be dirty or hard, or even we may think it is beneath us, but we must still do our work. If Jesus Himself, the Son of God, washed the feet of His disciples, we are no greater than Jesus, so we too should follow His example.
At STM on Holy Thursday, we parishioners are called to serve our neighbors. This act is a reminder that we are of the Body of Christ and as Jesus’ followers, we too are called to serve others in a spirit of humility. And we are to do so, even if we do not feel the desire to do so. As Christians, this is our duty.
Father Jim kneels and I watched him as he humbly and lovingly washed the feet of 12 people. After that act, all the congregation began to come up and have their hands washed by someone before them and after they dried their hands, they washed the hands of the next person in line.
If you have not experienced this act, then be sure not to miss it next year. It is an extraordinary lesson in humility and love of neighbor—one of Jesus’ greatest commandments to us.
We are, in essence, reenacting the Last Supper when Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Holy Communion and the institution of the priesthood.
Later, Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place, after a silent procession to the Parish Hall, where the community members remain in the presence of the Eucharist just as the Disciples kept a vigil with Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Next, we move on to Jesus’ Passion and Death on Good Friday, but after three days we rejoice in His Resurrection beginning with the Easter Vigil.April 11, 2018