Mary anoints his feet with oil and then Jesus washes the disciples feet just before the guys sit down to eat the Passover meal. It is at this meal, at this moment where we have the beginning of the Priesthood. It’s in the washing of their feet – which isn’t a particularly pleasant thing – Jesus shows what it means to be a true servant. It’s not easy.
Yes, yes He’s been showing that all along with so many other things: like standing up for what’s right and calling things out for being wrong; and being loving and gentle with wounded people. . . . It is here where Jesus acknowledges his betrayer and never condemns him. Jesus never condemns Judas – not here, not in this moment, not ever. Even after the Resurrection Jesus does not condemn Peter for his denial. Peter’s doing a great job of condemning himself.
The first time I ever attended Holy Thursday Mass was a beautiful moment, to see the Priest kneel and was the feet of 12 parishioners, to lay on the floor renewing his Priesthood, to tell the story once again calling us to listen and in the listening conform our lives more to Christ. To become more of whom God wants us to be, it’s not easy and it takes courage – an act of the will.
Celebrating Holy Week for the first time was special for another reason too – because I’d been Baptized (as an infant) I had to go to Confession before the reception of the Sacraments. The RCIA coordinator gave some direction and my sweetie (also my sponsor) filled out what I needed to do: examine my conscience, speak my sins and be open to receiving the healing Grace of God offered in the Sacrament. The Priest could not have been kinder. I walked away from that First Confession – I wish I could adequately describe in words the experience – great joy doesn’t quite cover it. Although I’m not as diligent as I once was about going to the Sacrament I am forever grateful for the opportunity. Like all of the Sacraments there is something deeply holy and incredibly personal in this Sacrament. I know I shouldn’t have a favorite Priest but I do and he was also the best to go to Confession with for so many reasons.
I’m going to miss Mass tonight and Good Friday service tomorrow because I have to work. While I’m deeply sad about that I’m grateful to have work. I am grateful for the gift of this week. I am grateful for the life we celebrate and how God continues to call us into a deeper relationship with him.
Happy Holy Week,