Dear OSJ Family,
On the night before Christ died for us on the Cross at Calvary, he washed the feet of his disciples. This was a powerful gesture on his part. That Almighty God, in Christ, would literally stoop down and wash the dirty feet of those he taught, guided and loved speaks volumes of God’s great love for us! Some say that, besides the cross, this is the most humble thing that the Lord ever did. So what are we to learn from Jesus Christ’s act of humility? Jesus Himself clearly explained the primary lesson of foot-washing: “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” John 13:14
In other words, if Jesus Christ is willing to humbly and unconditionally serve His followers in a lowly human task, his followers, that is us, ought to follow His example and be willing to perform even the most difficult tasks for our sisters and brothers in the human family.
Indeed on that first Holy Thursday, before they broke bread together, Jesus instituted the foot-washing ceremony to illustrate that He had come to serve others. Christ’s ultimate service for the world was his desire to sacrifice His life for us on that first Good Friday. Christ’s example of humility, service and generosity is all the more moving because of its contrast with the attitude of the rest of the world that so often seems to be to serve one’s self over others. Jesus as his stooped to wash the feet of his friends modeled humble service for them and that same lesson remains for us today.
With that I ask that YOU consider having your foot washed at our Holy Thursday Liturgy. As is the time honored custom at OSJ, we will have teams of people throughout the church offering that humble gesture to all who approach. It takes humility to serve and to be served in this regard…and what a beautiful gesture of service this is!
Please try to join us on Holy Thursday as we celebrate the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the ministerial priesthood, and as we remember the humble act of “stooping down” to serve others as Jesus serves us!
Fr Phil Florio,SJ