Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Jesus left one clear obligation for all of his disciples to follow: ‘So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought also to wash one another’s feet.’ This means that anyone I meet, particularly anyone who has been baptized (whether I am aware of it or not), is a one or another, and significantly someone whose feet I ought to be washing. How do I ‘wash another person’s feet’? First I will bring to them the water of the grace I have received from my own Baptism that is the Holy Spirit of God flowing through me. Then I will stoop down at their feet in the humility of recognizing them as a Child of God. I do this by listening with a ‘heart with ears’ - without complaint and without judgement and with empathy and connection, mostly in silence - to their stories of pain, rejection, infidelity and maltreatment of any kind. Then I will ‘rub their feet’ with the towel of patience, kindness and faithfulness that God has extended to me and send them on their way. I wash the feet of another person in this way not just to ‘make them feel good’. Nor do I try to take their grime off analytically, speck by speck, or wipe it off with my own clothing. Rather I wash the feet of another with God’s grace and rub their feet (walking parts) with the towel of compassion and kindness to clean and purify their hearts, preparing them to receive Jesus anew in the Sacraments of life. Simply by bringing the cleansing water of divine connection to them, and patting and padding their feet with God’s mercy, they are refreshed for the continuation of their journey through life. Will I take time to wash the feet of first one and then, of another? Holy Spirit of Jesus, help me wash the feet of others.
O Lord, I am your servant. I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds. (Psalm 116:14 )
Come, adore this wondrous presence; Bow to Christ, the source of grace! Thomas Acquinas. Pange Lingua
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Soli ad gloriam Dei
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.