We have an example
of humility.In God's
name let each of us
humble our heart at
the sight of the high
majesty who washes
the feet of the fishermen.
The most honored among
us is the the most humble.
Italian Lauda - Fourteenth Century
Sr. Paula Schmidt, O.Ss.R, Prioress washing the feet of her sisters.
Contemplative nuns and monks have the option within their monasteries to have the superior be the person who acts as Christ in the Holy Thursday ritual foot washing, one of the most beautiful and evocative jestures of our sacred liturgies. Performed slowly, with great dignity and generosity, the ceremony touches one to the core, to the depths of the heart. Jesus wanted us to wash each others' feet without regard of all the ways we tend to categorize, label, and evaluate each other. None of that matters at all. Love is the only thing that matters and love changes everything. Last Sunday we meditated upon the Gospel pericope of the annointing at Bethany, so important to the early Christians that it appears in each of the four Gospels. The woman pre-figures Jesus' action in her own. She already gets his message of love. And now Jesus models it for all.
Do you know what I have done to you?
You call me Teacher and Lord
and you are right, for that is what I am.
So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,
you also ought to wash one another's feet.
For I have given you an example,
that you also should do as I have done to you."
Infinite, intimate God; this night you kneel before your friends and wash our feet.
Bound together in your love, trembling, we drink your cup and watch.
New Zealand Prayer Book