From Today’s Gospel:
“Jesus got up from table, removed his outer garment and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing….When Jesus had washed their feet and put on his clothes again he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand’ he said ‘what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.’”
Over the weeks of Lent, we have introduced you to a number of the refugee friends JRS accompanies, and have invited you to walk with them.
As we begin our journey through the Paschal Triduum, where is the Lord calling you to be?
An Invitation to Prayer and Reflection
Over the last few weeks, you’ve accompanied Ibrahim, Fernand, Juliet, John, Cecile, Christian and Han on snippets of their journeys. You’ve walked with them in moments of despair and joy, as they have faced betrayal and kindness in equal measure.
This journey has brought us to The Passion.
Tonight’s liturgy begins with a gentle act of service and love at the Last Supper; and ends with the watch, as we accompany Jesus to the garden. We know that something traumatic will happen tomorrow – the pain and humiliation of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest and crucifixion have not yet begun. But we know, as Jesus knows, that it is coming.
The washing of feet, copying Jesus’ example with the disciples in tonight’s Gospel, is an act of tender service mirrored in Churches across the world today. It is at once something very personal – intimate even – a show of mutual care for physical bodies; and yet also a liturgical ritual which will be re-enacted throughout the global Church. Though only a few will actively participate in the ritual, there is a sense in which we all receive from it. No matter who you are, where you are, no matter the wounds you carry in your body, whether you are safe tonight, or living in fear of tomorrow, Jesus’ tender loving touch is visible and personal.
As you join the global church in washing of the feet tonight, we invite you to reflect on your accompaniment of Ibrahim, Fernand, Juliet, John, Cecile, Christian and Han. Let your memory of their journeys come to mind.
How have you been touched by them over the last few weeks? Where have you experienced tenderness? Where have you witnessed service? Where does the gospel story tonight resonate with the stories of refugees you have accompanied? Where does their story help prepare you to accompany the Lord as we move through these Holy days?
We invite you to offer up these reflections to the Lord in prayer.
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