This image of Christ washing the feet of His Disciples is from a series of frescos painted by Giotto and found in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. I have been blessed to have seen the originals more than once, and they are precious and powerful, and the story about how they survived World War Two is miraculous. They are, however, not the main story today.
Tonight, the Church commemorates the Institution of the Priesthood and of the Eucharist. As I was praying this morning, it was hard not to be drawn into the turmoil surrounding both at this time in our history. Without a doubt, these are difficult days, but hope is not lost, the story will not end this way. Something comes after Good Friday!
Without going into a lengthy discourse, I think the answer to the present problems lies in the words of Christ spoken right after He washed the feet of His disciples (John 13:15). Jesus says “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”
Could the answer to so many of our present problems be connected to the way we have lived out this model Christ gave to us? I think so. We would not find ourselves in such a mess, whether it be our country, our Church, or even our personal lives, if each and every one of us were living lives that faithfully mirror the life of Jesus.
The Lord knew at the Last Supper that the story would not end there. It couldn’t. More had to be done, because He knew we would not live up to the model He laid out that night. We’ll save that part of the story for tomorrow and Saturday.
Last April, I attended a daily Mass at my parish. In our pastor’s homily that morning, he said something that I wrote down as soon as I got home. He said, “whenever something is crazy in your life, go to the Eucharist.” I was struck by the simplicity of the message, and I think it has important relevance today.
It seems to me that there is much to be angry about right now in our world. However, instead of turning up the volume, the hostility, the downright hatred, we should turn to the Eucharist for our answers. Make a Holy Hour for our country, our President, our elected officials. Make a Holy Hour for those who have been abused. Make a Holy Hour for those who did the abusing. Make a Holy Hour for those who have harmed us in any way, and for those we have harmed.
Christ told us He is the Way, the Truth, the Life. He has the answers and the means to solve all our problems. It is Love.
We celebrate these Holy Days because of His great Love. This is the model He left us. It is the solution to all our problems, past, present and future.
May God bless all our priests, and may they faithfully follow the Way of the Master, our Great High Priest.
“When something is crazy in your life, go to the Eucharist.” Amen