On Holy Thursday, we celebrate the greatest of Sacraments, the Holy Eucharist. We celebrate the Last Supper. We begin the Triduum and our final preparations for Easter, the greatest feast of the year. On this day, one day each year, we focus on one of the last lessons Christ taught his Apostles before his Passion. It is a lesson of service, humility, leadership, and true love. It is the Washing of the Feet.
There is plenty of exegesis explaining the significance of this in the time and culture in which God chose to deliver this message. However, in the Divine Economy, the lesson transcends the need for history and hits me at my home, in my life in 2015. You see, I am a mom.
As parents we walk a line between master and servant each day. We hold authority over our children and yet we serve them in some of the most basic, mundane and unappreciated ways each day. The strange thing is, in parenthood it is natural to be both servant and leader. The only way this paradox can work is through love. It is with and through Love that we lead and for Love that we serve.
Changing diapers, cooking, cleaning, disciplining, teaching, soothing, comforting, and even washing their stinky little feet keep us humble and in service. If we truly reflect on Christ’s example that first Holy Thursday, we don’t need to look far to identify. But there is more. Listen to His words, “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14 NAB) As parents we can understand this kind of love and service in a powerful way. But, God asks me to love all his children as I love my own!
Just today, I corrected one of my children for hurting his sister. It can be so painful when your children fight or hurt each other. I want them to love one another and care for the other as much as I care for each of them. I want them to be selfless to one another. Not only would it make a more peaceful and happy environment for other children, it would serve the heart of the one practicing giving and selflessness. How I want that for them and how Christ wants it for us!
So this year, please think of the joy and love with which you gently washed your baby’s little feet, whether it be yesterday or years ago. Bring that love and service to all you meet. Love radically. Love fully. Love like a mother.
Copyright 2015 Kate Daneluk.
Photo: Baby Feet Waiting for a Bath by Lindsey, copyright 2010, via Flickr.