Maundy Thursday: Footwashing, Faith, and Justice

Some of you may remember that it was last year, on Maundy Thursday, that Pope Francis made a deliberate choice in his own ritual of footwashing on Maundy Thursday.  Instead of esteemed or socially “worthy” footwashing, he washed the feet of two young women detained at a juvenile detention center.  He didn’t do it to be preachy, or because they were Catholic.  I like to think he acted on a different authority, one that sees from the bottom up rather than from the top down.  Here is my favorite news story of this event, published last year:

Huffington Post:  Pope Francis Footwashing

Today, if you are able, join us for our own Maundy Thursday Holy Eucharist and Footwashing service at St. Thomas (Thursday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m.).  This service offers us an opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ own acts of radical compassion and justice.

If you are unable to participate in this service, or if you are participatinghere virtually, consider offering a “foot-washing” of your own.  It doesn’t have to be actual feet.  Where can we turn the tables?  Where can we be of service not to the people who we think deserve it most, or even to those who ask the loudest.  What does this symbolic act of Jesus tell us about who…and how…we serve?

Maundy Thursday
By the Reverend Mary Sulerud

Wash my feet Lord. Bathe that part of me that has walked in the mud of daily living, in the stony paths of choosing between this world’s ambitions and God’s dreams, in the crowded paths of desiring more than I needed so that I can receive what it is that God would give.

Wash my feet Lord. Bathe the scars of walking amid injustice and not justice and mercy, through the valleys of war and not peace, stumbling on what is neither forgiven, nor reconciled.

Wash my feet Lord. Bathe the burning ache of feet that have wandered in the wilderness looking for everyone and everything but you.

Wash my feet Lord.

3 thoughts on “Maundy Thursday: Footwashing, Faith, and Justice

  1. Pingback: Journeying 4: Maundy Thursday | small points of light

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