This morning, as a soft rain fell outside the dining room windows, Bishop Joe talked to us about Eucharist. A few things he shared made me think about how the Eucharist, church and mission are tied together.
We are joined with Christ as one Church through the Eucharist.
We are then sent out on mission to serve and share the love we receive from Jesus at Eucharist. It made me think of a worship song that I love: “Take the love of God with you as you go, take that seed of God’s love and make it grow. Go in peace to serve the world, in peace to serve the world. Take the love of God, the love of God with you as you go.”
But love is more than words. Love is action … and it must be extended to everyone. We see this in the washing of the feet, which is a profound Eucharistic act.
The washing of the feet in John’s gospel demonstrates a connection between being a Eucharistic people and a people of service. Bishop Joe illustrated this point with famous people who lived it out in their lives, including Mother Teresa, Archbishop Oscar Romero and Dorthy Day. They did what Jesus did.
This is important: Jesus washed the feet of the apostle who betrayed him, Judas.
Jesus washed the feet of the apostle who denied him, Peter.
Jesus washed the feet of the apostle who doubted him, Thomas.
Mother Teresa loved and cared for those no one else was willing to touch or help. Archbishop Romero took on the government and remained steadfast while speaking for those who had no voice. He died while celebrating Eucharist. Dorothy Day said, Why are their feet dirty to begin with? She set out to change the system that didn’t care for the downtrodden.
Jesus, Mother Teresa, Archbishop Romero and Dorothy Day served others regardless of who they were, what difficulties they faced, or what consequences might come from their service. They took the love they received at Eucharist into the world to share.
Bishop Joe asked us all, “Is there anyone’s feet you are not willing to wash?”
I thought of a parent who is always complaining about something in my classroom. Do I truly try to listen and serve? If I am being fully honest, I have to say, not always. How much easier it is to half-listen, to do a quick fix and go complain to another teacher than it is to set my feelings aside and truly serve that parent with the love of Christ!
I also thought of a Sister with whom I have a challenging relationship. How much easier it is to avoid her, to keep things at a surface level, than it is to truly be open to her. How easy it is to be too busy to stop to chat than to truly be a servant to her.
I have been honest here. So now I ask you: Is there anyone’s feet you are not willing to wash?