Thursday, March 24, 2016

Fully Aware

By Beth DeCristofaro

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household. “This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. (Exodus 12:1-3, 11)

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. (John 13:1-5)

Where true charity is dwelling, God is present there.  (Antiphon from the Mass of the Lord’s Supper)

As our ancestors in faith, we are a Passover people.  We are given such amazing gifts by God: life, this beautiful world, the emotions and imagination to love, be amazed and to create.  But these are not the whole of the gift.  We are offered more – are we aware?

Sr. Ruth Burrows tells us that Jesus wants us “completely identified with Him in His perfect sacrifice”[i].  Our lives are a journey to Him and the building of the Kingdom begins within our hearts. Jesus was fully aware.  Jesus knew the horrors and humiliation of the sacrifice he is willing to make.  Jesus knew the wonder of life.  He knew the weaknesses of his disciples.  He knew the betrayal to come yet he modeled kindness, service, and humility including washing the feet of his betrayer.  The footnotes to the Gospel state that even the lowest of slaves did not wash others feet.  Yet the Son of God did, humbling himself and foreshadowing his dishonorable death on the Cross.  Are we aware?  And can we choose with awareness to follow His lead?

Sr. Ruth goes on to say:  When we open our hearts fully to Jesus’ redeeming love, “the very love of Jesus takes possession of our hearts and we too shall find ourselves concerned only with the work of God, devoid of self-interest.  ‘Come, Master, celebrate your Pasch in my house-I open its doors wide to you.’”  What self-interest bars the doors to our hearts?  Pray for the faith to open wide our doors.  Then pray for full awareness and open.

[i] “When Love Takes Possession”, Sr. Ruth Burrows, Give Us This Day:  Daily Prayer for Today’s Catholic, March 2016, pp. 264-265.

No comments: