Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Boundless Charity

Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper
Pope Francis washing feet at Holy Thursday
Mass 2016 (Reuters)  

By Beth DeCristofaro

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,  … On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb … The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.  … and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. Genesis 12:1-3, 6

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 Godhe said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do."  John 13:3, 13-15

As you have done for me, Lord, may I do for others.  I ask that I always be present at your table receiving sustenance and strength to carry out your work in today’s world, sharing your Light of Life, Speaking your Word.

Jesus fully embodied his complete awareness that he had come from God and was returning to God.  In his ministry he loved those ugly with possession or disgusting through leprosy.  He loved the oppressor who begged healing for his son and a homeless blind man who shouted in hope.  He loved the woman caught in sin and he loved the aimless crowds whom he knew were fickle.  He loved those who could not hear his Word and turned away sorrowfully.  He loved his disciples who struggled so hard to understand and kept coming up short.  Indeed he had come from God and was returning to God and so do I, so do you.

Pope Francis describes Jesus’ love as boundless charity giving himself ‘to the very end’ for the salvation for the world.[i] Jesus acquiesced to be the slaughtered year-old lamb without blemish or sin. You and I are asked to love in our environments, where we find ourselves.  Just as Jesus and his disciples, our lives are often difficult, trying, perhaps even fearful.  Continually we come up short through sin or misunderstanding and we repeatedly place ourselves in the center of our lives as a god.  But as we came from God and will return to God we are constantly invited to God’s table of boundless love, light and well of life in Christ Jesus our Lord who feeds us, washes our feet and sends us forth to love others with generous charity.

Fast from your place of comfort and “wash someone’s feet.”  For example, take over an unpopular chore at home or work. Listen to someone you find hard to stomach; listen don’t advise or patronize. Call someone who is homebound or isolated and if possible take them out for ice tea. Breathe deeply and be respectful of that annoying colleague with the misbegotten political or religious views.

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