Tonight, the Season of Lent officially ends as many Christian churches celebrate the liturgy of Holy Thursday which moves us into the celebration of “The Three Days” – the Easter Triduum, during which we commemorate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
These three days are really one solemn liturgy.
The Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper links Jesus’ gift of the Himself with his action of washing the feet of the disciples. The distinctive action of Jesus in washing of the feet of the disciples is an act of humble service usually performed by a slave. In washing their feet, Jesus sums up His life of total service. Jesus also tells them, “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.” You and I are invited to emulate Jesus’ very act of self-giving through lives of loving service to others. We are called to wash the feet of one another.
This action of feet washing or of total service is countercultural because they challenge the “Me First” thinking that often prevails in our society. Jesus tells his disciples, “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” It is a model that we can never emulate purely on our own. We need the grace of Christ present and at work within us. It is life lived to the fullest.