Without humility, there is no charity...
Over the last weekend I was frustrated when a Turkish football derby was cancelled due to a “serious security threat,” and the national team also postponed its training for some international matches coming up. When you cannot play or watch a friendly sporting event, then your freedom is being taken away. What kind of evil feels the need to get in the way of football?
Tuesday morning I woke up to news of a terrorist attack, that occurred in Brussels, and my heart sunk. I immediately checked in with friends there, and thankfully they’re all okay. For the first time, I felt sort of defeated, like okay, this is the life we face and the world we live in--you never know when you wake up which part of the world might be attacked. It's bound to hit my city soon, isn't it? I know that there are parts of the world accustomed to regular bombings and violence, but now instead of trying to help certain parts of the world, it seems as though we all most stand on guard. Still, I have to believe that through love and education we can conquer hate…or can we?
A long, long time ago, say about a couple thousand years ago when folks sat on the floor to eat, it was important to have clean feet, because it would be embarrassing to come to the table with dirty feet. So, usually when you entered someone's house, you would have your feet cleaned--typically by a servant.
At the Last Supper, Jesus asked us to love one another, and then he washed all his disciples' feet. This was a symbol of his love, and an incredible gesture of great humility and service, because without humility there is no charity. By bringing himself down to the level of a foot-washer, Jesus showed us he is one of us and we must love one another equally.
This week is Holy Week, the most important week of the year for Christians, and the tradition of foot-washing continues every Holy Thursday. At my church, we too, carry on the tradition of foot-washing, and last night I participated for the first time. It was a beautiful experience, because not only do you wash someone's feet, you must have your feet washed, too. The beauty in that is that what we give, we must be able to receive as well. Often times, the latter can be more difficult than the former.
No matter your religion, or lack there of, the significance of this tradition is but one powerful and universal message--love.
So, as I think about the terror that continues to plague our modern society, I pray that we all remember to be foot-washers. Throughout mass on Holy Thursday, as I watched people wash others' feet and get their feet washed, I thought how much more love and peace there might be if we all were foot-washers. That doesn't mean going around washing everyone's feet every day. Even something as simple as letting the person behind you in the grocery line go ahead of you, because he only has one item to checkout is being a foot-washer. It shows you are aware of others.
Pope Francis also continued the tradition, and he washed the feet of Muslim, Hindu, Orthodox, and Catholic refugees. As Jesus did, he reminds us that love knows no boundaries and sees every colour.
Be a foot-washer. Remember to be a foot-washer.
BIG LOVE & HUGS