by Catherine Doherty.
Let us face it frankly: how much love do we have? Love for God, and love for man?
How many of us really carry a basin and a pitcher filled with the water of our love and gird ourselves with a towel so as to wash the feet of our neighbor? The calloused, tired, dirty, clean, young, old feet of our neighbor?
Somehow Holy Thursday should remain with us always.
It is true that it was only once that Our Lord knelt down in the dust or stone floor and washed the feet of his Apostles.
But as he did so He said, Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you (Jn 13: 12-15).
In so many words he told all of us that we must serve unto the washing of feet, which means today a sort of total involvement in the other person, in his or her loneliness, his or her seeking, his or her need.
Yes, let us face it frankly: how much love do we have?
It isn’t too hard to love a distant God and even pray to him in cool ancient cathedrals, modern lovely chapels, and even in poustinias, but at all times we must not forget that the Lord spoke constantly of prayer and service.
"I have come to serve," he said. He might as well have said, "I have come to love," which is what he really meant. Do we?
It is, of course, good to work to alleviate human misery and need by banding together in committees, forums and what-have-you. But love is essentially something that goes from person to person. It is personalized, one to one, for then comes the true involvement in the other.
Then comes the understanding, the discernment that belongs to prayer, and the incarnation of that discernment that belongs to service. Together they form the love that Christ talked so constantly about in his Gospel, this Gospel that should be lived without compromise.
—Reprinted from Restoration, June 1977.
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