April 13, 2017 - Palm Sunday, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
By washing the feet of his disciples, Jesus is taking the role of the house servant. But Jesus is not washing their feet out of obligation. Jesus is washing their feet out of love and care and concern.
Jesus is also washing their feet to make a point, to teach an important lesson. As I have done, so you should do.
How can we wash the feet of others? Through acts of kindness, not done out of obligation, but out of love and care and concern.
Acts of kindness should done without expecting reward or recognition and no deed is too small.
Opening the door for someone.
Putting a smile on someone’s face.
Picking up a nail in the road or trash on the side of the road.
Taking out the trash or doing the dishes or washing the clothes.
Expressing to someone how special they make you feel.
Donating money to a worthwhile cause or a reputable charity.
Cleaning out your closet and giving gently worn clothing to the needy.
Volunteering for a civil or church event.
Doing something good for the environment.
Paying for the next person’s order at the drive through.
Visiting the nursing home.
Having a conversation with that person who is socially awkward.
Defending the person who gets bullied all the time.
Babysitting for free so a young couple can have a night out.
Tipping the waitress generously for doing hard work for very little pay.
Giving to the homeless some food to eat.
Putting together a basket of treats for someone who has lost a family member, then delivering it when most people have gone back to their daily lives.
Offering your elderly neighbor a ride to church or to the store.
Surprising someone with breakfast in bed.
Saying I love you to someone you care about.
Forgiving someone who has hurt you.
All of these are just examples of doing what Jesus did, thinking of others first, putting others first, doing for others first.
Jesus teaches us by example: as I have done, so you must do. We learn from watching Jesus, we learn from listening to Jesus.
But Jesus doesn’t just teach by example. He does so much more. At the Last Supper he takes bread and says, “this is my body for you.” He takes wine and says, “this is my blood for you. Eat and drink.”
Jesus knows we can’t follow the example he has set on our own. We need his help. So he gives us the gift of the Eucharist.
When we receive the Eucharist, we receive Jesus’ very flesh and blood, his very life given as spiritual food which gives us courage to do what he calls us to do.
Tonight as we celebrate the Last Supper of the Lord, may we learn from Jesus’ example. And tonight as we celebrate the Last Supper may we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus as nourishment, as strength, as spiritual food.
We are given this food for the journey so that we can all do as Jesus has done: wash the feet of others through acts of kindness, not out of obligation, but out of love and care and concern.