Skip to main content

Allowing myself to receive

art by John August Swanson
Tonight we celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper, and that includes the washing of the feet.  Twelve individuals come forward, representing not only the Twelve Apostles, but the entire Church community, and allow themselves to have their feet washed by Christ's humble servants, the priests.

It is my job (at the church where I work) to get 12 people to have this done.  It's hard.  Really.  People don't want to do it.  "My feet are ugly", "I have a tattoo that I don't want Father to see", "I don't like getting up in front of people".....(I am not making this stuff up).  I was getting a little upset about this, until I remember that Peter threw sort of a hissy-fit about it too:  "Lord, you will NEVER wash my feet."  I guess Peter was thinking that Jesus was just too good to do that sort of job, a job usually relegated to a lowly servant.

However, I think this is also an issue of pride.  Peter was not allowing himself to be open to the gift of service:  "I don't need that from you.  I won't allow it."  We might think this ourselves.  Have you ever had someone offer to help you, and you refused?  "Oh, no, it's no big deal."  "I can get this myself."  "No, don't go out of your way for me."  "I can handle it." That, my friends, is pride.

Sometimes  - in fact, much of the time - we need to allow people to help us.  They need it and we need it.  Okay, we might not REALLY need someone to help us clean up the kitchen after a dinner party, but we need the companionship and the conversation.  The other person may need to be needed, and feel that acceptance that comes with working side-by-side with another.  When we humbly allow ourselves to be served, we can actually serve in return - which is exactly the point Christ was making when He tied that towel around His waist and knelt down in front of his companions.

Today, allow yourself to serve and to be served.  And remember, this type of service is not just about the people around you, it is about you and your relationship to Christ. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Trauma Mama

Dear Husband and I both enjoy certain medical shows, such as "ER" and "Code Black." ("St. Elsewhere" was another fave!) These shows revolve around trauma: humans who'd been ambushed by life: a car accident, a fire, and abuse, as examples.

More often than not, these shows also highlight the trauma the doctors and nurses needed to deal with. Having a patient die is always offensive to a doctor: they are charged with saving lives and losing one is the ultimate failure. Nurses spend more time with patients, and can forge strong bonds with people that may be in their lives for just a few days.

But trauma doesn't always look like a bloody body being wheeled into an emergency room, or a house surrounded by fire trucks and police cars. Trauma comes in many forms.

According to one website, trauma can look like surgery. It can look like moving. Trauma can be losing a beloved spouse or more horrifying, a child. Trauma can also be chronic pain, loneliness, m…

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I …