This evening we begin the celebration of the Easter Triduum, three days when we recall the central elements of our faith, the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. This evening we recall the institution of the Eucharist, the sacrament which keeps our faith and that of our Christian communities alive. Because of the pandemic the celebrations are obviously curtailed and attendance at Mass will not be easy. However, St John in his gospel reminds us that on Holy Thursday night while Jesus instituted the eucharist he also directed his followers to wash each other’s feet. The eucharist without care of neighbour is not ideal.
This year, while not being able to regularly attend Mass we have been called to care for our neighbour’s wellbeing as never before. The various protocols are today’s version of washing our neighbour’s feet. It is understandable that we miss going to church for Mass. However, St John would say that every day we restrained ourselves to put other people first is likewise imitating Jesus on Holy Thursday. These days, frustrating as they are, are holy days also.
The Last Supper and the Fasting of the Feet. Images from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.
The Last Supper in the Resurrection Garden, Nairobi, Kenya.