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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


We have committed ourselves to seeking union with God, we know what this commitment will entail and we have prepared ourselves. Today we enter into the first part of that commitment.
If we are to transform our entire being into the image of the Godhead itself, we must transform ourselves into the one who is the perfect image of the Godhead – Jesus Christ. Indeed, we are to imitate Jesus as Francis imitated Jesus, as Saint Paul imitated Jesus, as he has been imitated by all the saints.
Imitating Jesus means striving to be like him completely from the very beginning. Thus, today’s Gospel has at its heart images of baptism and service. The washing of feet is some of the earliest baptismal imagery in the Church. Only if we have our feet washed can we have an inheritance with Jesus, only by having our feet washed can we become clean. Those of us who have already been baptized are therefore called to renew our baptismal commitments to Christ for “we who have bathed” have no need except to have our feet washed. In the washing of feet we are born into Christ.
This washing of feet, this baptism of Christ is not separate from the life of Christ that we must follow as well. We must wash one another’s feet. On Monday I spoke of the importance of examining the underlying motivations of our life in Christ. Today we see this importance made known in the motivations of Christ. Christ serves because he loves and he loves to the end. Therefore our service must too come out of our love for Christ and for one another, we too must love to the end.
Yesterday I also spoke of the imagery of the Passover, of dressing ourselves for flight. Do we wish to go with Christ? Are we prepared to make haste with him? Then we must gird ourselves with the towel, we must remove our sandals, we must wash and be washed. In the washing of feet, we confirm our life in Christ.
To live in Christ means to share his Passover meal. For only by eating his flesh and drinking his blood do we have life in him.
Be attentive to what is taking place here! Be attentive to what John is doing! Baptism leads to confirmation in service, which leads to the sharing in the Eucharist. What is this but not the Sacraments of Initiation? What is the extended theological discussion Jesus gives after the Last Supper but the Mystagogia?
Yes our initiation into this journey in Christ may have taken place long ago but it is intimately connected with what we do here tonight as we remember who we are and to what we are called. We have been born into Christ and are now participating in the Mystagogia – that time in which we grow in understanding the mystery of Christ and living that mystery. We do not do this alone but only within the entire community of the believers who have also been baptized, confirmed and share in the Eucharist as we do right now. So come now let us wash, let us serve, let us eat, let us be Christ!


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