Fr. Jack washed the feet of a diverse and wonderful group of men today. A recovering alcoholic, a refugee from Central America, a former gang member, a handicapped veteran, a homeless man, and seven others with unique life stories participated in this re-enactment of Jesus washing the feet of the apostles. Most of the men will be baptized or receive the sacraments for the first time during the Easter Vigil. It was a beautiful, moving moment in a liturgy that celebrated the priesthood and the Eucharist as we commemorated the last supper of our Lord. Catholic priests all over the world gave witness to the love of Jesus as they got down on their knees and washed the feet of members of their congregations, calling us to be servants to one another.
As I looked with joy on these men I couldn't help but rejoice in the depth of God's love for us. Many of these men have been forgotten by society. They are non-existent to most of us. They are the kind of people we avoid in the mall or on the street. And yet God chooses them, the lowly ones, to show us His glory and power. He gives them to us as a gift, a gift we don't often recognize and sometimes squander. God waits for us to love them, reach out to them and pull them up. What we often find is that as we do so they lift us up, helping us grow in love and compassion, looking beyond the confines of our wants and needs.
Every day men and women find shelter and comfort in the mercy of Jesus Christ. Today I marvel at His Church, His holy priests, His body and blood given to us, and the simple act of the washing of feet. How great is our God!