On this night
we know you as loving host
and beloved guest.
On this night
we follow you to the edge of your sorrow,
a sorrow that holds all our own
.
On this night, O Christ of table and touch,
Our longings mingle.

How grateful I am for the expression of this day’s mandate to love, an expression not only in words but through humble, vital, physical action. Jesus washes our feet. Can you feel it?

As an intern I made, throughout my months of sojourning far from home, the Ignatian Annotation Retreat. Those months, under the guidance of a wise and gentle woman, a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, nurtured in me the sense of Presence through emotion and the senses. Lent always fills me with a heightened desire not only to be accompanied but to accompany this One who offers such tenderness.

Some of us will have the opportunity this evening to share in community the ritual of foot-washing or of hand washing. Many of us will be moved, I hope, through this, to the inner place in which our reception and our offering of this tender action becomes one with the touch of the feet of the often abandoned One.

Come,
work your hands in the clay of your heart.
From its centre
pour
on the worn skin of compassion
your essence.
Touch that dear skin
with the loosened, prodigal love of your heart.