respond generously to our loved ones “last words”

if you had dinner your best friends and know that it was the last time you would gather with them, what would you say at that meal?

on this holy thursday, the scriptures note what jesus told his disciples at the last supper: “do this in memory of me”– which is the basis of the sacrament of the eucharist. the heart of what love is.

jesus also told them: “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (Jn 13:1-15). the heart of what love is.

real presence leads to selfless service. remaining with jesus helps us love one another. the two actions, together, ought to be the marks of Jesus’ followers: love.

but how often do we forget jesus and these actions all together? how often can we go to the Lord’s table to remember– and give thanks to– jesus but choose not to go? how often do we choose selfish behavior instead of really looking to others and what they need? how often do I volunteer in service and do good but do it with the intention of others recognizing my good acts?

in this continued time of covid-19 uncertainty, how can I be present to jesus– spiritual unity– given the needed constraints? how do we truly serve (in the example of the washing of feet) those in need? how do we especially serve those on the margins of this crisis: people who are undocumented, who live on the streets, who are in jails and prisons?

may the Spirit give us wisdom and courage to live our Jesus’ last words to us. I pray that we are generous in our responses.

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