Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday

Fr. Richard is old.

He's just an old man who's whole life has been dedicated to the Church and to God, to doing what he needs to do to nourish and nurture the flock that has been entrusted to him. He is stubborn and rude, but never ambivalent to his calling. Sometimes he smells like sweet pickles (my mom say he's pickling his body for canonization, but I always thought the smell of sanctity was roses).

Fr. Richard never gives a bad homily, is hawk-eyed when it comes to Holy Communion, witty and eloquent when he needs to be, sharp and to the point when he has to be. Sometimes he is very hard to like, but never hard to love. Which is why when Holy Thursday comes around and I see this old priest on his knees washing the feet of 12 men from the parish, I am in awe.

There is a humility when he scoots down the line and pours the water over your feet that overtakes you, an awe that fills your soul when he takes the towel and dries you. He's old, as I said, and being on the hard floor hurts him - you can see it in his face. He gets frustrated when his alb gets caught around his feet, but he never mutters or says a thing. He refuses any help offer to him by others, moving and washing all by himself. He is intent and focused on what he is doing.

I see Christ when I see Fr. Richard wash the feet of men, and I am humbled.

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