Thursday, April 9, 2009

Washing of Feet

It is Holy Thursday and I spent over six hours in Church today. This morning I went with the Sisters to the Cathedral for Chrism Mass when the Bishop blesses the different oils used in various ceremonies and it is a big deal in Nigeria. This evening I went to our local church St. Theresa's for the standard Holy Thursday mass, which commemorates the Last Supper and Jesus washing the disciples' feet. Both services were nice but I am not used to spending the entire day in a church and at times I found my mind wondering.

This afternoon it rained again, it has rained every day this week, and the walk to St. Theresa's was awful. I had just showered (during the few hours in between masses I helped peel our recently harvested cassava) and crossing One Day Road I found myself ankle deep in mud. But I figured in for a penny, in for a pound, so I just kept going. Farther along I greeted the group of women who are always sitting outside this one house. They noticed the mud caked on my feet and quickly produced a bucket of water to wash my feet. I started washing the mud off my leg and before I could stop her, one lady had started scrubbing my shoes. I was a little embarrassed but mostly I was touched by that act of kindness. It made me think of Jesus washing his friend's feet and how I can recognize the face of God in my neighbors. I live among people who may not have much but they would give you the shirt off their back.

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