Holy Thursday ~ Queen of Peace Community, Gainesville
April 13, 2017 ~ 30th Anniversary
Gospel According to St. John (13, 1-13): Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end… So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ for indeed I am. 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.”
A woman ran up to Jesus and knelt down, saying, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered with a question as he often does, “Why do you call me good, for no one is good but God Alone? Do you really know I am the Son of God who came for you and loves you unconditionally? You know the commandments, which are essential for the journey. You shall not kill, steal, covet, commit adultery, defraud, or lie. You shall receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice, and return them to God with increase.” This community of Queen of Peace answers, “Lord, we have kept all of these commandments, since we were established as a parish in 1987.
Tonight, this night, Jesus looks at us and loves us. Then he says, “You are lacking one thing. Go sell what you have and give alms to the poor. Give more than 10% to the poor and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come and follow me and I will be with you through your fears.” In order to follow Jesus, we must be all in. We can’t be just a little pregnant with the Word of God.
Tonight, this most holy night, Jesus offers us a most wonderful and almost unimaginable gift. Jesus loves us. Jesus washes our feet… everyone of us! The gift is love. The gift is joy. The gift is peace. What more do we need if Jesus looks at us and loves us? On Passion Sunday, a song was proclaimed at the foot of the Cross-after the community proclaimed the Passion. That was Father Jeff’s homily. It was perfect. On Good Friday, we will hear the song again… but the response to our prayer will not be totally understood until the Easter Vigil when the baptismal waters and the Holy Spirit are poured out on all of us.
Jesus, the resurrected Son of God, will sing the song back to us with love:
In your eyes are my secrets that I’ve never shown you.
In my heart I feel, I’ve always known you.
In your arms there’s a comfort that I’ve never known
You’re what I’ve been waiting for. There’s no one like you.
Sure as a sunrise, pure as a prayer,
You fashioned hope right out of thin air.
Every dream I imagined, seems it could come true
I believe in miracles, there’s no one like you.
Jesus is inviting each of you tonight to a journey we have always known. It is the Passover into Love itself. Martha, loved by Jesus, recognized Jesus as the Passover Lamb when he said, “I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me and dies will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” What is your response? Jesus is washing you with Baptism, feeding you with his Body and Blood, and enflaming your soul with His Holy Spirit. He is looking at you with love. If the Mass never ends, and I believe it never does, then let us take it with us and give thanks to God by loving one another and washing the feet of the world. And we shall pray together many more songs.
Many nights we prayed, with no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hope for a song, we barely understood
Now we are not afraid, although we know there’s much to fear
We were moving mountains long before we knew we could,
There can be miracles, when you believe
Though hope is frail, its hard to kill
Who knows what miracles, you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe
In this time of fear, when prayer so often proves in vain
Hope seems like the summer bird, too swiftly flown away
Yet now I’m standing here. My hearts so full, I can’t explain,
Seeking faith and speakin’ words, I never thought I’d say (Refrain)
From Prince of Egypt