Happy Easter! Alleluia the LORD has risen!
This year 2016 is a special extraordinary Year of Jubilee of Mercy declared by Pope Francis. It is the year of mercy. Typically, the Jubilee is only declared once in every 25 years. Here is where the Holy Door's at designated churches are opened for the faithful to walk thru. There are special indulgences that can be gain during this Jubilee of Mercy.
Today is Easter, so the Holy Week or Easter Triuduum has just ended. The triuduum starts with Holy Thursday, followed by Good Friday , Easter Vigil & Easter.
So this year, I have the privileged of being called to be part of the 12 people (representing the 12 disciples) to have their feet's washed by the celebrating priest. Washing of the feet is a reproduction of what Jesus did to his disciples during the Last Supper where a Master washes the servant's feet hence instilling the value of "Servant Leadership".
Even though I have been a Catholic for many many years, I am just the "bystander" during the event. I felt quite very nervous actually, as the celebrant Priest (in the Catholic Eucharistic celebration, the celebrant Priest represents Christ!) washes your feet and then kiss it after wiping it clean!! (I did not even remember the 'kissing of the feet part' actually is a norm after all this while as a Catholic!)
At first, I was hesistant to take up this opportunity (given to be out of the BLUE) for various reasons (1) shy; (2) another normal reason is that I, like Peter, the apostle feels that this abnormal; a Master should NOT stoop so low to wash his servants' feet.
But after thinking for a few days, I decided to go ahead because I know this is a whisper and soft nudge from GOD to take part in this memorable event. And this year is special because it is the Jubilee Year of Mercy!! I don't want to miss this chance of the lifetime!!!
It takes alot of humility to do this. Now, imagine the Pope doing such acts of humility throughout the centuries on every Easter!. And the Pope is the Vicar of Christ on earth!
Pope Francis is quite a revolutionary Pope, he has broken some of the traditional norms of selecting the 12 folks for the washing of feet.
a) Now women is also being selected as part of the 12. Typically, the norm is limited to guys to represent 12 male apostles whose feet is being washed by Jesus Christ. I just noticed the change of norm during this year's Easter. At first, I did not think much about it but looking at the article below , look like Pope Francis is the first to break such norms and followed by others.
b) Non Christians also can be selected to be part of the ritual. (again the norm was 12 christian males to represent the 12 apostles).
See the news!
Pope Washes Feet of Muslim Migrants at Easter Week Mass