Holy Thursday Homily – 2016

Today we repeat the Gospel that we are so familiar with:
“Jesus got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him…if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.”
Jesus chose to perform the task of a servant – to wash the feet of the guests. For Peter this is hard to accept – how can Jesus his Rabbi, his teacher, do such an unworthy task? Yet Jesus sets us an example. Tenemos que servir a los otros.
Que significa server? What does it mean to serve?
Servants do the jobs no one else. Servientes son disponibles hacer cualquier tarea – los cosas que no nos gustan, que nos da asco. If we have enough money, we hire someone else to do the tasks that we do not like to do. As Christians we must choose the tasks that others do not like. In so many families arguments occur over the jobs – spouses argue over the division of household tasks, kids complain about having to help out. If we are living the Gospel, in our families we ought to fight about chores – we ought to fight to be the first to do the thing everyone hates – to clean the bathroom, or takes out the garbage or changes the babies diaper – we ought to be ready and willing to do what no one else wants to do.
Servants must work in a discrete manner. They are not to drawn attention to themselves – they work hidden behind the scenes. These holy week ceremonies involve many people – yet those who help the most sometimes are the least visible, the least noticed. Nuestro servicio como Cristianos nunca debemos llevar la Gloria a nosotros mismos – queremos servir y desaparecer – queremos ayudar sin recibir gracias o honor. We need to develop the trick of helping and hiding, of serving and then slipping away.
Servants are obedient. Servants do not get to choose their task or their place. They do as they are told by their masters. We must be docile and obedient to God’s will if we want to be useful as servants. The second reading tomorrow proclaims that Jesus was obedient until death – obediente hasta la muerte. Jesus is obedient even beyond death – in the Holy Eucharist, the risen Jesus comes again to earth to live among us hidden in the bread and wine. When the priest says “This is my Body” Jesus obeys. Jesus esta obediente en el santismo sacramento el va donde le trajemos. Que seamos tan obedientes que vayamos donde Dios nos lleve.
Finally a servant works for little or no pay. You are all good people – you serve the Lord. What reward are you looking for – praise and honor? Do you expect God to bless you and your families with prosperity or a good life? Do you want a better seat in heaven. Yet a servant works for no pay or very little pay. Jesus gave us everything for nothing – what do we expect for our service.
We must make our own the prayer of St. Ignatius:
“Señor Jesús
enséñanos a ser generosos
a servirte como Tú mereces
a dar sin medida,
a combatir sin temor a las heridas
a trabajar sin descanso
sin esperar otra recompensa
que saber que hemos cumplido
tu santa voluntad.”
“Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will. AMEN”