Last night, John and I went with my friend Rosemarie to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Cathedral. It was such a beautiful Mass. The music was gorgeous. The readings were powerful. The Bishop’s homily was fantastic. He talked about three gifts of Holy Thursday. He said that these three gifts are freedom, intimacy of life, and call to service.
The Bishop talked about our freedom as being the freedom to live in the fullness of life. We don’t have to be trapped in sin or fear or in any other kind of bondage. He asked everyone to think about the question, “In what area of my life am I unfree?” It’s a great question and I made a mental note to take some time to think about what is keeping me “unfree” in my life. This gift calls us to allow ourselves to accept the joy and freedom offered to us. The second gift is intimacy, a unity and bonding with others in the world. It is the opportunity to be in community, in communion with other people who care about us and love us. This gift calls us to be open with the people we care about, to share ourselves with those around us. The third gift is a call to service – a special service through which we can live lives of purpose according to our unique calls. This gift allows us to join our frailty and sin to the dignity and holiness of Christ. We can look to Jesus, who took off his outer garments and washed the feet of the apostles so that they could understand what service means, so that we can understand what it means to love and serve the people around us.
The homily really touched me. I kept thinking about the three gifts that the Bishop mentioned. Each gift is an amazing thing all by itself – freedom – intimacy – call to service. The thought of receiving these three powerful gifts was a bit overwhelming to me. As the Bishop washed the feet of twelve people, my mind kept going back to his words. I have been given a gift of freedom – where in my life do I need to use this gift? I have been given a gift of intimacy – what do I need to do to take advantage of this gift and be more open with people? I have been given a gift of a unique call to serve others – how am I allowing this call to be manifested in my life?
I was still mulling these thoughts over in my mind as we left Mass. They were good food for thought and discussion as we went to the Peppermill for coffee and pie. It was lovely to spend some time with Rosemarie outside of work. It was great to talk about the things we had seen and heard at Mass, and our feelings about them. Just as the Bishop had promised, it was a Holy Thursday full of gifts.