I see Pope Francis has changed the Holy Thursday Liturgy a bit – includes now both men & women, young and old in the Washing of the Feet. The Priest is challenged to imitate Christ in his service to ALL people.
A few years back, another little change was introduced on Good Friday. A Cross is carried into church and everyone has the opportunity to reverence it. But first, the priest must remove his shoes. Remove his shoes.
As Moses approaches the burning bush, he hears a voice: Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is Holy Ground. God who would save them from slavery in Egypt is revealed in a burning bush. Now, God will save us from Sin and Death by the Mystery of the Cross. Holy Ground!
Years ago I was given a crucifix by my Pastor, Msgr. Paul Andrews passed away 25 years ago. It says: “Why should you want anything else? I never did!” “This is where you learn everything!”
Kate Bowler wrote an article in the NY Times a few weeks ago about the “Prosperity Gospel.” Great spokespeople include Joel Osteen & Oprah Winfrey.
God grants health and wealth to those with the right kind of faith
If you have positive thoughts, you will have positive circumstances
If you have negative thoughts, you will have negative circumstances
So prayer is a way to get God to say yes to you. Follow the rules and God will reward you. “I am Blessed.”
For many years – Kate believed this. Then she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer? What happened? She did not have enough faith? She did not believe? Did not pray the right prayers?
Maybe my dad – who went to daily Mass – and was very sick at the end of his life – did not believe enough. Or my sister who is fighting breast cancer, and never misses Mass, somehow deserves what she is going through?
Nonsense, of course -
Having faith does not mean that bad things will not happen. Our bodies are delicate. Life is fragile. Things do happen.
As Kate explains it – a reminder that life is precious – a gift to be lived each moment!
I would say – it is the mystery of the cross. We all share in the cross. And where there is death, there can also be life!
You see - We are standing on Holy Ground – and by sharing in the Cross this Lent – by our sacrifices of Prayer, Fasting and Charity we can transform our lives and the lives of others - Why should you want anything else, I never did? This is where you learn everything!