My first installment is the FIRST day of the Easter Triduum: Holy Thursday or the celebration of Jesus' last supper with His apostles. It's also the day we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist AND the commissioning of priests...so it's a big deal!
We're also focused on when Jesus stooped down and washed his friends' feet. A sign of ultimate humility, especially for someone who was God!
I attended Holy Thursday Mass at St. John's downtown and was surprised to see hardly any people in the pews and more priests than I could count! We had the privilege of having the assistant Bishop be with us AND priest-to-be Deacon Dustin Boehm....and Roncalli 2002 graduate. (my class...just sayin)
I will never forget the message of Dustin's homily...sometimes the word "servant" is just a word...but Jesus put flesh to those words when he washed the disciples feet or mounted the cross. Today, since Christ lives NOW, priests put flesh to those words...going to be alone every night so he can spend his waking moments serving his brothers and sisters (God's creatures.) The priest does this simply to show us Christ now, because without the priest's life, words wouldn't be enough.
Dustin's insights made me want to live better. Sure, it's not necessarily a committed choice, but I too, go to bed alone every night. And I've asked myself several times, "What's the deal, God? What's wrong with me? Why can't I just get married like everyone else already?" This Mass helped me ask the REAL question underneath all of the superficial ones..."God, what are you asking of me NOW?"
I don't have a husband, I don't have kids...so what is He asking me to pay attention to instead? I instantly was made aware of all these things that limit me seeing what my purpose is today because I don't stoop down to serve others. Instead, I think I'm owed something (like a day off for Easter..haha). I see my vanity, my immense pride, not loving my students well, not seeing God's delight in me because I don't delight in others, etc etc.
This immediate awareness into my heart on Holy Thursday made me see that I truly NEED a Savior...someone who can walk with me amidst all my limits and motivate me to keep going when it feels hopeless. I recognize this Savior at daily Mass, in the middle of my family and friends, and in front of prayer that I've stayed ever faithful to since my silent retreat. My heart was crying out, "I desire you, O Lord." just like the saints say!
THEN...I screwed up five minutes later. Of course. I was hungry, so I went to get food and missed the bus to go on a tour of Churches in the city that night and "sit with Jesus"...an action to similar to what Jesus' disciples were asked to do before He was handed over to be crucified. Instead of me spending my night in peaceful prayer with my friends, I ended up driving around the city like mad trying to find the group. Crying and cursing God the whole way because I thought we had this mutual understanding that I was going to spend time with him.
Should I have gotten food? I guess not, but I didn't feel like the punishment fit the crime. I was ticked at God for probably the first legit time in my life. THAT in itself shows growth because I don't think I've ever thought of God as real enough to get mad at. Holy Thursday night, I basically went to bed frustrated....