A project of Center of Concern
Education for Justice


Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

John 13:1-15



April 10: Jewish Passover begins in the evening

April 13: Holy Thursday

April 14: Good Friday

April 15: Holy Saturday

April 16: Easter Sunday




Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

John 13:1-15



April 10: Jewish Passover begins in the evening

April 13: Holy Thursday

April 14: Good Friday

April 15: Holy Saturday

April 16: Easter Sunday



Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison.

— Pope Francis, 19 March 2013

“The washing of the feet and the sacrament of the Eucharist: two expressions of one and the same mystery of love entrusted to the disciples, so that, Jesus says, “as I have done… so also must you do” (Jn 13: 15).”

— John Paul II, Holy Thursday 2003

In the Eucharist our God has shown love in the extreme, overturning all those criteria of power which too often govern human relations and radically affirming the criterion of service: “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mc 9:35). It is not by chance that the Gospel of John contains no account of the institution of the Eucharist, but instead relates the “washing of feet” (cf. Jn 13:1-20): by bending down to wash the feet of his disciples, Jesus explains the meaning of the Eucharist unequivocally.

— John Paul II, Mane Nobiscum Domine

We have a lot of work to do. Every time we reach out and assuage someone’s hunger, and do that in memory of Jesus, a sense of Eucharist will bring to consciousness the Spirit and the real presence of Jesus – in us, through us, among us. That Spirit alone is capable of transforming the world and us.

— Miriam Therese Winter, MMS

The Bible teaches that every man and woman is created out of love and made in God’s image and likeness.

— Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 65



Thoughts for Your Consideration

Today we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist.

We are a community that shares bread with one another.  Sharing a meal defines who we are and who we want to become. This solidarity is one of our core values and it is embodied in our social teaching.  As we share the Eucharist we are called to create a world where resources are shared for the common good and all people are welcomed and respected, especially the poor. This is what Christ invites us to. This is what we desire.  This is what we work for. God calls us to be a living Eucharist. We are called to end all the divisions so that we can share at a “common table.”

Today we celebrate the washing of feet.

Service is what being a follower of Jesus is about. Jesus says: “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” Service, especially to the poor and all those in need, is at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching. As we focus on others, we focus on the values that are central to our social teaching. Our life is to be an ongoing “washing of feet.”

The interaction between Jesus and Peter reminds us of the mutuality of service that is essential to our social teaching. Peter, along with all the other disciples, is told to go and do the same, but first he is also told that he has to have his own feet washed. The Christian community is not a community of “domination over,” or a community where some have it and others do not, or a community divided by those in need and those not in need. We all need to serve and we all need to be served. In community we share our needs as well as our gifts with each other.  Without this attitude Catholic Social Teaching will be a shallow charity. Without this attitude we will not be able to create a true community. Our life is to be one of mutual “right relationship.”

The public spirit, action, and teaching of Pope Francis seem to make concrete all of these values. He talks passionately about the need for us to serve one another and show special concern for the poor and the vulnerable. In his homily of Holy Thursday, 28 March 2013, we read:

It is the Lord’s example: he is the most important, and he washes feet, because with us what is highest must be at the service of others. This is a symbol, it is a sign, right? Washing feet means: “I am at your service”. And with us too, don’t we have to wash each other’s feet day after day? But what does this mean? That all of us must help one another. Sometimes I am angry with someone or other … but… let it go, let it go, and if he or she asks you a favor, do it.

Help one another: this is what Jesus teaches us and this is what I am doing, and doing with all my heart, because it is my duty. As a priest and a bishop, I must be at your service. But it is a duty which comes from my heart: I love it. I love this and I love to do it because that is what the Lord has taught me to do. But you too, help one another: help one another always. One another. In this way, by helping one another, we will do some good.

Now we will perform this ceremony of washing feet, and let us think, let each one of us think: “Am I really willing, willing to serve, to help others?”. Let us think about this, just this. And let us think that this sign is a caress of Jesus, which Jesus gives, because this is the real reason why Jesus came: to serve, to help us.



Questions for Reflection in Your Faith Sharing Group

Share an experience of witnessing humble service.

How did it touch you? How were you challenged?


The Eucharist is a celebration of unity and reconciliation.  What recent events in the United States have spoken to you about disunity and the need for reconciliation?




Respect Follows Service: http://bit.ly/2nEJHIB 

A dervish was once sitting alone, meditating in a patch of desert. A ruler passed by. The dervish, being free from the cares of this world, neither lifted his head nor paid any attention. The ruler, with the violent pride of power, was furious and said: “These dervishes in their patched cloaks are no better than animals!” His minister scolded the dervish and said: “The great ruler of all the world passed by and you did not stand and bow: why were you so rude?”

The dervish replied: “Tell your king to expect those people to bow who hope for some reward from him. Tell him that rulers are there to protect their people. The people were not created just to obey rulers. The ruler is the watchman of the poor, though he has greater wealth and glory. The sheep are not made for the shepherd, rather the shepherd is there to serve the sheep. Look around you: today you see one man carefree and successful, the other struggling sore-hearted to survive. Wait a day or two, and see how the earth devours the brain once troubled with so many foolish thoughts! When the irresistible decrees of Fate are issued, neither king nor slave remain. Open up the tomb and search these dusty bones: can you tell which was the rich man or which was the pauper?”


Always remember those who serve: http://bit.ly/2oCyTjq 

Once upon a time, in the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less,  a 10 year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?” the little boy asked.

“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins he had. “Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired.

By now, more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing very impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry. As she wiped down the table, there placed neatly beside the empty dish were two nickels and five pennies – her tip.




As we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, we recall the scandal of hunger in our world. Bread for the World has worked for over thirty years as a Christian voice for ending hunger. Go to: http://www.bread.org/

The ONE Campaign is an effort supported by Bread for the World to rally Americans —ONE by ONE — to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty. Go to: http://www.one.org/ 


NETWORK is the Catholic Social Justice Lobby. Go to https://networklobby.org/ for info about getting involved. Check out the links about important justice issues like: budget, healthcare, housing, immigration, income, taxes, voting & democracy, women & families, and more.


A Daily Photo Journal: Walking the Stations of the Cross Today, By Dianna Ortiz, O.S.U.




“Crazy Facts”





Prayers of Intercession

Response: God, bring us together as one people.

For all those who do not have enough to eat this evening, we pray….

For all those who do not have a safe home this evening, we pray….

For all those who live in fear of war, terrorism, and violence, we pray….

For refugees and exiles, we pray….

For those who live in fear of deportation and separation from family, we pray….

For all those who need to be set free from political and economic oppression, we pray….

For all those who alone and feel unloved and without community, we pray….

For all those called to service, especially to service of those most in need, we pray….

For our church, that we may be renewed in the spirit of Jesus and welcome all, we pray….

For those call to service in our church, we pray….





Thanks for sight
sight that comes in Jesus
insight about ourselves and the world
insight about the way of Jesus
the way of compassionate love.

Thanks for life and all that nourishes life
the food of bread and grain,
fruits and vegetables,
meat and fish,
milk and all proteins

air and water
sun and breeze
earth and sea
space and mystery

friend and companion
stranger and refugee
young and old
the familiar and the new.

Thanks for the life of the spirit
for prayer and meditation
for silence and sound
for sacrament and scripture
for community and tradition

for poverty and wealth
for wisdom shared
for conversation and silence
for unity and diversity.

Thanks for all the challenges
for the call
to act for justice
to serve others
to live in peace

for the feelings that teach us
to know ourselves and others and you
to be restless for what is right
to speak out for what is good
to witness to what is of God.

Glory to you through all the ages! Amen!




Pope Francis washing feet as the Bishop of Rome in 2013: http://bit.ly/2p1MBsc 

Pope Francis washing feet of prisoners in 2015: http://bit.ly/2nbzF6s



Holy Thursday [a]

April 13, 2017

Date Added: April 5, 2017

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