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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Maundy Thursday

(Forgive me. I'm a day early)

Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter. It was the day Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples, sharing a meal with them that Christians, today, revere as the Last Supper.

In those days it was customary for a servant to wash the guests’ feet upon arrival. This day, no servants were present and none of the disciples volunteered for the menial task. Ever the teacher, Jesus got up and washed his disciples’ feet, giving them an object lesson in humility, service and love.

In the Roman Catholic Church, priests conduct a ceremonial washing of the feet of twelve men on Maundy Thursday in commemoration of Christ's act. The word "maundy," itself, comes from the command given by Christ at the Last Supper: that we should love one another. In Catholic churches the hymn Mandatum novum do vobis (“A new commandment I give to you”) is sung on Maundy Thursday.

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I loved the Masses conducted during Holy Week. I loved the Maundy Thursday Mass best of all. I’m not going to comment on the whole washing of men’s feet only thing; my head is in a completely different place. I’m thinking about the washing of feet as an act of humility, service and love. I’m dreaming about a particular woman’s feet.

Foot fetishist does not appear on my lengthy list of peculiarities. I don’t swoon before feet. I do like them, though. Practical things, these feet of ours.

I really loved her feet, though. I thought they were incredibly sexy. Their angularity complemented the angularity of her face. Her feet were strong (as was she). The tendons stood out in stark relief. One could see impressive vascularity. These were the feet of an athlete, exuding strength and purpose. These were the feet of a woman, the arches curved gracefully, the bright red toenails reminding the beholder of the passions constrained within.

I loved her feet and I loved her. I would willingly fall to my knees and wash her feet. If my hair were long enough, I would gladly use it to dry them. It would truly be an act of humility…service…and love. It would be most deserved...and most appropriate. Both feet and souls would benefit.

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