Thursday, 17 April 2014

Chausible vs Towel

Fr Maliekal while animating this morning's meditation did bring to life something very profound.  He spoke of Jesus taking off his outer garment and putting on the apron to facilitate his washing the feet of his apostles.  So he challenged us to look at ourselves and take notice of the 'outer garments' that prevent us from bending down to wash the feet of the other.

As a symbolic act, he asked a Brother to get a chausible from the sacristy and then left it on the altar, in a crumble - as though it was taken off.  A towel, basin and a bucket of water were already before the altar.

It then struck me, how and why is it that this whole act of foot-washing totally vanished from the Holy Mass?  How come the Church retained only the bread and wine part and relegated this ceremony of foot-washing to Maundy Thursday alone - just once a year?  Was it too crude and not gelling in with the 'pious' and 'holy' Mass?

Why is the chausible - something taken off by Jesus to be replaced by the towel - sacred, while the towel isn't?  As a religious do I take shelter in the 'sacredness' of the chausible while leaving the 'dirty' towel for lay people, the 'others'? Why is it that we fail to recognize that discipleship entails shedding of all that prevents us from reaching out to those not so privileged?  

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