This Thursday we remember the night that Jesus gave the church some last-minute instructions about how we were to go on. He gave us a precious ritual that we’ve been celebrating ever since, remembering him with bread and wine – with lots of variations on the ritual and with different understandings of what’s happening in it – but all of us Christians united, nonetheless, by this simple act of sharing bread and wine in memory of the One who loves us.
Jesus also gave us an example of how we are to treat each other, by washing the feet of his disciples. That one we haven’t imitated quite so consistently. Sometimes it’s easier to love and serve people we’ve got a little distance from: the poor, people in other countries. Really loving the person who sits across from us at the dinner table or the person at work that drives us crazy takes actually more humility. In church, especially, we often hold each other to impossible standards instead of being in awe and wonder at the gift each person… each flawed, annoying, aggravating, wonderful person.
I believe the work of the church is two-fold: to nurture the spiritual growth of the people of God, and to build the world God dreams of, the world where everyone has what they need for fullness of life. How do we nurture each other’s growth? Well, I firmly believe that one way to do that is by treating each other as equals. The church has a long way to go on this, but one small way to start is if on Holy Thursday, all of us wash each other’s feet, and get our own feet washed, as well.
So this Thursday if you care to join us, we’ll be up on the second floor at the bakery, 220 Mt Hope Avenue, at 7 pm for Holy Thursday Mass and a foot-washing free-for-all. Try to get there a little early, or be prepared to bang on the door so we can hear you! It’s the former Savory Thyme building, with a parking lot in back that is entered from Hamilton Street. If you want to bring a basin, pitcher or towel, great! Hope to see you there.
We will not have a service on Good Friday, but some of us will be doing the Stations of the Cross through downtown. This is a Good Friday tradition of St Joe’s, House of Mercy and Pax Christi. Meet in front of Kodak Office at 11am for the two-hour walk.
We will celebrate Easter Sunday Mass at 11 am in the dining room at St Joe’s. It was so much fun having a shared homily a few weeks ago when we talked about the woman at the well, that I think we’ll do it again. Come with a story about where you’ve seen an example of resurrection, lately! We will celebrate life together and remember that love wins.
The very last thing Jesus told the church before they dragged him away to be put on trial was, “Put down your sword.” Among the horrendous “swords” human beings have invented lately are drones, instruments of destruction that can be deployed from thousands of miles away. This week people are walking towards Syracuse from all over New York State, to converge on Hamilton Air Force Base on Good Friday to protest the drones deployed from there. Peg Gefell and Paul Frazier have been walking with them, and Linda Condon and I will join them for a while on Tuesday, walking between Seneca Falls and Auburn. If you’d like to join them, they’ll be walking along route 20 to Syracuse. Please pray for all our walkers, and for peace.
Here’s another walk that’s coming up: on April 29 there will be a Walk for Racial Justice through downtown. Meet in front of the Downtown United Presbyterian Church at 121 Fitzhugh Street North at 5:15pm for this hour-long walk with the Spiritus Christi Anti-Racism Coalition.
Our fish fries for Joe are done! Thanks so much to all who participated, especially to Peg Gefell for her wonderful cooking. We thank Bill and Fred Welch for singing this past week, too. It was such a lovely time, people talking and eating, just being together and supporting our Joseph as he tries to stay in the country that has become his home. We raised about two thousand dollars with the fish fries, which is a good start towards paying for his lawyer (although there’s still quite a ways to go).
Have a blessed Holy Week and a joyful Easter!
Blessings and love to all, Chava
“The church is the heart in a world without a heart
a rose amidst the thorns
the sigh of the poor.”
Santa Ana, El Salvador
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Church in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph's House of Hospitality, 402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14620