Holy Thursday 2017: Service and Love

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Image: “The Washing of the Feet” by Ghislaine Howard (2004)

Service and love – two key themes for reflection on the feast of the Lord’s Supper, that we celebrate today, this Holy Thursday.

To love without service is not really love, because love calls us out of ourselves and into the other. To serve without love might work for a little while, but it inevitably brings difficulties, because the mere doing of tasks that do not come from a place of love eventually bears nothing.

It is my personal prayer for each one of you, and in holding the memory of Marie Madeleine whose feast was 5th April, that love and service be part of your daily activity. My own heart is filled with love and gratitude at being able to serve in my own way, through these blog posts. With blessings for you, this Triduum, and toward Easter.

Sincerely

Geralyn

FCJ Mission and Identity Promoter

Eve’s Wishes for Christmas

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It is early morning on Christmas eve, and for me as I am sure, for many, there is still so much to do. Let us not forget the reason for all our activity.

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Merry Christmas to you all. Thank you for your support over this past year. May the New Year that awaits us be another of divine unfolding as we walk together, as faithful companions.

God is our Faithful Companion

From Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI:

Faith promises no magic pass-cards.

What it does promise is that God will be with us so that we do not have to walk through loneliness, sickness, violence, anxiety, fear, and death alone. We have a hand to grasp, a love to embrace, a truth to cling to, and a power to sustain us (even through death itself). We walk in the same world as everyone else, but, like a young child holding on to her mother’s hand as she walks into school for the first time, we are not alone, a trusted, sustaining, guiding love walks with us. God doesn’t remove us from what can hurt us, but walks with us amidst it all.

Perhaps it is because tonight I needed to hear these words in my heart that I feel it, but God really is our Faithful Companion.

When family and friends and plain old ‘good fortune’ seem to fall away, faith is knowing that no matter the storm, God is always with us, Emmanuel.

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From the Archives: Veronica

Originally published in 2013. Updated version: Good Friday, 18 April 2014.

A quick Google search of “Veronica’s Veil” will bring up many images of the imprint of the face of Jesus on cloth, or of a woman holding out a cloth, such as this one by Hans Memling, c. 1470.

KEEPING-COMPANY.COM | Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
Source: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus via Faith in the 21st Century

For this post however, I have deliberately chosen the one above because of the interaction between the two main figures. Notice the way in which Veronica faces Jesus front-on. She looks at him intently and he too, returns and holds her gaze. Furthermore, this image captures the moment of their meeting. Veronica is not exhibiting the shroud or veil on which the imprint of Jesus’ face as if Jesus has passed her by, or no longer alive. Both Jesus and Veronica meet, they breathe, they exchange glances, they both express some form of pain, vulnerability and need of each other. They both meet in mutual humanity.

Here, Veronica is portrayed as standing front-on, facing Jesus. Many images of the scene will show you either a woman exhibiting the shroud with a face on it, or some sort of representation that covers Jesus’ face. This artwork does neither. Jesus and Veronica are right there in the moment, as if someone has frozen time.

What do you see?

I see a woman standing, facing and confronting with compassion, the suffering of a man, her Lord and Saviour.

I see a woman present to the needs of her Master.

I see a faithful companion.