On Holy Thursday we reflect upon Jesus washing the disciples’ feet – and how He asks us to Do The Same for those around us. This can be particularly challenging when we are placed in difficult circumstances…
While a Catholic Bishop in Saigon, Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan was imprisoned by the North Vietnamese for 13 years. In his book, “Testimony of Hope,” he shares how being chained to others from different faiths led to friendships & how members of the camp (political prisoners, leaders of other religions, military leaders etc.) elected him bursar, “which gave me the responsibility of serving everyone, distributing food, getting the hot water, & carrying on my back the coal to keep us warm during the night. All this because the other prisoners considered me a man worthy of trust.“
What humility! … & what a testimony … he continues:
“Jesus, crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem, made me understand that I had to engage in a new form of evangelization… going outside, for all my life, to the very limits of my capacity to love and give of myself… – for all.
In the obscurity of faith, in service and in humiliation, the light of hope had changed my vision. I understood that at this point, in this prison, was my most beautiful cathedral, and that these prisoners, without exception, were the people of God entrusted to my pastoral care…“ (Testimony of Hope, p. 79)
“What is important is not the number of your activities, but the degree of love which transforms them.” Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan (The Road of Hope)
Maybe we should take a page out of Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan’s book(s). We need a push to stretch our hearts to full capacity for the love of Christ to expand our give-ability to those around us (& even folks we may not particularly like?) … that we may serve others as witnesses of Hope & conduits of God’s love.
grace, peace & Transforming Love