Bishop Tom Williams celebrated the Mass of the Lord's Supper in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on Thursday 28 March 2013. During Mass the Bishop washed the feet of catechists and parents who are preparing children to receive the Sacraments.
In his homily Bishop Tom called on the congregation to 'pray for those in ‘Communion’ with the Lord; for those whose hearts are lifted by the presence of the Lord in their lives; for those who hunger and thirst for Justice; for those who feed the poor; visit those who are in prison; care for the sick; visit the housebound; inspire the young; be with those who have messy and messed up lives; for the elderly and those nearing their death, and especially on this night let us pray for our priests, the ministers of the Eucharist'.
Homily preached by the Right Reverend Thomas Williams, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, at Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Thursday 28 March 2013 at 7.30 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool.
Tonight we continue our Holy Week journey and enter further into the heart of the redemptive mystery around which our Faith revolves. We continue to allow, as much as possible, a heavenly reality, beyond the here and now, to infuse our lives. Our prayer continues. Our conversation between the Divine and the human intensifies, it becomes personal.
Our first reading from the Book of Exodus gave us the history of why the Passover meal was to be a Day of Remembrance for the Jewish nation, why it was to be a celebration feast in the Lord’s Honour, and why some thousands of years later, before this same Festival of Passover Jesus, our Saviour, who knew (He had clearly seen it coming) that the hour had come for Him to pass from this world to the Father.
We have heard yet again, and this time from the Gospel according to John, that Jesus the Christ, our Saviour, had always loved those who were His in the world. On this night He showed how perfect His love was.
I love this night. I love it because it gives rhyme and reason to why Mass and Communion are the axis around which my Faith, and therefore my life, revolves.
We, yes all of us, have been saved, our salvation from slavery to sin, is within our grasp. Our Saviour took bread and as he broke it said, ‘This is my body, which is for you, do this in memory of me, and that is what we, as followers of the Saviour, have done ever since and will continue to do so. This was the Lord’s gift to us, who are we to refuse it, or to cheapen it or to devalue it?
Tonight let us pray for those in ‘Communion’ with the Lord; for those whose hearts are lifted by the presence of the Lord in their lives; for those who hunger and thirst for Justice; for those who feed the poor; visit those who are in prison; care for the sick; visit the housebound; inspire the young; be with those who have messy and messed up lives; for the elderly and those nearing their death, and especially on this night let us pray for our priests, the ministers of the Eucharist.
Let us be nourished by this Bread of Heaven and may it bring strength to the very essence of our faith, of our being.
We will now re-enact the time when the Lord of the world came and undertook a slave’s task of washing feet which is an illustration of the way he washes our feet all through our lives. Jesus shows in this act that God doesn’t want to trample on us, but kneels down before us to exalt us. The mystery of the greatness of God is seen precisely in the fact that He can be small. In the action of foot washing, (which Pope Francis famously imitated by kissing the feet of aids patients when he was the Cardinal in Buenos Aires), Jesus showed us that power is changed from the inside and we should accept Jesus and His way of life, whose whole self is there in the action of foot washing. Only then can our world be healed and people be able to live at peace and with one another.