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Maundy Thursday

A chaste and holy young couple was planning their wedding. Everything was coming together beautifully except one aspect. The bride-to-be was fretting over how to maintain her modesty during the traditional garter toss at the wedding reception. The thought of wearing the garter on her upper thigh and bearing her leg in public was contrary to her belief in the sacredness of the human body. She considered wearing the garter on her calf or ankle but decided that would look silly. When the wedding day arrived, she was still without a plan for dealing with this distressing detail.

The ceremony was beautiful and edifying. The reception afterward was an elegant affair. Then the time came for the event that the bride had dreaded for months. A chair was placed in the middle of the dance floor. She reluctantly walked up to the chair and sat down. Her new husband walked up and knelt down in front of her. His best man followed behind and placed a basin on the floor in front of the groom. He gently took off his new bride’s shoes and proceeded to wash her feet. The room was silent. Tears welled up in the eyes of the bride and groom, as well as most of the guests. In the simple act of washing her feet, this man protected the honor and dignity of his new bride and demonstrated his incredible love for her.

Jesus…got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place…“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you…Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 15:3-5, 12-17

Christ Washing Peter's Feet, Ford Madox Brown

Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet

Ford Maddox Brown, 1852-56

Tate Gallery, London

Gentlemen, you need to demonstrate your love for your wife like this newly married husband did for his wife in the simple act of washing her feet. It takes great humility and humbleness to serve another.

The health of your marriage depends on serving your spouse with the love of Christ. Lay down your life for your spouse. Serve without seeking. Be Christ to each other. It is the only way to peace, joy, and happiness.

Peace and blessings as we enter the most Holy Triduum, the high-point of the liturgical year in the Church.