Yesterday was Holy Thursday, celebrating when Jesus held the Passover meal with his disciples, which turned out to be The Last Supper. One of the tenants of the Catholic Church is service to one another, which Jesus demonstrated by washing the disciples feet that night. We celebrate this, as many Catholic Churches do, by having the priest wash the feet of 12 members from the parish. This year, I was selected as one of the 12. I know this is a more symbolic representation of what Jesus did, I’m not actually expecting the priest to lather up my feet.
I won’t go into everything this is all meant to celebrate or the history of it. If you’re Catholic, you understand what is going on, and if not, I’m not going to convince you with this post. Some faiths recreate The Passion, others simply talk about what happened over the course of the week. And this isn’t meant to denigrate those faiths that don’t acknowledge Jesus Christ. Heck, this is really more about how much of an idiot I am, so let’s continue, shall we?
So I’m selected for this honor, having having the priest wash my feet. I bring my first grader and kindergartener to mass so they can watch this, even though it will be well past their bedtime. I made sure to shower, put on clean clothes, including socks, before heading to mass. The way the assembly is, and where we sit (our usual spot) I wound up being the 11th person in line at the base of the altar. I take off my shoe and sock, notice a piece of fuzz between my toes, and as nonchalantly as possible pick it out and toss it behind me under the bench I am sitting on and think nothing more of it.
The priest works his way down the line, smiling. He’s got his pitcher of water (warm) and runs it over the people’s feet into a bowl, then towels them off. After each foot he looks up and thanks the person. Then he gets to my foot. As he pours the water over my foot i see what appears to be a cubic inch total of fuzz appear in the bowl. It looked gross. Naturally the smile of the priest disappeared, he didn’t look up and thank me, and he quickly moved on to the last person. I couldn’t have been more embarrassed. Turns out the combination of a still damp foot from the shower and new clean sock was not working in my favor.
Is there a lesson in all of this? Well, I do wish I has worn my slip-on shoes with no socks, despite the fact those shoes are worn and don’t look too nice.