Of the many signs and wonders Jesus gave us while on Earth, none speaks more powerfully to me than his washing of his disciples’ feet. Not only is it a humble act of service, it is also quite an intimate event. It tells us so much about Jesus.
I found myself thinking about this story from Michael Leach:
People packed the room in clusters, ice crackling in cocktail glasses, smoke swirling from cigarettes. My eyes immediately went to the far corner of the room where a nun sat on a sofa, a thin young man resting her head on her chest.
The Sister was Jeannine Gramick, a friend whose book on ministering to gays and lesbians in the church I had just published. The boy was so thin, and he seemed so sad. I wondered: does he have AIDS? Jeannine touched his hair with her fingers, gently, like the feathers of an angel. I thought for a moment that someone had moved the Pieta from St. Peter’s Basilica to this hotel on the outskirts of Chicago.
I was aware that the institutional church did not go out of its way to embrace gay Catholics, and I could not take my eyes off this Catholic Sister who was demonstrating – quietly, without fanfare, in the corner of a room – the basic Catholic truth that nothing can separate us from the love of God – nothing.