The Sign of the Cross—
it’s the prayer
with which we Catholics begin and
end our prayers.
When we made the Sign of the Cross to start Mass
we marked the end of Lent and the beginning of the Triduum—
three holy days.
And we will not make the Sign of the Cross
when we leave
We will leave in silence.
We will continue this three-day
and we will complete it when we make the Sign of the
to end our Holy Saturday celebration of Easter.
It is fitting that
we start this Triduum tonight
with the great symbol of Christian
the washing of feet—
and that we will end it Saturday with the
of the result of Jesus’ service and our service—
three days are one continuous prayer of thanksgiving.
And we have much to be
life and love, freedom and dignity, to begin with;
blessings of friends and family, of work and play.
But we look around our
neighborhoods and our planet
and see people who are deprived of these basic
When we wonder why,
we see the structures of greed and
that control way too much our world.
The response to worldwide
was to bail out the wealthy.
The response to Katrina’s
was to rebuild New Orleans businesses.
The response to toxic
algae in Lake Erie
was to focus on protecting the industries
money from recreation activities.
The poorest people still live in
still owe money for homes they can no longer live in,
flounder in a dump of plastic water bottles.
Our response to crisis
often serves the needs of those who profit,
not those who suffer
We just heard
John’s Gospel of the Last Supper,
but—unlike the Gospels of Mark, Matthew,
we did not hear about the supper itself.
In all the Gospels
Jesus tells his followers to imitate him.
His instruction at the meal is to
“do this in memory of me,”
that is, to share our food and share our
Tonight we hear about Jesus washing the feet of his followers
telling them to do as he has done.
The four gospels all carry the same
the moral reality underlying these different holy actions
that we are one holy people of God and, as such,
required to serve others and give our lives for
So much in our world
operates against this oneness,
this commitment to the common good, this
Those of us who are blessed with good lives and good
have the responsibility to live in solidarity
with those who are
deprived of those blessings.
Here at Holy Spirit we focus as a
on the right of all people to life and dignity
and so we use our
energy and dedicate our resources
to turning back the climate change
is depriving the poor, right now, of life and dignity:
refugees from wars
over land and resources,
island communities in the path of hurricane and
We pray for them.
We also change our lives for them.
We cut back
on our own personal “carbon footprint.”
We write letters calling for
renewable energy priorities.
And we plant
Last Saturday we
spent Earth Hour
praying and meditating
in solidarity with the MultiFaith
and with people around the globe.
We turned off the
non-essential lights for an hour
in that holy space at Queen of Peace
What good did that do?
Everyone who gathered in that room
already aware of and committed to the effort.
The God to whom we prayed, by
whatever name and all names—
Allah, Elohim, Lord, Christ—God knows about
God knows about the way we humans are destroying the
None of the media showed up to tell about it.
So what good did we
Some of the early
followers of Jesus
had to have asked themselves that same question.
followed him, they said to themselves, but he died.
What good was all
We cannot see the
We can do the right thing;
we can plant the seed.
years after Jesus,
we see the fruit of his life and his love.
that following his Way
will also bear fruit.
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington
Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle,
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006