Today priests and laity will gather at the Cathedral, with Bishop Malloy presiding, for the Chrism Mass. The Priests of the Diocese will renew their ordination promises, and the Bishop will bless the three oils which we use for the sacraments in the parishes. I like the fact that the laity can get a sense of how large and diverse our Diocese really is. It is also a wonderful celebration of priesthood.
Then tonight we will gather here at St. Mary's to celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper. At St. Mary this is a tri-lingual liturgy. The ethnic nature of our parish is melded into a community because of the community which we celebrate. Again we celebrate the unity we have, in the Eucharist, in the midst of our diversity. Not everyone is comfortable with this. But the actions here tonight of the presentation of the oils, the footwashing, and especially the Eucharist, speak of a commonality which is beyond our own expectations.
In the Gospels, in Mark particular, the Disciples have a difficult time grasping the concept of Discipleship. They are looking at a grand Kingdom, with themselves sort of in the center. At the Last Supper Jesus shows a different kind of Kingdom in which he washes feet, and gives his body and blood. Jesus shows his disciples, and us too, that real leadership comes through service.
Today the Church leads by the way it serves. The communities that are the most vibrant, and the most charismatic, are the ones which have a strong leadership tradition. The celebration of the mysteries of our faith invite us to look away from our navels, and out into the world. Perhaps this is why leaders like Pope Francis, or Mother Teresa, or Dorothy Day, are so popular and attractive to us.
What a wonderful way to begin the Triduum, to consider Christ's one perfect sacrifice, and our participation in these sacred mysteries.