Yesterday there was a lovely reading in the Office of Matins in the Roman Breviary which I’m still struck by today. I was going to post it yesterday, but life happened and I got busy.
V. Grant, Lord, a blessing.
Benediction. God’s most mighty strength alway be His people’s staff and stay. Amen.
Whatsover thou art that wilt be a faithful soul, seek with Mary to anoint the Feet of the Lord with costly ointment. This ointment was a figure of justice, and therefore is there said to have been a pound thereof, a pound being a weight used in scales. The word pistikes used by the Evangelist as the name of this ointment, we must believe to be that of some place, from which this costly perfume was imported. Neither is this name meaningless for us, but agreeth well with our mystic interpretation, since Pistis is the Greek word which signifieth Faith, and whosoever will do justice must know that: The just shall live by faith. Anoint therefore the Feet of Jesus by thy good life, following in the marks which those Feet of the Lord have traced. Wipe His Feet likewise with thy hair; that is, if thou have aught which is not needful to thee, give it to the poor; and then thou hast wiped the Feet of Jesus with thy hair, that is, with that which thou needest not, and which is therefore to thee as is hair, being a needless out-growth to the body. Here thou hast what to do with that which thou needest not. To thee it is needless, but the Lord’s Feet have need of it; yea, the Feet which the Lord hath on earth are sorely needy.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.
Thank you, Father. This was also the subject of yesterday’s entry in Bishop Bossuet’s Meditations for Lent—which, like the Office, I often wish I would or could spend more time with.
When I read that, even though I’ve read it before, it really struck me yesterday, in particular “the Lord’s Feet have need of it”. What would we not do if the physical feet of Jesus needed something, and why would we not extend the same effort for His mystical feet? Yep, convicted of selfishness, that’s me. Thankfully I could take that to Confession later that very day.
Now that’s the kind of foot washing I can get behind!