Naga City parish priest washes ex-drug users' feet
NAGA CITY, Philippines – "This is the statement of our parish: that we serve those who are most in need of our service, including those who have been labeled salot sa lipunan (menace of society) and those who are nasa laylayan (at the fringes of the community)."
This is an excerpt from the homily delivered by Fr Wilmer Joseph S. Tria, parish priest of St Jude Thaddeus Parish in Concepcion Grande here. He delivered the homily before the symbolic washing of the feet rites held during the Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, April 13, which also marked the start of the Easter Triduum in the Roman Catholic Church.
Twenty-two individuals from various marginalized groups participated in the rites. Among them were persons with disabilities, senior citizens, children, single parents, and drug surrenderers.
While the usual rites involve the reenactment of the washing of the feet of the 12 apostles, at St Jude Parish, Tria washed the feet of the 22 to remind everyone of 3 things:
- the Holy Mass is meaningless if it does not result in works of mercy
- we are called to humble ourselves at all times
- God's will does not end with Jesus washing our feet; we are called to perform a new task: "to wash one another's feet"
"Our new task is to love and serve others as God loves us. He even washed the feet of Judas, the one who betrayed him. Service is unconditional," Tria said.
St Jude Thaddeus Parish has been very active in pro-life advocacies, leading calls to oppose the reinstitution of the death penalty and condemning the swelling number of alleged drug-related extrajudicial killings. – Rappler.com