MANILA — As part of the Catholic Church’s Holy Week festivities, 6 frontliners participated in the feet washing ritual of Baclaran Church on Maundy Thursday.
Fr. Jose dela Cruz led the mass and washed the feet of a nurse, a social worker, a lay missionary, a church staff, a eucharistic minister, and a feeding program volunteer.
National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help or Baclaran Church Rector Fr. Victorino Cueto said they were chosen to represent fellow frontliners whom the church recognizes for their sacrifices and service to their fellow men.
“Lahat sila, in the time of pandemic ay nagsisikap na makapaglingkod in their own little ways. Kumbaga ay maibahagi ang anumang mayroon sila, in spite of the danger,” Cueto told ABS-CBN News.
(All of them, in the time of the pandemic, are striving to serve in their own little ways, to contribute what they can in spite of the danger.)
“Hindi sana mawala ang ating social responsibility, ang ating pagkalinga sa isa’t isa. More than ever, kailangan natin pagtulung-tulungan, pagsama-samahan,” he added.
(I hope we don’t lose our care for one another, our social responsibility. More than ever, we need to help each other and unite.)
Cueto said they chose frontliners who were already serving in the vicinity.
“Sila yung magandang maging apostoles na huhugasan ang paa,” he said.
(They are the ones who can best serve as apostles and participate in the feet washing ritual.)
Orlan Berden, a volunteer at Baclaran Church’s feeding program, feels blessed to be part of the feet washing ritual.
“Nakikita ko po na marami po talagang nangangailangan sa panahon ngayon. Hindi lang yung pagkaing ibinibigay namin yung mahalaga sa kanila. Gusto rin po nilang may kausap,” he said.
(I know that there are many people who are in need right now. It’s not just the food that we give them. They also want to have someone to talk to.)
Jesus Christ’s act of washing his apostles’ feet is a reminder to be humble and to love others, Dela Cruz said in his homily.
“Ito ang hamon sa atin ng huling hapunan, na patuloy tayong magpakumbaba. Mahirap ‘yun eh. Pero si Hesus, binigyan tayo ng modelo,” he said.
(This is the challenge posed to us by the Last Supper, for us to continue to be humble. That’s difficult. But Jesus served as an example.)
“Ang tunay na pagmamahal ay pag-aalay ng buhay. Ito ang ibinigay na modelo ng Panginoon sa ating lahat,” Dela Cruz added.
(True love involves the sacrifice of life. This is what the Lord has shown us.)
“Kahit mayroong pandemya, tayo ay hinahamon ng huling hapunan ni Hesus, gawin ninyo ito bilang pag-aalala sa akin,” he noted.
(Even with the pandemic, we are challenged by Christ’s Last Supper, for us to do as he did to remember his sacrifice.)
Baclaran Church opted to “simplify” the feet washing ritual this year as Metro Manila is under an enhanced community quarantine status. It invited only 6 individuals to act as apostles, from the usual 12 before the pandemic.