MANILA— Families of alleged victims of extrajudicial killings turned emotional Maundy Thursday after they participated in the traditional "washing of the feet".
The washing of the feet is one of the rituals by the Roman Catholic Church as a commemoration of Jesus Christ's Last Supper with His apostles.
Rev. Fr. Flavie Villanueva of Society of the Divine Word explained how the word Maundy, coming from the Latin word mandatum which means mandate, springs from Jesus’ commandment to His disciples during the Last Supper which is to love and serve one another as He has done to them.
“‘Yong pagseserbisyo na nagdadala ng kabutihan at at perwisyo. Hindi ‘yong mapagmataas at hindi ‘yong naghahasik ka ng dilim. Kasi meron ‘yong iba na nagseserbisyo pero pinapatay ang adik. Hindi serbisyo ‘yon,” Villanueva said.
Traditionally, church leaders and society leaders are chosen to have their feet washed. But as the Catholic Church progressed to inclusivity, women and people from different walks of life have also participated in the tradition.
In Villanueva’s celebration of the washing of the feet this year, families of victims of EJKs, former homeless individuals, and partners-in-mission were chosen to join.
“Celine,” a widow of an EJK victim, shared how the act seemed to cleanse her and her family from the hurt that the ordeal caused.
“Para sa paghingi ng tawad sa Panginoon, para mahugasan lahat ng kasalanan mo. Umaasa ako na malilinis lahat ng nangyaring ito sa amin. Hindi lang sa akin, kundi pati sa mga kasama kong lumalaban hanggang ngayon,” she said.
Villanueva said the event is a reminder that God’s love knows no color, age, or sector in society.