Over the Easter period we will hear how just before his death Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. This was a shocking action for its time. The fact that a teacher would willingly assume the position of a slave was absolutely unheard of. Jesus wanted his disciples to see that glorifying God could only be achieved by serving others.
These Easter Ceremonies remind us that Jesus served to the point where he freely gave up his life by death on the cross. It was this same love that opened the way to resurrection. This reminds us that we cannot call ourselves Christian unless we are also willing to put our faith into action by serving others in some way.
I believe the challenge for our parish community is to grow in our outreach to others. At present we have two groups in our parish who seek to serve others in the wider community. The Refugee Support Group seeks to support and be a voice of advocacy for those who come to our shores as refugees and asylum-seekers. JoCare provides companionship and support within neighbourhoods in the local Malvern area. Volunteers can come from anywhere within the Malvern and Stonnington areas. Both these groups remind us that there are frightened and lonely people out there in our community who need our help. They give us the chance to follow Jesus’ example by doing what he did. The question we could ask ourselves if we are not involved in some form of outreach is what stops us? Shyness? Fear of commitment? Complacency? Lack of belief that we can actually make a difference?
The whole purpose of Lent is to once again renew our commitment in making God the centre of our lives. Our practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving has to lead us in that direction in order to be authentic. Could this Easter season be an opportunity where we rise up and commit ourselves to giving to others in some way?
At the end of each mass we hear the words “Go in peace glorifying the Lord by your life”. It is when we serve others and put to death any reasons that might prevent us from doing this that God is glorified. It is through our love and generosity that we rise with Him.