“You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” — John 13:13-15
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Holy Week is nearly upon us, and I find myself reflecting on the extraordinary challenges we’ve faced this Lenten season because of the coronavirus — challenges to our prayer and worship, to our daily routines and habits, to our sense of being in control of our lives. In the spirit of Lent, we have been called to sacrifice.
Some are sacrificing a great deal for others during this difficult time. I think particularly of doctors, nurses and other health care workers meeting the needs of the ill while also taking care of their own families. Parents, teachers, public officials, pastors and parish ministers are also working hard to meet the needs of those who depend on their help: children, parishioners, the elderly and other vulnerable individuals.
This kind of sacrifice is at the heart of our faith. On Holy Thursday, we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist and Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet as an example of how we must serve one another. On Good Friday, Jesus makes the ultimate sacrifice for us by dying on the cross. This, of course, is not the end. Easter morning brings with it the joy of new life in the risen Christ, whose divine light extinguishes the doubts and darkness of this world.
This Holy Week, let’s reflect on the sacrifices we have been asked to make and what we might do for others at this time in light of Jesus’ example of service, sacrifice and trust in the Father’s undying love for all his children.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+ Bishop Donald J. Kettler
Bishop Kettler is the ninth bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud.