Maundy Thursday 2015
April 2nd of this year has to have been the most moving and memorable Maundy Thursday most, if not all of us, have experienced. Our Bishop had asked that we share a Eucharist and foot washing with the people of the Texas Avenue neighborhood. These are our friends. We know them from Hope House and from meeting on the street and from Sunday services. Most of them we know their name and they know ours. Most are homeless, some live in apartments or houses in the neighborhood. All live in extreme poverty.
The day was cloudy and breezy, perfect for gathering in the parking lot in front of Hope House at Austen Place and Texas Avenue. Lois Maberry had bought 32 pairs of shoes and many more pairs of new white socks. St. George’s fabulous chefs had made lunch and were there to serve it. St. Luke’s van was on hand for medical assessment and treatment when needed. Two members of the Physical Therapy staff at LSU Medical School were there to help with any treatments. The Reverends Morgan McIntyre, Bill Bryant, Alston Johnson, Guido Verbeck, Jaime Flowers, Frank Hughes, David Greer and Mary Richard – and of course, Bishop Jake Owensby – and many volunteers were present to wash and be washed and to share Communion and fellowship. In all, around 100 people!
Bishop Owensby celebrated the Eucharist, using the Common Cathedral liturgy. We told the story of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and explained Jesus’ new command that we love one another and that we serve one another. We talked about how he modeled this, by washing the feet of his friends. We prayed together, shared the Body and Blood of Christ, and began the foot washing and treatment. And then we shared lunch.
Many good conversations before and after the service strengthened the bonds. All of us left with a deeper understanding of Jesus’ command to us and the depth of that evening that begins the Triuum in our church.