Tonight's Holy Thursday services officially mark the end of Lent. But don't get out your chocolate quite yet. Christians now enter a period of greater reflection and fasting as we remember the death and burial of Jesus on Good Friday.
I attended Mass at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, where as always we heard from the gospel of John about Jesus washing his disciples' feet. Then the priest called up 12 members of the congregation to wash their feet as a re-enactment. But the Rev. Peter Mangum, pastor at the Cathedral, told those of us still in the pews not to imagine ourselves in the place of those receiving the foot washing, but in his place as the servant.
"What would happen," he asked "if in Israel, Jews and Palestinians would washing each other's feet? If in Northern Ireland, Catholics and Protestants would wash each other's feet? If in our own country, people of different races, would wash each other's feet?"